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Luke 1:26-38

Matthew 1:19-20

Have you seen Christmas inventory in stores?  I saw quite a few Christmas trees in one store and that lit up my heart with Christmas cheer.  We ended up checking out a delightful Christmas movie, The Star, an animated movie about The Nativity from the perspective of animals.  The script takes liberties, but seemed focused on getting the big events right, like starting the movie with a screen saying, “9 Months BC” and like the angel Gabriel telling Mary and Joseph separately about what God was doing in their lives.

Christmas is coming.  Let’s keep remembering Jesus, God’s ultimate gift to mankind.


John 18:1-9

One of the most interesting parts in the Bible is Jesus’ words right before He’s arrested and what followed.  Soldiers and Pharisees were coming after Jesus, but “they drew back and fell to the ground” after Jesus said, “I am he…”

Liberty Bible Commentary says about verse 6, “The crowd was caught off guard by the unusual behavior of Christ.  He calmly faced the crowd, identified Himself, and made no effort to escape.”

I wanted a visual for the action in John 18:4-6 and found a 2003 movie called, The Gospel of John.  With eager anticipation, I watched the scene where the actor for Jesus said, “I am he” and watched closely as Roman soldiers looked slightly fearful and walked backward a few steps.  Someone behind them seemed to have fallen since they looked down behind them.  Seriously?  If I could have directed that scene, I would want at least 10 falling Pharisees and soldiers.  Bummer.


Luke 2:8-20, 6:12, 9:10-17, 13:10-17

On Good Friday night, my family watched the movie, Jesus (1979).  We had watched it several times before, but this time I took notes.  This movie is based on the book of Luke and is careful to adhere to Scripture.  Still, I wanted to analyze how the movie helped enrich our understanding of what Jesus and others might have experienced.

In Luke 2:8-20, at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly life, shepherds reside in fields at night, guarding flocks from whatever lurked in the dark.  They would surely have been prepared for any predators.  What they didn’t expect was an angel.  The Bible lets us know that the shepherds were frightened.  The movie did well showing shepherds initially doing their job with one shepherd even playing a flute-like instrument.  But when the angel arrived, the flute playing stopped and you see one shepherd stop petting a lamb, get up, stagger, and stare.  It felt realistic.

In Luke 6:12, it’s mentioned that Jesus spent the whole night praying.  There was a convincing scene for that.  Imagine staying up the entire night praying!  That’s amazing!

In Luke 9:10-17, Jesus miraculously fed more than 5,000 people with a small amount of bread and fish.  Everyone ate until they were full.  The movie added cheering people when the food was being distributed, which I thought was a nice touch.  It could have happened-Who doesn’t want a free all you can eat buffet?

In Luke 13:10-17, A woman who must have had kyphosis, praised God after Jesus healed her.  In the movie, the elderly actress spoke heartfelt dialogue as she moved to frame Jesus’ face with her hands saying, “Praise to the Lord!  God keep you Rabbi.”  I got teary with her believable lines.

Jesus is a good movie.  It prepared our hearts for Easter Sunday.   The movie makes me think of a framed quote in my dentist’s office that says, “It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross but rather his love for us.”


Acts 16:16-40, James 1:2-4 John 15:13

Last night, my family and I watched the 1987 movie classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  The character, Uncle Tom, displayed exemplary Christian behavior.  At one point, Tom was on a large steamboat and became quick friends with a young girl, Eva.  While talking, Eva sat on a ledge against a weak railing and tumbled down into the water.  Tom’s foot was chained to the boat, but, he managed to break free and dove into the water.  He was able to save her by risking his life.  Much later, Tom was sold to Simon Legree.  One day, Tom was walking with others that had been picking cotton.  He had picked the most.  Then, he noticed a woman wasn’t well.  She told him what would happen to her since she didn’t pick very much cotton.  He then stuffed a lot of his own cotton into her bag to help her.  Simon Legree was informed about what Tom had done.  Mr. Legree then asked Tom to whip the woman.  Tom said he couldn’t do a sin like that.  Mr. Legree took great offense and had Tom whipped.  Afterward, Tom was alone and singing about Jesus.  A fellow slave came to take care of his wounds.  She couldn’t believe he was singing about Jesus.  Tom smiled at her surprise, stopped to exclaim that of course he’d sing about Jesus, and then continued to sing.

James 1:2-4 says that we should be joyful when we’re up against trials because it needs to lead to perseverance in order to become complete.  In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were cruelly whipped, forced into prison, and their feet were put in stocks.  What happened next?  They sang hymns.  So, despite whatever may be going on in your life, sing to Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18, James 1:27

What is God’s will for our lives?  1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that part of God’s will is for us to give thanks.  Hopefully, most of us give thanks not just at Thanksgiving, but throughout the year.  And James 1:27 gives us a heads up to take care of widows and orphans, and to “keep… from being polluted by the world.”

The above instructions to give thanks and to help widows and orphans is easy to understand, but those that aren’t familiar with God’s word might not be sure what “polluted” means in this context.  Not long ago, I was traveling home and was behind a pick-up at a stoplight.  All of a sudden, the driver threw what looked like a pop can into the bed of his truck.  On another day, my family was headed for an on-ramp to an interstate, when a passenger in the van in front of us tossed a banana peel onto an intersecting road.  So is the Bible saying we should look out for things like airborne pop cans or slippery banana peels?  Although those things could make us physically dirty, God’s word is warning us to stay away from sinful stuff that could spiritually pollute us.  For instance, someone who follows God should make a choice to check a Christian movie review site before deciding to watch a movie.

This is not a comprehensive post on God’s will, but it’s good to start thinking about what God wants as we race towards the end of 2014.  Godspeed!



Joshua 1:7

In my opinion, usually movie choices at a theater are like choices from a pig trough.  But not so with the movie, “Courageous.”  Parents should definitely see it!  If you’re a busy parent that didn’t have a chance to see it in the theater, be bold and buy it on Tuesday or pre-order at  Then, when you’ve got it, after your young child or children are asleep, watch it.

This is a good movie!  If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out this review: