My Daughters

My Daughters
my cute daughters

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jesus the teacher

Besides being the great Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ was also a teacher. Jesus was often referred to as “Rabbi” or "Teacher”. He was a Jewish teacher from Galilee in Roman Judaea. One of his missions on earth was to teach people of God’s love. He often did this by using examples. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, conceded that Jesus of Nazareth was “a teacher” from God, as documented by the “signs” which He did (John 3:2). In John 2:12-12:50 (Jesus’ Public Ministry), Jesus’ teaching material consists mostly of seven discourses. One of His disciples came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him”. For which Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from Him who sent me”.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.

Jesus was a great teacher – the best ever. Crowds listened to Him. Jesus told them to be merciful, good and kind. Jesus frequently used parables as a means of illustrating profound, divine truths. When He spoke in parables, He explained them only to His disciples. Torah in its relation to Jesus and his teaching is a prominent theme in Matthew. Jesus was the greatest teacher who ever lived. He taught the highest truths that were ever taught. He promoted the purest ideals that were ever presented.

Till date Jesus is known as a teacher (didaskolos) by the people. He set time aside specifically to teach (didaskein) the people in the temples and synagogues in Galilee. Jesus has been given the title of the great teacher by many people who have studied and applied His teachings throughout history. Some of the main principles of Jesus' teaching are love, forgiveness, and prayer, not being judgmental and being careful of hypocrites.

He was a mystical teacher. The teachings brought by Jesus Christ from God-the-Father came to us in the form of Jesus’ conversations with His disciples and with other people.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jesus opened the door for me

Jesus opens the door to our hearts, Jesus opens the door of new life for sinners, Jesus has opened the door of salvation to every person, Jesus unlocks the door of our understanding – but today Jesus opened the door of my bathroom!

While taking bath this morning, I just don’t know how the bathroom door got latched from outside. After my bath, when I wanted to come out of the bathroom, I just couldn’t open the door. To my utter dismay, it was latched from outside and I was the only one at home at that time. The kids had gone to school and even Golu had left for work. I was extremely scared at the thought of remaining locked inside the bathroom till evening.

Then I asked Jesus to help me break open the door. I kept praying to Him and knocking on the door so that the latch on the outside could give way. I kept doing this for almost 10 minutes. Twice or thrice I called out the name of my neighbor but obviously she didn’t hear me. I was feeling totally helpless and miserable. But I kept taking the name of Jesus and kept hammering on the door.

Suddenly the door opened and I felt that Jesus had opened the door of heaven for me. I am very, very sure it was Jesus who opened the door for me in the morning. And I am extremely thankful to Jesus for rescuing me. Love you Jesus, praise you Jesus! Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Presently, to prepare myself for the role of a catechist, I am reading a book given to me for reference. In this, I have been reading about King David and during my research on him, I came across this line which touched me the most. It says, “David’s adultery with Bathsheba was only an opportunity to demonstrate the power of repentance”. And in this particular statement, the word which struck me the most was ‘repentance’. I wanted to know more and write more about this particular word.

The word repentance (teshuvah) is derived from the Hebrew root sh-u-v, which means “to return” – the implication being “to return to God”. In other words, a sinner has to change his mind about sin. This is exactly what it means to repent: a change of mind about sin and about God. I just loved what I read about King David. In fact, King David is one character from the Old Testament whom I like a lot. I like him since I read about him in my Bible classes because though he sinned, he repented for it – he didn’t hide it from God. He accepted his sin and did everything possible to repent and be a righteous person all over again. In his suffering as a sinner, he wrote psalms to express himself and reach out to God. What a great personality!

According to Webster, repentance is defined as “to feel sorry for or reproachful for what one has done” and David did this all. He suffered much, he repented for what he had done and all his sins were forgiven. For it’s written in the New Testament: “Repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”. Even Jesus Christ once said that unless we “repent” we will all perish (Luke 13:3, 5).

It’s also written about King David that “His contrition was so sincere that God pardoned him”. I really like this particular information about King David: “The spirit in which David accepted these penalties has made him for all time the model of penitents”. I just love it. How many of us are like King David!

In the Hebrew Bible, repentance generally leads to salvation. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.

Jesus Himself said that “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”. I have read this line umpteen times and every time this line manages to stir up my soul. I feel lighter every time I come across this verse. It’s written in Revelation 3:19 that “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline” and I am fully confident of Jesus’ love for me. He loves me a lot and has exalted this repentant sinner to great heights. I again want to reiterate that what is seen now is just the tip of the iceberg; many more beautiful things are still in store for me. I am the chosen one and thus great things will happen with me because I have decided to mix up with Jesus.

Psalm 51 is marked by true characteristics of repentance such as:
• Appeal to the mercy of God
• Honesty
• Understanding of the severity of sinning against God
• No excuses or justification
• Desire to reform
• Recognition that forgiveness is not deserved but by grace alone

The Cross

The Cross of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of Christianity. The Cross reminds Christians of Jesus’ victory over sin and death, since it is believed that through His death and resurrection on the Cross, Jesus conquered death itself – the Cross means God has power over death. The Cross wasn’t a disastrous end for Jesus; rather, it brought fresh meaning to Jesus’ life and ministry. The first Christians saw it as a deliberate act of God, enabling them to experience God’s presence and activity.

Stauros is the Greek word, usually translated CROSS, that in the Bible is used in reference to the device on which Jesus was executed. The Cross is the symbol of the triumph of good. As a symbol, the Cross is a reminder of the sacrifice of our Savior over two thousand years ago. The reason Jesus had to die for our sins was for us to be forgiven (for our sins) and go to be with the Lord.

Jesus bore our sins upon the Cross and died in our place so we could be reconciled with God the Father Almighty and receive eternal life. The meaning of the Cross is a representation of Jesus Christ shedding His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore the Cross is a symbol of the sacrifice so that we, as Christians, can have the reassurance that we will go to heaven through Christ. According to Explore Faith, “The Cross in the New Testament also has a more personal and individual meaning as a symbol or an image for the path of transformation, for what it means to follow Jesus. It means to die and rise with Christ”. We also find this in Acts of the Apostles (Paul) – “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. The Cross is an image for the path of spiritual and psychological transformation that leads to a new identity and way of being.

The Cross reveals that the true nature of God is to love totally, and for this reason the cross of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross for sinners. The Cross reminds you and me that we have been bought with a price; Jesus loved you and me so very much that He gave up His life for us. Even while dying Jesus didn’t have remorse for anyone. In fact, as Jesus hung on the cross, He forgave the soldiers who were constantly mocking Him and eventually crucified Him.

Mount Calvary

Mount Calvary is the mountain where the miraculous event took place – saving mankind from sin and death. This is the place where Jesus was crucified; Mount Calvary was the place of execution, not far from Jerusalem; and the name signifies the “place of skulls”.

“Take up your Cross”

Then he (Jesus) said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their Cross daily and follow”. Taking up one’s Cross means torture and total denial of self. What Jesus meant was that we have to lead a righteous and sinless life to be His true disciples. We have to give up all possible temptations that come our way and take the path of difficult righteous life.

19th June – Our Juneteenth

It is historically interesting to note that the biggest event on 19th June, 1999, was the wedding of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie Rhys-Jones in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. But I am more interested in narrating about the incident that happened in my life on that day. Probably, at the time the Prince was getting ‘hitched’, even God was planning to get me ‘hitched’ for life; though little did I know about it when I alighted from the Virar-bound train at Dadar station that rainy Saturday evening. (Like romantic novels, I won’t add ‘beautiful’ before rainy here because honestly I don’t think there was anything beautiful about that rainy evening). Nevertheless, I decided to keep the ‘date’ I had with him (Jason Alexander Cardozo) for that evening.

While my train ‘arrived’ at Dadar station and I alighted at platform no. 3 to keep my so-called ‘date’ I was absolutely clueless that years and years back, the Statue of Liberty had ‘arrived’ at its permanent home at Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor on that very day, aboard the French frigate Isere. I guess I have all the ‘Liberty’ of being mushy and say that even I had ‘arrived’ at my ‘permanent home’ – his heart! Again I didn’t know about it then in 1999; but today, thirteen years down the line, I am glad to write that I made a wise decision of accepting his proposal; of not saying ‘no’ to him when he was proposing to me.

