Here’s Mud in Your Eye

Lou Lotz

Read: John 9:1-41 One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. (v. 25) A minister friend of mine handed out blindfolds—strips of cloth—that members of his Bible study class wore as they listened to this story in John 9. Afterward, the class—still blindfolded—discussed what they had heard and what details they had noticed. Clever. What I notice is how quickly attention is diverted from the need at hand—the man’s blindness—to a theological argument: “Who sinned, …

A Hard Saying

Lou Lotz

Read: John 6:51-69 This is a hard saying; who can listen to it? (v. 60) Christianity is countercultural; it swims against the stream of contemporary life. Forgive your enemies. Give to the poor. Stand in solidarity with the homeless and oppressed. Deny yourself. Take up your cross. Church-growth gurus do a lot of chin-stroking and soul-searching about why people, younger people especially, have drifted away from the church, and what we might do to reverse that trend. There are a …

Five-Loaf Believers

Lou Lotz

Read: John 6:1-15 There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many? (v. 9) Imagine the scene that evening when the boy burst into his home, sputtering with excitement, his eyes aglow, telling his mother about how “me and Jesus” fed five thousand people! And it was true. But what good, really, were the boy’s five loaves for five thousand hungry people? I mean, why use them at all? …

A Father’s Faith

Lou Lotz

Read: John 4:46-54 The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. (v. 50) Some years ago my son was diagnosed with a kind of lymphoma you’ve never heard of. It is exceedingly rare, afflicting six people in a million. The disease is not curable, but it is treatable, and thus far the treatments seem to be effective. I pray daily for my son, that he would be made well, healed. But lately I’ve begun …

When Your Wound Gets Named

Lou Lotz

Read: John 4:1-26 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. (v. 7) In biblical times, women customarily traveled in groups from the village to the well to fetch water. But this woman comes alone, and as the conversation unfolds we find a possible explanation why. She has an unsavory reputation. Her life, we learn, has been one long string of botched relationships. One husband after another after another—five husbands and now a live-in boyfriend. The other village women don’t …