“How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?” – (Mark 2:18-21)
John’s disciples fasted. The Pharisees’ disciples fasted. The Son’s disciples feasted.
Some smart religious fellers came ter the Son and asked, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
The Son answered:
“The groom’s party eats well at the wedding. Wine flows, fancy food is brought out. All eat as much as they like, for the wedding feast is a time for celebrating. Now is such a time. I am the groom. Those who come to me celebrate with me. Only later, after I have gone, will they recall the good times we enjoyed and mourn. Then they will fast.”
Seeing as how many still be confused by the Son’s talk of weddings, he went on ter explain how the son of Skipper be like a new patch sown on ter a garment. The Son’s Spirit be like a new robe and not some simply some new patch ter be sown onto yer old self. If we try ter simply patch up our old flesh, we ‘ill make the tear worse. Worse, we ‘ill you feel worse, fer he alone can clothe us in new garb that fits us ter perfection.
In the same way Adam and Eve needed new garments ter cover their nakedness, so we need the Son’s new robe of righteousness ter cover our shameful self. Simply putting a patch of fig leaves over our privates ‘ill not do the trick.
Later the Son told the story of a king who came in ter visit the guests at his banquet. When the king seen a feller who whar not wearing wedding clothes he asked, “How did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man stood speechless. The king then told his attendants, “Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness.” In the streets outside the halls of the wedding hall thar ‘ill be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 22: 11-13)
If we ‘ill accept the Son’s offer ter be dressed in his rob of righteousness we need not worry ’bout getting tossed. When we put on the Son, we get ter dine with the groom.
All be invited. Question be: will we accept the groom’s invite ter his wedding?
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
“Remember, Lord, how I have tried to walk before you faithfully and with my whole heart’s devotion. Though at times I have stumbled, my desire is do what is good in your eyes. I ask that your Spirit fill me so that by your strength and not in my weak flesh do I serve you alone.” (2 Kings 20:3)
Them captured by pirates faced a bleak future. Some pirates whar merciful and, after robbing fellers and lasses, put ’em ashore on a deserted isle. Other pirates entertained thar captives as guests until a ransom whar paid. Some gangs do the same even ter this day.
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” – Jesus (Mark 2:13-17)
The Son went out ter the lake. Like always a large crowd came ter Skipper’s son and he began ter teach folks. Whilst walking about, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax collector’s booth. Most likely this whar a toll booth guarded by one or more Roman soldiers, fer back then the route from Damascus through Capernaum ter the sea whar a popular route.
“Follow me,” the Son called ter Levi. Right off Levi stopped collecting taxes, left his station, and followed the Son.
Sometime later, while the Son and his disciple whar enjoying dinner at Levi’s home, many other tax collectors and “sinners” showed up. “Sinners” be folks who refuse ter follow Skip’s Code of Conduct — fellers and lasses who make it thar purpose ter violate Skipper’s divine law and show disrespect ter Skipper. Though they know right from wrong and kin read Skipper’s good words, they choose ter be reprobates and rebells bent on mutinous behavior. It be fer sinners that the Son came, fer we all be murdering, lying, thieving scoundrels who need ter change our ways. These whar the folks the Son be drinkin’ and eatin’ and hangin’ with on this particular evening.
When the teachers of the law and the Pharisees seen the crowd seated ’round the Son, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Now ya might think it odd they did not ask the Son this question. Could be by this point they knowed him ter be smarter than ’em and they did not wish ter get into a debate with a feller who seemed ter know more ’bout Skip’s Code than they knowed.
On hearing such mumbling, the Son said ter these smart religious fellers, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Right off ’em smart religious fellers might ‘ave picked up on the sharp humor in the Son’s words, fer by implying that they be “righteous,” the Son be suggesting they be “good” and not needing ter be made clean: and well they knew that none be good but Skipper.
But thar whar a second, more important, message in the Son’s word: a warning fer all of us. The Son be suggesting that each us be a sinner who needs ter repent of sumpin. If we think different, then we hain’t looked deep enough inter our hearts. If we think ourself healthy and whole and in no need of healing, we ‘ill miss out on dining with the Sun and getting set right with Skipper.