It was the 170th day of the year and destiny had grand plans for me in the next 195 days remaining until the end of that year. A decade later, in 2009, a British psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall devised a formula to pinpoint that the day we all are most likely to feel the ‘cheeriest’ is on June 19. That year, June 19, according to some formula, was the “happiest day” of the year. In Britain, it was officially declared as the happiest day of 2009. It was indeed for me, an Indian, as well. I had completed one decade of togetherness with him.

This same psychologist also wrote that “the most important thing in our lives is our relationships – and no amount of money can buy that”. He also wrote that “any psychologist, life coach or happiness expert will tell you that relationships with people are what make you happy”. Well, I can blindly vouch for this because as the saying goes “guys get and forget” I am sure anybody else “getting” me would have “forgotten” me soon after; that person wouldn’t have shown me the same kind of love and affection and attention he shows to me even after 13 years of our married life because as Martin Luther King has said, “there is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage” and I really thank my stars for conspiring in favor of me on that Saturday evening thirteen years back.

In America, this day is also known as Juneteenth – the date set aside for the celebration of freedom from the end of enslavement for Americans of African descent. It is recognized by almost 40 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Congress as “Juneteenth Independence Day”. I guess it was a Juneteenth Independence Day for me as well – I got independence from my mundane loveless life because as Mother Teresa said, “loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible”. During this phase, I used to be very lonely, felt unwanted and was at the lowest point in my life – luckily, this love arrived and cured me of all my loneliness and “unwantedness” and brought me out from nothingness to existence. Like earlier, it didn’t create “a hole in my heart”. Here for no reason at all, I would like to add this beautiful quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – “If I am not worth the wooing, I am surely not worth the winning”. All I can say here is that he found me worth wooing and he surely won me.

Confucius has said that “can there be a love which does not make demands on its object?” but honestly he has no big demands from me except that I stop shouting at the kids and fighting with him. I try hard to give up all that but some habits die hard.

For us Alexander Smith’s awesome quote fits well – “Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition”. We began discovering ourselves from 5 o’clock onwards on that rainy evening (under my baby pink umbrella) thirteen years back at Bandra Bandstand. And since then, we have been delighting in each other’s recognition. For us, love is the answer for everything! Unlike William Shakespeare’s philosophical one-liner which says, “The course of true love never did run smooth”, praise the Lord, it has been running smoothly for us right from day one because it was well-planned by the Lord Himself. How wrong Publilius Syrus was when he said that “the gods never let us love and be wise at the same time” because I feel to love him and eventually marry him was one of the wisest decisions I ever took in my life (though I hardly confess this to him).

So a very Happy Juneteenth to us both!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Psalm 116:6–11

"The LORD protects those of childlike faith;
I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
for the LORD has been good to me.
He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the LORD's presence
as I live here on earth!
I believed in you, so I said,
'I am deeply troubled, LORD.'
In my anxiety I cried out to you,
'These people are all liars!"

Monday, June 11, 2012

Catechist Retreat

I am only few steps away from becoming a catechist and honestly, though at one hand I am extremely excited, on the other hand, I am feeling somewhat intimidated. As I haven’t done this earlier, I am a totally new catechist eager to learn some basic teaching skills to help me while teaching – any theory, any tip, any method – anything which will help me getting started on the planning and teaching. Since I will be engaged in the students’ faith formation, I don’t want to go wrong anywhere.

For this I attended a personal retreat especially conducted for those who lead others to faith. I spent my entire weekend participating in interplay workshops conducted by spiritual leaders Jaime and Ligia Da Fonseca. I didn’t know what interplay was until I attended one – it’s a body-spirit practice that consists of interactive, improvised body movement with a playful, childlike quality. I must say that I really enjoyed the invigorating 2-day session and look forward to more such interplays where I can unlock my holistic body wisdom in a creative way. I learnt so much and I honestly intend to practice some of these every day. This spiritual practice integrated my body and mind and heart so much. I really had so much fun and right now I am feeling so relaxed and refreshed and renewed with more body spirit.

