Tom Haynie column sig

He stood before the judge and said he had come because a policeman had told him to come on this date in response to an accident.

The judge asked for his license and registration. The man handed them over. The judge looked at the man, squinted at the license, looked a couple more times, then said to the man, “This isn’t you and the registration doesn’t fit the info I have. Where is YOUR license and registration?”

The man said, “Well, at the accident site, the policeman there told us to exchange license and registration, so ...”

It is easy to misunderstand certain things we hear. Some things we hear should be taken literally; others not.

The carpenter held a big spike nail up against the wood and said to his apprentice, “Now when I nod my head, you hit it.” The funeral will be Tuesday. Some things are not to be taken literally.

Peter asked Jesus, “How many times do I have to forgive a man for offending me? Up to seven times?” And Jesus replied, “I say not seven times, but 70 times seven times!” Peter was thinking letter of the law. If I have to forgive this dude seven times, then I have four more to go!

The Pharisees thought that way. If the old law of Moses had commanded the Hebrew people to forgive an offender 490 times (70 times seven), you can be certain there would have been some who would have kept a tally!

But Jesus wasn’t thinking numbers. He was talking about forgiving from the heart without thinking about have-to’s.

John 11:21-27 gives an account of Lazarus dying. The man’s sister, Martha, cried to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but even now I know that whatever you ask of God, He will give you.” She knew that Jesus could raise her brother back to life.

Jesus replied, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha: “I know that he will rise in the final resurrection when all the dead will rise at the judgment.” Again, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he died, yet will he live.”

Martha replies, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

Soon (verses 38-40), Jesus walked out to the tomb and asked someone to roll away the stone that entombed the dead man, but Martha objected, “Lord, by now his body stinks, because he has been dead for four days!” But Jesus replied, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” He then called out to the dead man to come out. Lazarus walked out, alive! Martha believed, but not very much!

Several times in Jesus’ ministry, He said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up!” (John 2:18, 19). