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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Matthew 7:12 Here is a famous phrase from the Bible.  Yet it’s not in the Bible.  Not in as many words anyway.  Here’s how the King James Bible renders it: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” […]

Seek and ye shall find

Luke 18:1-8; Matthew 7:7-11 Everyone prays.  At least when they’re desperate.  But no-one seems to know why it works or how it could. It’s an uncertainty that keenly afflicts westerners labouring under three false assumptions. 1) We think of “nature” as a closed system, grinding along according to iron laws. 2) We consider ourselves to […]

Pearls before swine

Matthew 7:1-6 The most precious of jewels and the filthiest of animals are combined into a single memorable phrase: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  (Matthew 7:6) There are people who, at […]

The mote and the beam

Matthew 7:1-6 George Carlin once noted a universal rule of the road:  Everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot.  And everyone who drives faster is a maniac. To the speeding driver, everyone’s an idiot.  To the slow driver, everyone’s a maniac.  But one rule applies to all:  My speed is just right. Hypocrisy is […]

Judge not, that ye be not judged

Matthew 7:1-6 Last year the BBC, CNN, the Daily Mail, The Telegraph and many other news sites and blogs reported a hoax as fact.  The hoax was this:  Internet Explorer users are less intelligent than those using other web browsers. It was a lie that spread like wildfire, despite the thinnest of fabricated “evidence” produced […]

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

Matthew 6:25-34 Some people are good at multi-tasking.  No-one is good at multi-seeking. Jesus has been teaching us that we have only one heart.  And our hearts attend to what we treasure.  Essentially we can treasure God or we can treasure the things of this world, mammon. To invest in earthly treasure is the way of […]

Consider the lilies

Matthew 6:25-34 Brian keeps getting mistaken for the Messiah.  In this scene he must come up with some pithy teaching on the hoof. BRIAN: …Consider the lilies… in the field… ELSIE: Consider the lilies? BRIAN: Uh, well, the birds, then. EDDIE: What birds? BRIAN: Any birds. EDDIE: Why? BRIAN: Well, have they got jobs? ARTHUR: Who? BRIAN: The birds. EDDIE: Have the birds got jobs?!! […]

Take no thought

Matthew 6:25-34 In 1395, Wycliffe rendered it be not busy:  “Therfor I seie to you, that ye be not bisi to youre lijf.”  (Matthew 6:25) In 1534 Tyndale put the warning, be not carefull:  “Therfore I saye vnto you be not carefull for your lyfe.” From Tyndale until 1611 all the translations rendered Jesus’ warning as […]

Ye cannot serve God and mammon

Luke 16:1-13; Matthew 6:16-24 We are all worshippers.  We all give our hearts to something.  And yet we only have one heart.  Simone Weil put it like this: “No human being escapes the necessity of conceiving some good outside himself towards which his thought turns in a movement of desire, supplication, and hope.  Consequently, the […]

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also

Matthew 6:16-24 Following His discussion of three religious practices – alms-giving, prayer and fasting (Matthew 6:1-18) – Jesus returns to the topic of giving.  But here He doesn’t speak in terms of “alms” but of treasure. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through […]