Well, lets get back to me as a catechist. Initially I will be a volunteer or co-teacher to assist the larger class. Then later on when I am confident enough, I will conduct classes on my own.

I have been appointed to co-teach Confirmation students. Just for my knowledge as well, Confirmation is a sacrament, ritual or rite of passage practiced by several Christian denominations and it means strengthening or deepening one’s relationship with God. Confirmation candidates attend a series of special classes to learn about the sacrament, their faith and Christian responsibilities. I will be instructing one of these classes with an experienced teacher (catechist).

Confirmation is typically administered around the age of 16 or when a child completes tenth standard. In our church, these candidates will be in their eleventh standard now. So I will have to tread ground with teens who are at a very critical stage of their spiritual lives. I pray to Jesus to please bless me to spread His words in a way He wants it. I pray to Jesus that through this retreat, I become a living sign of faith.

PS: My Golu gifted me a new phone yesterday – Samsung Galaxy Ace plus S7500 – so now I am a proud owner of an extremely smart dark blue phone! It was launched in India just recently in April – I am yet to discover all its features.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I have subscribed to a site which sends me quotes from the Bible every day. And what I received today is truly amazing. It has made me understand the true meaning of the things that has been happening to me for quite some time now. This site sent me a passage about Lazarus’ sickness and death and how Jesus raised him from death. This passage has given me the answer to the question which I had been asking myself for so long – why am I suffering so much?

Here’s an excerpt from the “encouragement” I received today – “When God’s answer to prayer seems to be no—when He seems to ignore your desperate pleas—it’s likely that He has a bigger, grander plan. Perhaps your own suffering is a necessary (though temporary) part of it. Can you believe this, trust it, and test it in your own experience? This particular line about ‘suffering’ has answered my question which had been tormenting me for so long. I have understood it today. I have understood why I suffered the way I did and will not get discouraged by it anymore. I have understood that suffering is a Christian’s path to glory. I suffered because I had to be glorified by Him. Jesus has glorified me in my suffering. I have understood that I will have a new life patterned after the glorified life of Jesus Christ. There is a purpose and redemption in my suffering.

The Bible has so much to say about SUFFERING. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” – John 16:33. It’s also written that “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake”. Philippians 1:29. “...count it all joy when you fall into it...” I have understood that suffering leads to spiritual maturity.

The Cross is the central symbol of the Catholic religion. It is a symbol of suffering, and our religion makes much of suffering. Christ suffered on the Cross and achieved eternal glory. Much in the same way, we have to suffer daily on our individual Crosses to gain that eternal glory from our Father in heaven. For Jesus also told His disciples that those who humble themselves will be exalted and I feel that suffering is kind of humbling oneself in the sight of God. It has also been mentioned in the Bible that “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted”.

The more you suffer, the more you deserve to gain. It’s clearly mentioned in Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer…” The Father caused Jesus to suffer and exalted Him to great heights. He will do the same for us. He is doing the same for me. I have understood it so very well today. I always used to question myself why this thing was happening to me and today when I read those lovely words in the first paragraph, I understood everything. I understood that I had to suffer so that God could exalt me spiritually because He has planned wonderful things for me. And I can already see and understand and appreciate all the wonderful things that are happening to me right now around me.

My suffering started since 2010 and it was from that time that I am also getting exalted spiritually. Jesus is trying to draw me closer and closer to Him. He wants me to suffer more so that He can exalt me more and keep me close to His heart. I guess this was the reason I was born. God knew me from the time I was formed in my mother’s womb and had called me by my name Jubilee as He wanted me to follow Him. All His great plans for me started from the time I was conceived and so no harm came to me when my mother tried to abort me. Jesus kept me alive as He wanted me to be born and be one of His faithful followers. Oh how clear everything is to me now; as clear as the morning light – my meeting with my Golu, our inter-religion marriage, my conversion, my faith, my suffering, my becoming an animator, my joining the Bible Course, and now me being a catechist – the entire process was so well planned by Jesus much before I was born – He has been a driving force in giving my life its true direction – and so I had to suffer the way I did so that I could be more faithful to Him and able to call Him mine with a true heart. Thank you Lord for making me understand all this today. There is indeed joy in suffering – I can already foresee the joy which awaits me!

