Jesus is not a trickster, his miracles are often the beginning of his transformation of us

Ponte Vedra Sunrise 4 10 2015

This sermon was preached extemporaneously on October 18 2015. The main theme is that our relationship with Jesus often begins with an attraction and attention to the magical side of Jesus. As we read the Gospel stories, we often seek the miracles for others to be magic for us. But we come to full faith not by wonderment of his miracles but through observing the conversion of ordinary human beings like brothers James and John of Zebedee, whose life was interrupted when they dropped their nets and followed Jesus. They experienced his miraculous life and his undeniable resurrection and shared his message until they died. You can listen to the sermon below:


The reference text is Mark 10:35 – 45 (NRSV), provided below:

The Request of James and John

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’