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Tag Archives: Hansel and Gretel

The Evidence

After finishing my final exam in college, I was on my way to see a friend play in a tennis tournament. As the light that I was stuck at turned green, I proceeded to enter this intersection when the front on my car was hit by a vehicle running a red light. After getting out of our cars, this man immediately apologized. When the cops didn’t arrive for a while, I told a student eyewitness to go home. As soon as a police officer arrived, this man changed his entire story. The evidence of the skid marks was clearly in my favor, but to the judge I was a college student and the man who hit me was an outstanding citizen.

He who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] has the testimony [possesses this divine attestation] within himself. He who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him out to be and represented Him as a liar, because he has not believed (put his faith in, adhered to, and relied on) the evidence (the testimony) that God has borne regarding His Son. 11 And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son, 1 John 5:10-11.

On earth, every day someone gets away with a crime, lie, or sinful act. You may be able to fool friends, family, or your peers for a period of time before the evidence is revealed. When light exposes your actions, behavior and choices, you may become like the man who hit me in college, changing his story when the police show up. This painful experience of injustice served as a wake up call to me as a naive Christian. While right doesn’t always prevail initially, the evidence of an afterlife are written with conviction in the Bible.

In the former account [which I prepared], O Theophilus, I made [a continuous report] dealing with all the things which Jesus began to do and to teach Until the day when He ascended, after He through the Holy Spirit had instructed and commanded the apostles (special messengers) whom He had chosen. To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations [unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God, Acts 1:1-3.

Luke spoke to individuals who witnessed Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Meanwhile, one of Jesus’ former disciples tells his audience that you can know for sure about your eternal destiny, 1 John 5:12-13. John isn’t wishy washy like a skeptical individual watching an infomercial that sounds too good to be true. Rather John writes as if he just listened to a Tony Robbins motivational podcast, eager to tell others about securing a room in heaven. The Bible is full of evidence, nuggets of truth that will help you find your way home like the bread crumbs Hansel and Gretel left behind to follow when they needed it.

by Jay Mankus

Before My Sufferings Begin

Famous writers use foreshadowing as a way to misdirect readers, confuse anyone who has prematurely judged a character or as a way to leave behind a series of clues. In Hansel and Gretel, the Grimm Brothers use a trail of bread crumbs. However, throughout the four Gospels, Jesus drops subtle hints. Unfortunately, the disciples developed an ungodly belief, thinking that Jesus would become the earthly King of the Jews. Subsequently, no one knew what Jesus meant by “before I suffer.”

And they went and found it [just] as He had said to them; and they made ready the Passover [supper]. 14 And when the hour came, [Jesus] reclined at table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, I have earnestly and intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; Luke 22:13-15.

Human nature has a tendency to compare your own life to someone else. Hollywood has a series of scenes where two characters compare their scars starting with subtle ones before escalating to the most severe. Yet, suffering is often in the eye of the beholder. If you’ve lived a sheltered life without many trials or tribulations, it’s hard to comprehend the life of an orphan. In the case of Jesus, he waited 33 years before laying down his life. Yet, his disciples didn’t understand what was about to happen.

And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; 2 Corinthians 12:6-7.

At the conclusion of a letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul pours out his heart about his own suffering. Whether this suffering was physical, spiritual or a combination of the two, Paul reached a point in his life where he began to accept this condition. As religious leaders attempted to kill and stone Paul on numerous occasions, he began to see a silver lining. Whether you’re in the beginning, middle or end of suffering, this experience has been allowed to occur so that in your weakness, placing your entire trust in Jesus will make you stronger than ever before.

by Jay Mankus

The Road to Recovery

You don’t see many Science Fiction movies that reference Hansel and Gretel.  Yet, the 2004 action film starring Will Smith does just that, using this 1812 German fairy tales as the major portion of its plot.  When Dr. Alfred Lanning is found dead in the lobby of US Robotics, he leaves behind a trail of bread crumbs to help Detective Spooner find his way to the truth.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ, Romans 10:17.

Following his ascension into heaven, Jesus left behind his own trail of bread crumbs.  However, in this case, its an entire book, the Bible which is living and active, Hebrews 4:12.  Unfortunately, most people go through life without ever reading the instruction manual.  Until you do, faith will only be a five letter word, void of any meaning.  Yet, as you explore the content inside, you will be able to find your way home like Hansel and Gretel.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart, 1 Peter 1:22.

Its only fitting that I use a European Techno Music Group to make my final point.  The group 65dBA created a mix which talks about the purification process individuals undergo as biblical principles convict, shape and transform lives.  The road to recovery isn’t a quick fix.  Like any change in life, our bodies can go into withdraw, craving those things we have gotten use to doing.  However, according to Peter, obeying the truth of the Bible purifies human beings.  Therefore, don’t forget to get your daily dose on the the road to recovery.

by Jay Mankus

 

Are You Leaving a Trail of Breadcrumbs Behind?

Will Smith played Detective Del Spooner in the 2004 film I Robot.  A hologram chooses Del to investigate the murder of Dr. Alfred Lanning, who saved Spooner’s life years earlier after a car accident nearly ended his own life.  Trapped by his work at United States Robotics to roll out a new line of S5’s, Dr. Lanning turns to Hansel and Gretel to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind after his death.

The farmer sows the word, Mark 4:14.

Oddly enough, Jesus uses a curious expression in one of his well known parables.  Often overlooked, Jesus compares the sowing process to a farming planting his annual harvest.  However, there is a twist, your actions leave behind an imprint.  Thus, individuals are either leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind that reflect biblical principles or worldly desires.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap, Galatians 6:7.

If someone was designated to shadow you, following your attitude, behavior and words of the last 24 hours, week or month, what clues would this person uncover?  Are you living a consistent life, clear and easy to recognize?  Or would certain inconsistencies confuse, throw off and make discerning souls question the existence of this life?   The four words of Mark 4:14 struck my heart with conviction, causing me to re-evaluate my own witness.  May Jesus’ teaching inspire you to become a modern day farmer who sows the word of God, prepared to become a fisher of men, women and children.

by Jay Mankus

 

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