My suffering has actually being a blessing because it helped in fulfilling God’s great plans for me. “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake” (Col. 1:24a). I had to dedicate myself in finding joy in Christ. Suffering has been a part of the proof of my genuine faith and it is the God-ordained pathway to glory and everlasting joy for me. My joy has risen from sorrow and therefore can now withstand all grief. Just the way Job suffered and was exalted, much in the same way, I have been exalted in my suffering. The same thing has happened with me. And so I have found a deep meaning even in Job’s suffering.

The joy of suffering is that it brings us closer to Jesus Christ. As a convert I didn’t know that in order to embrace Christ truly, I had to also embrace suffering the way He did. I had to know that the normal Christian life is to be a life of joy not in the midst of parties and celebrations but amidst brokenness and suffering. I had to experience this suffering and sorrow because I had to be blessed; only suffering could bring blessing from Christ. I had to lose my earthly dignity to gain spiritual dignity in Christ because suffering has actually drawn me nearer to God and now I need to maintain this dignity till the end of my life. Just the way Jesus endured the shame and suffering of the Cross so that God would be glorified, I have to endure my suffering to be glorified. In fact I am being glorified right now but there are more things to come. I am sure this is just the beginning. I know God has further plans for me. Something in me, most probably the Holy Spirit, says that I have embraced Christianity in order to exalt Christ’s name. A voice within me always says that through my writing I have to take Jesus’ name higher and higher and keep praising Him all the time. From now on I will learn to rejoice in my suffering I underwent.

Suffering always comes back to rejoicing in Christ. So I should rejoice that I suffered because without my suffering I couldn’t glorify His name. The joy comes to me from the discovery of the meaning of this suffering today. Through my suffering, I choose to seek consolation in God and become closer to Him.

So, “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…”!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Black & Gray

Since my star sign is Cancer, the lucky colors for me are white, silver, and at times, gray, as these are moon colors. It seems the purity of white instills a sense of tranquility and peace within me but sadly it isn’t at all my favorite color. Given a choice I will not wear white at all but since 2009 I have included a lot of whites in my wardrobe as it seems to be bringing prosperity to me. And I fully agree to it!

But my most favorite color is black – the queen of all colors! But as a Cancerian I shouldn’t be wearing too much black as it isn’t all that lucky for me. So since last 3-4 years I have stopped buying black clothes. I only wear the existing ones and that too occasionally. But I dared to usher in the New Year wearing black – and this year again I bought a few black clothes. I just can’t resist buying/wearing black because I absolutely love this color. I find black too very sexy to hold out.

After black, my second most favorite color is gray. Luckily it falls in the list of my lucky colors. To me, gray provides a bridge between black and white and opens the doors of my subtle moods. But people have termed the color gray as the color of sorrow. Nonetheless, I find gray a very attractive and yet another sexy color. Gray color is usually treated either as boring (dull gray) or as sophisticated. I find it very sophisticated – just like black!

It seems the color gray is an unemotional color. It is detached, neutral, impartial and indecisive – well, let it be – I like to wear a gray combinations with my jeans and I am sure it gives a classy look to my appearance. Same with black – I feel that jeans should always be worn either with a gray or a black top as it gives out an authoritative and powerful look – black evokes strong emotions!

Though I guess black is the most misunderstood color, for me it’s exceedingly sexy and represents authority, wealth and modernity and also creates an aura of mystery. I feel high whenever I wear a black outfit – black is often used in fashion because of its slimming quality. I feel elegant and classy – black will forever be stylish – it will never go out of fashion as it’s simply timeless!

Same with gray – even gray is a color which is perceived as classic. It never fails to give out a sleek and refined appearance to me. It is a color in which I look dignified. With this I end my post and my concluding words are that both black and gray are great colors and since I look good in them both, I would like to wear more of these hues!

