Revelation has been the subject of a lot of controversy (and some awful bumper stickers) over the years. Mostly having to do with all the end times stuff in ther. A lot of folks have gotten REALLY into that stuff and have very strong opinions about what the end of this chapter of humanity will be like. By now, I think you all know that being a theonerd is not my strong point, so I'm gonna tell you up front that I'm not tackling any of the deep controversial end times stuff here. I'm just to dumb for that.
Another week, another single chapter book at the end of the New Testament. This time it's Jude. I just checked and Revelation has 22 glorious chapters which should make things a lot easier next week. Until then, it's another week of trying to squeeze a design out of just a few verses.
3 John has the fewest words of any book in the Bible, clocking in at 299, all in one chapter. I know John had other things on his mind back then, but would it really have been that hard to do a couple more chapters? I mean, give me a little more to work with, huh?
So this week is 2 John and if you measure books by the amount words they have, 2 John is the second shortest book in the Bible (303 words). Two weeks from now, we'll be on Jude which is the fourth shortest book in the Bible (613). Next week's book, 3 John, takes the crown for shortest book in the Bible, coming in at 299 words. Why am I mentioning this? I'm glad you asked...
I'm not sure about you, but most of my life I've assumed that Jesus came to earth and died so I could enjoy a "Get out of Hell" free card. Maybe he came to show people how to be nice and everything, but it was mainly to get me into heaven. This week's passage seems to imply that there was at least one other (maybe even more important?) purpose Jesus had in mind. To kick some devil a**.
Last week we saw Peter's peaceful and tender side. He encouraged Jesus followers to respond to evil with blessing. But just as you think Peter is walking around dishing out flowers, Sweet Tarts and hugs to everyone he meets, we get to Peter's thoughts on false teachers within the church. Let's just say they he won't be sending them a bouquet of roses.
So Peter is the guy who violently defended Jesus by cutting a guard's ear off in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet here we find him telling folks in the early church to "repay evil with blessing." It seems like when Peter saw the way Jesus died, forgiving his enemies, it had an impact on him. Such an impact that he does a 180 and is telling folks that it is commendable to endure unjust suffering.
Thanks to all the folks on my Facebook page who threw out suggestions for my James design. The "tongue" passage in chapter 3 was by far the most requested so I went with that. At first, I thought this design might get a little racy, but after checking it out the verses, I found out it did NOT have to do with French kissing or instructions on how to do that trick where you tie the stem of a cherry with your tongue.
I was pretty excited when I got to the book of Hebrews, because I though it was gonna be a mini-bio of a guy who makes his own craft beer. Alas, that is not what Hebrews is about. There's a famous part in Hebrews 13 where the author gives a roll call of a bunch of faith superheroes and that is what caught my design eye this week.
Philemon is the second shortest book in the Bible (Obadiah has 4 fewer verses), but it was the topic of debate a few hundred years ago in the United States. People on both sides of the slavery issue used the book of Philemon to prove that they were in the right. Just another example of how you can twist the Bible to pretty much back up anything. In fact I know some moron who thinks there will be promises popcorn trees in heaven based on how he reads the Bible.