The Persistence of Faith

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 15:21-28 Why would Jesus ever deny someone who begged him for help? One of the most troubling stories in the gospels describes an encounter between Jesus and a Canaanite mother that seems to show him rejecting her in her time of need. Of all the many virtues Jesus displayed in his life, none is more attractive, I think, than his compassion. Jesus spent so much of his time and energy reaching out to the poor, to needy …

A Question of Authority

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 15:1-20 Where do you go for your ideas about God and religion? Few things are more traditional than religion, and that’s good. But Jesus warns us that tradition can also be bad. We need a higher authority for our beliefs and practices – the Word of God. In the opening scene of Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, a humble Jewish milkman from the Russian village of Anatevka, explains the meaning of the film’s title. The year is …

Walking on Water

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 14:22-33 Do you know how to walk on water? By faith in Jesus Christians can, at least figuratively, walk on water – true or false? Actually, it’s true and false. One of the images the early church used to symbolize the Christian faith, in addition to symbols like the cross, the fish, or the Good Shepherd was the picture of a small boat. The boat stands for the church. Its symbolism is based on a real boat, …

The Bread of Life

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 14:13-21 Do you know what it means to eat the bread of life? Jesus’ most popular miracle – the only one recorded in all four gospels – was the feeding of the 5,000. Why did he do that? Bread is one of the most important inventions in human race. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of it like that, but it really is true. Imagine what happened when some prehistoric baker discovered that if you took …

A Prophet Without Honor

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 13:53-58 Is it possible to be too familiar with Jesus? Matthew tells about an incident where Jesus went home again, only to find that his old friends and neighbors were unimpressed with him. In their case, familiarity bred contempt. Don’t let that happen to you. Had he done nothing else in all his public life but speak, Jesus would still be remembered as one of the greatest religious figures of all time. Again and again in the …

The Pearl of Great Price

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 13:44-46 What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and forfeit your life? Is there anything in the world that’s worth the price of your soul? Jesus’ parable of the Pearl of Great Price urges us to take a much wiser approach to the way we invest our lives, and the return we expect on our investment. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his …