PS: an after-thought. Since my birthday shopping is already done, I think the colors for my wedding anniversary this year should be black and gray (with a fringe of silver on it) and since it’s still some months away, I have all the time in the world to start shopping. So the color theme for this year will definitely be black and gray……oh hurray!!!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All set…

I am all set for my birthday – right from my clothes to footwear to handbags to cosmetics – I have purchased them all. Yesterday I bought a Chambor lip gloss and something else (which cannot be mentioned here) and this ends my vigorous birthday shopping spree. If I happen to buy anything more it will just be an additional bonus for me; honestly I don’t need anything else.

Talking of Chambor, it has become my favorite cosmetic brand after Revlon and Maybelline. I like their belief that “Every woman is inherently beautiful and make up will just enhance this beauty”. I fully agree with them and so last year I bought a mauve lipstick and this year a brown sparkling Glitzy Gloss lip gloss. It’s their newest launch in the market and since I am extremely fascinated towards Chambor’s cosmetic products nowadays, I decided to get this new brown lip gloss for myself. My existing one (of a very stupid brand) will get over at any given point of time and I don’t like to take risks as far as my cosmetics are concerned.

More than a lipstick, a lip gloss has always been my most favorite make-up product. I love them because I feel that it enhances my looks and gives me a natural look. Now this Chambor lip gloss, bought from Asiatic Department Store, has become a permanent accessory for me – I will wear it every day at work and also during any party or celebration.

Like Chambor, Asiatic Department Store in Churchgate is fast becoming my favorite shopping destination since December last year – I had bought the ‘Mediterranean’ by Elizabeth Arden (EA) from there. Unlike most of the popular malls in Mumbai, this store is conveniently located close to Churchgate station which helps me save time. I don’t need to worry much about reaching home late. This family departmental store has a fairly good collection of my favorite EA perfumes and other cosmetics brands; I need not run to a far-away mall every time I need to shop for these items.


According to Wikipedia, temptation is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health-related, economic, etc. In the context of religion, temptation is the inclination to sin. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.

The definition of temptation is an act that looks appealing to an individual. Greek word for tempted can also mean tested.

The Bible says, “Each one is tempted by his own evil desire” and teaches that we are all tempted to sin.

Even Jesus Christ was tempted. Soon after his baptism, Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights in the wilderness of Judean desert. We need to note that Jesus was extremely hungry after fasting for so long. During this time, the devil (Satan) appeared to Jesus and tempted Him thrice.

According to Wiki Answers, here’s a description of the three attempts by Satan to tempt Jesus along with what Jesus said in reply. In his first attempt, Satan said: “If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread” to which Jesus replied: “It is written, ‘Man must live not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth”.

Then the devil took Him along into the holy city, and he stationed him upon the battlement of the temple and said to Jesus: “If you are a son of God, hurl yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels a charge concerning you, and they will carry you on their hands, that you may at no time strike your foot against a stone”. In reply Jesus said to him: “Again it is written, ‘you must not put Jehovah your God to the test’.”

Again the devil took Jesus along to an unusually high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to Him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me”. Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to Him alone you must render sacred service’.”

Jesus having refused each temptation, the devil departed and the angels came and brought nourishment to Jesus. It’s extremely crucial to understand here that the moment devil departs; good angels are sent to us to take care of us. These are not the only three times Satan tried to tempt Jesus – it seems Jesus was tempted by the devil throughout His ministry but because Jesus had the power to fend Himself, He could face the devil each time. We need to gather that kind of holy power around us and for this we need to ask Jesus to send us the Holy Spirit which keeps guiding us all the time.

Satan is evil personified. In Hebrew, Satan signifies an adversary or an accuser. There are three areas where Satan seems to try hardest to deceive. He doesn’t want mankind to understand that God is good, that God is the Creator, and that God has completed a plan for the redemption of mankind. The Bible says that Satan is a beautiful and powerful fallen angel, who would like to do nothing more than take away the joy of Christians. Satan does not want us to turn away from our sins and turn to God.

In the beginning, Satan had tempted Eve so that by her he might tempt Adam. It is Satan’s policy to send temptations by hands we do not suspect, and by those that have most influence upon us. When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were both innocent and good.

We have much to learn from Satan’s temptations of Jesus and even Eve. Though like Eve we are tempted by Satan, we have to be like Jesus – we have to pray at all times so that we don’t fall in to these temptations. These three temptations have been represented in the Bible so that we learn about the true meaning of life. Jesus came into the world to live life at its best. However, Satan tried to lure Him and attempted to get Jesus to sin. Though the devil tried to entice Jesus, He was resilient. Instead of giving in to the temptations, Jesus in fact humbled himself, and became obedient. So may be sometimes when we are tempted in life we have be like Jesus and humble ourselves and become obedient to God. Each time Jesus was tempted, He responded by quoting from the law. This shows that we need to know our scriptures well to avoid temptation of any kind.

In order to overcome temptations, the Bible reveals that we must surrender our lives to God and live as new creations. Our efforts to resist temptation will always be rewarded if we respond in keeping with the teachings of the scriptures. In the bargain, we ourselves will feel happier with the renewed life that we create and become closer to God. For this we need to develop self-control – control of one’s emotions, desires, and actions by one’s own will.

Jesus resisted temptation and so can we. If we resist the devil, he will flee from us. So the million dollar question here is what should we do when temptation comes to us? According to Blue Letter Bible, there are times that we do not feel that we can resist. However the Scripture says that we will not be placed in a situation that we are not able to handle. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The Bible says: “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted”. (Heb 2:18) So, let’s not worry at all. It’s a promise from God Himself that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. God also promises that there will always be a way of escape. Alleluia…!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Did Jesus write?

On the night of 31st May I was reading John chapter 8. Here, Jesus is mentioned to be writing on the ground or sand (verses 1-11). The scripture does not tell us exactly what Jesus was writing. Jesus is mentioned to be just writing on the sand when the adulterous (Mary Magdalene) was brought to Him to be judged. My curiosity reveals that Jesus wrote the names and ages of each person present there at that time. After that He said, “He who is without sin among you could first throw a stone at the woman taken in adultery”. And when they heard that and read what He had written on the sand, they left the place one by one. Never again did Jesus write on anything or anywhere except that one time.

So I wanted to know did Jesus actually not write anything intentionally and if so why? According to Wiki Answers, Jesus was definitely literate because He was well-versed with the scriptures (Old Testament) available at that time and kept discussing them with others. It’s quite possible that He could have written many other things but none of them have survived, or there’s a possibility that He knew that a lot of what He said was going to be recorded by His apostles.

But sadly scholars believe that none of His apostles or disciples took part in writing any gospels in the New Testament and the epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude are clearly pseudonymous and were written by church leaders who had no personal acquaintance with Jesus or His disciples. The story of a vision of the end of the world and Jesus’ return was written by John, the disciple whom Jesus loved the most. (Scholars have concluded that John the disciple and John of Patmos were two different people, so the book of revelation was not written by John the disciple.)

What we call now as New Testament books were written (most probably) after His Ascension by His followers (not disciples), none of them bears His commandment to write down His message. Furthermore the fourth Gospel testifies that there are other signs and things which Jesus did but not recorded in His Gospel (John 20:30 and 21:25). He just told his disciples to “go out and preach” and write anything and keep records.

Looks like (again through Wiki Answers), they (Orthodox Church) “threw out” anything that would make Jesus seem less than omnipotent, and embellished the truth. If there were writings by Jesus, they are probably hidden, burnt or long gone to protect the Catholics and Christians from total anarchy within their own religion. It seems, to “protect” the world, Constantine (the Roman emperor) sent out his men to destroy any other evidence of religions that did not speak the “truth” that which is written in the Bible – they could even have burned down any writings along with the library at Alexandria, Egypt, which was the largest and most significant great library of the ancient world!

Or may be one of the reasons why Jesus did not write anything down was because His society was more interested in oral traditions and teachings. Jesus did not leave behind any written records. In fact, there is no suggestion that Jesus wrote anything at all in the Bible. Jesus did not write the Bible.

Still it’s really unbelievable that Jesus did not write or leave behind any writings. I can only hope that one of these days’ archeologists will come across some stone tablet or scroll containing some writings by Jesus.