Austin asks an interesting question: “If they said Jesus committed no sin, then what was him turning the tables over in the temple considered?”
Are you asking, Austin, if it is a sin to be upset or even angry?
Lets take a closer look at this question. Obviously, we do not have a calm, composed Jesus here; rather, he is quite upset. But is it always wrong to be angry or upset?
Let’s look more closely at a couple of examples in our own lives when we might get angry. First situation: You become really frustrated and mad at your brother (or sister) and you lose your cool and start screaming and hitting him. Is that wrong? You know the answer, don’t you?
Now, second situation: you’re coming home from school and you see some kids hurting a helpless animal.... or someone picking on and bullying a small kid... so, is it right or wrong to get upset here? Do you just keep walking and ignore it all? Or do you get upset enough about it to do something that will stop this behavior?
The right thing is to do something.... probably to go get an adult to intervene. There are some things in the world that are so bad that to not get upset about them would be bad. Anger is very natural, having angry feelings may not always be bad. It all depends on what kinds of things you do when you’re angry (how you react to a situation-you can't control how others behave, but you can always choose how you respond to something or someone). It depends on whether you can use your anger for good, or you let your anger use you for bad.
Let’s go back to the temple cleansing story in the Bible. Something bad is happening here which spoils the temple’s purpose of worship and prayer. Jesus says in John 2, “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” In Luke19, Jesus says “it is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” We would say-- as no doubt the common people said then, that Jesus’ actions were right even righteous. His actions were not sinful. It is accurate, I think, to see some anger here. But he did not “lose it.” Nor do we believe he acted wrongly. It was evidently the right thing to do, but... it was also one of the chief reasons why he was arrested by the Jewish leaders and delivered to the Romans to be crucified. But Jesus knew what he was doing, didn’t he? Did he let the anger control him or did he control his anger? What do you think?
Thanks for the thoughtful question, Austin!
Hi kids! Are you getting ready for summer? While we wait, let me deal with a couple of questions that you have sent to me recently. So here goes...
1. “Was Jesus married?”
The short answer is....not! But why don’t we think that Jesus was married? Mostly because it is never claimed/mentioned nor even implied (suggested) in Bible passages, nor in other early church writings. We know that Peter and probably most of the disciples were married. We’re reasonably certain that John the Baptist was not married. We know that Paul the Apostle was not married.
I think that if we spent some time thinking about Jesus and his special mission on earth-- how important he was for us to be able to know God and to be saved, how would he ever have time to be married?! What do you think?
Connor asks, How do you ask questions to God?
You just talk to God and ask. You can do this at any time and place, but it’s very important that you make the time and have a place to listen for an answer. It is very easy to ask God a question--God has designed us so that we will have questions! It is very much harder to hear the answer. To listen to God. That is where prayer comes in, where we talk to God and take time to listen for an answer. But be patient. Sometimes it takes a long time for us to be able to hear an answer. And often the answers may come when you are reading the Bible, or other religious writings. And remember that the answer that God gives can also come through the words or the actions of people you know, especially those who love you. Just keep listening and trusting that in time you’ll be able to hear an answer.
A similar question: Why do we bow our heads when we pray?
It is a way of showing respect and honoring God. There are other things that we do also to honor and respect God, for instance, kneeling to pray on our knees, or putting our hands together when we pray. Children (and adults) have been doing these things since the beginning. All these things are helpful for us especially when we are learning as children to pray, But there are many ways to pray, and you will learn more as you grow older.
Karlie writes, I saw a heart cloud last night. Does that mean someone in heaven loves me?
That God and all the company of heaven loves us is an important thing to believe and to know. All creation proclaims God’s love for us, if we have a heart that loves God. Our heart is our most important witness. And yes, Karlie, God does love you! And all of God’s family loves you as well! God loves all his children! Signs are everywhere!
Thanks for your questions, keep them coming!
Here is a question from Rachel: “Why was Jesus born in a stable?”
The easiest answer which the Bible tells us is that he was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. You see, there were a lot of people in town--it was very crowded, and there were no rooms left in the motels and probably no room left even with other members of the family that might have lived in Bethlehem. But it was good to find even a barn to stay in because it was out of the weather, and probably fairly comfortable. God does provide for us, even if sometimes in unexpected ways.
Brooklyn asks, “I like to play with toys. Did Jesus have toys?”
Surely not the kind that we often have today. To play is much more important than to have toys. Many children even today do not have toys-- at least like we play with, and yet they love to play just like you do. It’s amazing how many kinds of things you can pretend that a small stick is! I’ll bet you like to use your imagination, too! Surely Jesus would have played just like other children always like to do.
Abigail asks, “Does Jesus look like the picture on the chapel wall?”
We do not know how Jesus looked-- we have no pictures of him. We do not even have any kind of physical description of Jesus given to us in the New Testament. The pictures on the wall or the stained glass pictures of Jesus in the sanctuary are what artists thought that he might have looked like. We all have our ideas, I suppose. What is your favorite picture of Jesus?
Thanks for the questions, kids! Stay tuned for more to come!
Kids--thank you for your questions. Questions are very important, and I want to encourage you to keep asking them.
I’ll try to answer a few of the ones that you’ve submitted so you can talk about it on Sunday. I’ll do more of them later.
1. Sam asks: “How long has the church been here?”
If you are asking about our local Laurel United Methodist Church where we all learn and worship, it formally began on November 8-9th, 1909. If you remember, what did we celebration last November? It was our Centennial-- 100 years of being in Laurel!
If you are asking about the Christian church, we often think of the church as a spiritual community beginning at Pentecost not long after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (Jesus rising from earth to heaven). What important event happened at Pentecost? What did God give to us at Pentecost?
2. “Is there anything about dinosaurs in the Bible? If there is, what verse?”
Good question! The word dinosaur is not in the Bible. Bible people seemed not to know about them, or the question did not concern them. Science tells us that these kind of creatures lived a long, long time before people were created. By the time humans were here, dinosaurs were extinct. So the people of the Bible would not have experienced them, just like we don’t experience them. Of course, we have their fossilized bones!
Look at the biblical creation story in Genesis, chapter 1. Read it carefully, especially what happens on the 5th and 6th days. Where do you think dinosaurs would fit in? What day might that be? Were humans around then, or did God create them later?
3.There were several questions about pets:
a. Victoria and Elizabeth asks, “Can we pray for our pets?”
Sure, you can. Plus, don’t you think that if we pray for our pets--as well as others we love--that we’ll do better with them, that we’ll love and care for them better? I believe Jesus wants that from us.
b. Andrew asks, “Is my cat in heaven?” And Nathan asks, “Is Bailey, my cat, in heaven with Callie (grandma’s cat)?
Good question, but a hard one especially for those who love our pets.
--I believe that God has a special place in his heart for those who love and those whom are loved. Love is never lost to God. As far as whether pets go to heaven, we do not know for sure. The Bible never tells us about beloved pets and the future that God may have in store for them. Somebody has written that they believe that pets go to heaven to be with us because it would not be heaven without them. But the Bible and the Christian understanding down through history has been that heaven is intended for those who know, love, and choose to be with God and to do God’s will. Do you think that your pet can know God? My final answer to this has to be, I do not know for sure. But God will do what is right and good. We must trust God in this. God will do what is best.
Thanks for your questions-keep them coming and I will post more answers next week!
Who better to ask all those questions you've been wanting to ask, than our Pastor? It's important to remember that he is someone who you can always come to with your questions.
Here's your chance: Submit questions to Pastor Dolly & have them answered here. No question is unimportant. Odds are, if you're wondering about something, someone else is too.
** Posts before 2014 are from Pastor David Jones**