If you know yerself ter be sick in spirit, broken in body, a corrupt lying, thieving, reprobate, then accept the Son’s invitation ter enjoy a meal in his kingdom. Dare ter dine with the one who desires fer you to ‘ave life and ‘ave it ter the full. The Son accepts us just as we come, but he ne’er leaves us in our foul, polluted state. No indeed, fer he wishes ter call us friends, his family, his followers. Question be, will we come out of the darkness and inter the Son’s light and love?
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
“Lord, our children are a heritage from you, a reward we cannot earn, only enjoy. We ask for your blessing of protection and provision for our children. May we love those in our family in heaven with the same affection we love our own flesh and blood. Amen and amen.” (Psalms 127:3-5)
Sailors captured by pirates whar sometimes invited ter join the crew and themselves become pirates. Here the pirates be thinking the captives — who now be crew — might reveal whar a treasure be hidden aboard the captured vessel so as ter share in the loot. Most often if the captives went along with such a devilish scheme they be killed soon as the booty be uncovered.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Start Yer Morning With Prayer ter Skipper
Tha Son made it a habit ter rise early and get off by himself so he could enjoy a chat and morning prayer with the Father, his Pop and ours. We don’ know what the Son and Skipper discussed. Could be they chatted ’bout the upcoming day. Perhaps they reflected on the day befer. Maybe Skipper whar giving the Son a list of folks who would be coming ter him with thar needs, worries, and wounds. But we kin be sure of one thing: the Son felt in necessary ter start his day with a morning prayer with the Father.
Ways Some Begin Thar Morning Prayer
A good many do they same these days. When they lie down at night they kneel side thar bunk or lie in thar hammock and thank Skipper fer all that went on during the that day, both good and ill. They ‘ill praise him fer the daily provision they enjoyed, the folks they met, thar own needs met. In the morning befer thar feet hit the deck they ‘ill silently thank Skipper fer a good night’s sleep and the dreams he give ’em. Then they ‘ill ask Skipper ter hug ’em close and bless ’em, provide fer thar daily needs, ter watch over ’em, and keep his arm ’round thar shoulder. All this they do befer they get out of the sack.
Getting Off Alone in the Morning ter Pray
Aboard ship you ‘ill often find folks up early in the morning ter go off and pray. Kneeling near the rail of a vessel with heads bowed, lips moving, tears trickling down cheeks, they ‘ill pray ter our Father in heaven. This be the model fer prayer given ter us by the Son. We be called ter get away from folks in order ter spend time alone with Skipper. When we pray, we ought ter go into a small room or closet, close the door, and pray to our Pop, who be unseen. Then Skipper, who sees what be done in secret, ‘ill reward us.
Thing be, it kin be hard ter rise early and find a quiet spot ter pray. The Son knowed a little ’bout this fer he made the village of Kephar Nahum (Capernaum) his home port and because he did, folks whar constantly looking ’bout fer him.
Now some smart fellers say that “kephar” be a Hebrew word that means “ter cover,” “ter purge,” “ter make an atonement fer,” “ter make reconciliation fer,” “ter cover over and make atonement fer sin.” “Nahum” means “our comforter.” So right off we might see why the Son picked this village fer his base, fer Skipper’s one and only boy come ter comfort us and reconcile us ter the father by paying the price fer our sins.
Getting up early might uncomfortable fer some—perhaps most—but that be the example the Son set fer us. And it is in our troubles and times of discomfort that the Son comforts us.
Blessings of Prayer
Whilst in tha Garden of Gethsemane tha Son prayed, “Abba (Pop), Father, for you all things are possible. Remove this cup from me. Yet, do not do what I want, but what you want. Do your will.” The Son prayed this at night, in the dark, alone. But we kin imagine he spake the same at other times fer he knowed well in advance how his end would come. And even though he knowed his Father’s will, the Son still prayed ter be spared the scourging that whar ter come. He prayed ter be spared from the mocking and humiliation of folks. He prayer ter be spared the torturous death planned fer him.
Now we may wonder how the Son knowed what whar ter come. The answer be in these words ter his disciples.
“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” – Jesus (John 5:19-20)
While in prayer, while listening ter the Holy Spirit of Truth, Skipper spoke ter the Son. The Father showed the Son his perspective of things. In response, the Son did those same things during the days that followed. Perhaps you recall that the Son taught his disciples ter pray like this.
Say, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:10)
When we get Skipper’s view from atop the mast, we kin stand our watch and carry out our tasks. Still, that don’ necessarily make it easy ter rise early.
Whilst We Be Looking ter the Father Others be Looking fer Us
Simon and his companions went to look for Jesus. When they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” (Mark 1:36-37)
Of course all in Kephar Nahum whar looking fer the Son. He healed folks, cast demons out of folks, fed folks. All who come ter him whar blessed. The Son be thar answered prayer, as it whar.
But he came not simply fer folks in Kephar Nahum but fer folks all over. Left on our own we might settle in a port. And perhaps Skipper wants us ter settle fer a spell. But like a ship at sea the Son whar always on the move.
Get Up and Get Moving
This also be our model fer prayer. Regardless of yer circumstances and needs, get off alone with Skipper—and the earlier in the day the better. Our Comforter, the one who makes attornment fer our sins, rose early ter be with his father in prayer. Later our Comforter was lifted up on a cross in order that our sins be covered by his blood. Three days afterwards, the Son once more rose early, only not in his old earthly shell of a body but from the grave in his new glorified body. The first of its kind. A body that could travel about through time and walls.
A life of rest and relaxation might be the thing we wish fer, but if we are ter follow the Son thar i’ll be days of discomfort from simple daily living.
When you get off with the Father, cry out ter him. Plead with him. Listen ter him. Recite back his words, promises, blessings. Share yer fears with him. Praise him fer listening, caring, loving ya, and sending his Son ter die so ya could sit in his lap. End by asking Skipper ter glorify himself through you by yer thoughts and actions. Then make sure you ask him ter show you what he wants you ter do that day.
Do all this and then when you stand yer post you ‘ill ‘ave a better gauge of how best to carry out Skipper’s commands that day. If the Son of Skipper found it necessary ter get away with his Father early in the morning, we might ought ter rise early and do the same.
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
Oh Lord, help me to hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for it is in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go this day, for it is to you that I lift up my soul.(Psalm 143:8)
Perhaps you ‘ave heard the phrase, “Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.” A red sunrise might mean that a high pressure system with its good weather done already passed on, leavin’ behind an a storm system of low pressure. In the Northern Hemisphere weather moves from west ter east so a morning sky that be a deep, fiery red can indicate that thar be high water content in the atmosphere and a squall below the western horizon. If you awake ter a red sky morning make it yer task ter batten down the hatches.
A man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” – Mark 1:23
Think on this a wee little bit: the devil’s demons know all thar is ter know ’bout the Son. Know and be terrified.
Fer example, demons know that:
* The Son be in thar midst in order ter conduct Skipper’s business.
* The Son be from Nazareth.
* The Son be intent on destroying unclean spirits and the power the devil’s darkness holds over folks.
* The Son be of a holy nature.
Such unclean spirit knows all this but do we?
A good many smart folks who know all ’bout the Son and Skipper and study with earnest energy in seminaries but hain’t got nary a clue as ter the real power and authority of the Son and his Spirit. Listen ter what that great prophet Malachi says:
You who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. (Malachi 4:2)
The Son be the Sun: the one who be righteous. And because the Son be righteous through and through no spirit of sickness, no unclean spirit of perversion, wickedness, or torment kin remain in his presence. All such vile spirits must flee. That be why that filthy spirit living inside the man from the synagogue feared fer its existence. The Son brings healing and wholeness.
The Son’s command ter all such filthy spirits be this: “come out!”
When we come face ter face with the Son and see him fer who he really be, we ‘ill get scared straight. We ‘ill fall ter our knees in fear. We ‘ill ‘ave deep respect or admiration fer him on account of we see the glory of his holiness.
If you hain’t nary enjoyed such an encounter, if you hain’t nary been humbled in the presence of yer Lord, then ask Skipper ter introduce you proper like ter the Son. An invitation of this sort ‘ill always be one Skip ‘ill confirm. And when you come inter the presence of the Son, his righteousness ‘ill flow inter you. Soon as it does you can rest assured all unclean spirits ‘ill begin ter tremble in fear.
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
Lord, I know “you are the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:23). And because I believe in your healing power and authority I renounce all spirits of death and sickness coming against me and my loved ones. I declare that such unclean spirits be cast out, bound, and cast into the abyss where they will be held for the day of your judgement. Lord, you came to set the captives free. By your power and nature those I name are set free from the bondage of perverse spirits. May we be free indeed! Amen and amen.
Julius Caesar whar captured by pirates when he be but 25. While prisoner, he told the fellers he would come back and kill ’em all. And in time he did jest that.
After becoming leader of ancient Rome and by expanding Rome’s geographic reach and establishing its imperial system, Caesar transformed his small kingdom inter what they called the Roman Empire. By 31, Caesar had been in several scrapes and whar finding his footing, as it whar, in Roman politics. After making several alliances and gaining military victories, the rascal became dictator of the Roman Empire, a title that lasted for just one year before he went ter Davy Jones.
Julius Caesar . . . once a pirate, always a pirate.
They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began to teach. – Mark 1:21
James and John, Simon and Andrew followed the Son in ter Kepher Nahum (Capernaum), a small village along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They believed in the Son. They believed in the words of the Son. Simply put, they believed.
On the Sabbath, which be Saturday in them days, the Son entered the synagogue and began ter teach. Now right off the Son’s teaching ought ter ‘ave got tongues ter wagging on account of the Son be a carpenter and son of a carpenter, not a student of a famous rabbi. Most likely folks whar asking how the Son got his learning and from which rabbi, fer he spoke ter them as a feller who had authority, not as the religious scribes.
Skipper’s Word Says It But Do We Believe His Words?
Way back in the beginning, scribes only whar fellers who made written copies of Skipper’s Code of Conduct. In time folks began ter see ’em as experts on Skip’s Code. Reason being, they knew Skip’s instructions ter folks from front ter back and could spout it from memory. Only the thing be, knowing ’bout Skip’s Code not be the same as believing Skip’s Code.
A good many ter day know all manner of stuff ’bout Skipper’s Code of Conduct. Some claim ter read Skip’s words daily, study his words, pray his words, and seek ter live by his words. Others ‘ill admit that while they know much of Skip and his words, they don’ actually believe what he says.
Skipper’s Word Says It But Some Don’t Believe His Words
“The Bible says it, but I don’t believe that settles it,” seems ter be the thinking of a good many. Such folk ‘ill spout things like:
“We must read the Bible’s words in the light of their historical context.”
“We need to try to understand why the authors wrote what they wrote.”
“We are to read all of Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ, his life, teachings, ministry, death, and resurrection, because He is the only unmitigated Word of God.” (As though suggesting all other Scripture is not the unmitigated Word of God.)
But Skip’s words say:
Jesus [is] the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1).
All things were made through Jesus. Without Jesus nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3).
If all things be made through Jesus then Scripture be made through Jesus.
So when a feller claims we “must read the Bible’s words in the light of their historical context,” he actually be suggesting the Son and Skipper mean sumpin’ different ter day than they did back when they gave us thar words. If that be the case, then the pair be double-minded and speakin’ out of both sides of thar mouths.
If our “historical context” can change Skip’s words, then pert near all of Skip’s words be of no account ter day, since our “historical context” be different than them scribes who wrote down what Skip told e’m.
When a feller says we must “try to understand why the authors wrote what they wrote,” he be suggesting the motivation of the scribe be of more importance than the motivation of Skipper fer giving us his words ter start with.
A good many fellers who wrote fer Skip had no idea how prophetic the words they scribbled might become. The Apostle Paul wrote a good many letters from prison ter churches with instructions fer how folks whar ter conduct them selves. Doth we think Paul knowed ’em letters would make it in ter Skipper’s code book? If he had, would Paul ‘ave wrote differently?
When a feller says we must “read all of Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ” what he really be saying is the Son who walked about in the flesh be different than the Son who be with Skipper in the Garden when Adam and Eve be created—different from the Son who appeared in the writings of Moses and all the Prophets (Luke 24:27).
But the Son don’ change. He be the same ter day as he whar in the beginning.
This be why, when the Son begins preaching and teaching and explaining Skip’s Code, jaws dropped, eyes bugged out. All about folks be silent, hanging on ever word. They knowed he be speaking truth with authority. An author always speaks with greater authority than a feller who simply reads the author’s words, fer an author knows exactly what he said and why he said it.
The ilk of a good many “teachers of the Law” ter day be the same as in the days of Jesus—they deny the power of the Son and his authority. Oh, they might not come right out say such. Ter do so might run off some folks. So they soften things and simply say the Son’s words don’ mean ter day what they meant back in his day and be fer the day of his coming.
Jesus entered the synagogue and began ter teach. He taught as one with authority. His words carry authority, fer he is above all authorities—specially so-called religious authorities.
Ask Jesus ter enter yer heart ter day. Then ask him begin ter teach you his words, ways, and truth. Trust him when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is, you may lay ter that.
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
“My Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name. Holy are your words. Ter day bless the reading of yer words ter the nourishment of me soul.” (Matthew 6:9)
Avast! / avast ye! be Dutch speak fer “pay attention, mates!”
Jesus said to them, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” (Mark 1:16)
Whilst tha Son walked about on shore he saw two brothers casting nets inter the sea. Right off he seen that the pair be hard workers, fer as we well know, fishing not be an easy chore. Catching a meal kin some times take all day, weeks some times.
He saw Simon and Andrew and said to them, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. “Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:16) (Luke 5:4-6)
But as soon as the Son called the pair, they cast down thar nets and followed him.
Put Out Inter Deep Water
Now it could be the brothers may ‘ave thought: Anything be better than fishing with Pop. We keep doing this we ‘ill die hunched over and broken old men with hands so calloused we kin sand a plank with our bare palms.
More ‘n likely, the brothers seen that the Son be well versed in Skipper’s Code of Conduct. Most all lads in them days be required ter read and memorize the first five books of Skip’s Code. From thar they moved on ter learnin’ ’bout the Prophets. The pair likely knowed some of Skip’s Code, but had ne’er been picked ter train under a real rabbi. Perhaps they also be in the crowds when the Son preached on the arrival of Skip’s kingdom and wanted a share of any prize thar might be fer them working fer Skip’s crew.
But probably the biggest factor in ’em up and leavin’ the fishin’ business be the great catch of fish they caught when the Son told ’em ter toss thar nets over the side once more.
Without the Son, no fish. With the Son so many fish they couldn’ haul ’em all in the boat. That be the power and authority and presence of the Son in our lives.
After he went down the shore a ways, the Son spied two other fellers mending thar nets. Like with Simon and Andrew, the pair be working hard, not lounging about waiting fer good luck ter find ’em. Soon as the Son hailed fer the pair ter join him, them sons of Zebedee, James and John, left thar pop with his hired servants and took off ter follow this fisher of men.
Now think on this a wee little bit: Simon and Andrew left thar vocation in order ter learn another trade: fishing fer folks. James and John also left thar vocation in order ter follow tha Son. Nary a one hemmed and hawed, made excuses, asked if they might ‘ave a few days ter consider his offer. None went home ter discuss any of this with the misses. They simply dropped what they whar doing and went off with the Son.
Be that the way we act when the Son calls us ter a new task? Doth we act with such conviction and obedience that we ‘ill stop in mid watch, come about, and sail off on a new heading without knowing what tomorrow ‘ill bring?
Them four fishermen became the core of the Son’s crew. You find ’em near ’bout always right close ter the Son and the Son right close ter them.
Obedience ter the Son comes with a cost, but we get the blessing of his fellowship in return. This day if you hear the Son calling you, if you be reading Skipper’s Code of Conduct and hear his voice asking you ter change course, ter put out in ter deep water, do as commanded. Doth not delay. Might be his call be the chance of a lifetime fer you.
The Son came fishin’ fer folks—not jest some but all. Make it yer task ter get caught in the Son’s net of Love.
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
“Lord, as the Father has loved you, so you ‘ave loved us. Bless us ter remain in yer love always.” (John 15:9)
The Doldrums be an area of calm winds often found a wee bit north of the equator and between the two belts of trade winds. It be widely assumed that the phrase ‘in the doldrums’ be derived from the name of this region, but it whar actually the other way ’round. In the 19th century, “doldrum” whar a word meaning “dullard; a dull or sluggish feller.” This most likely came from “dol” and “dolt” with its meaning eventually becoming “dull.”
Others contend doldrum means “dole out the rum.” Whar ya come down on this probably depends on the vessel you sail and spirits you hang out with.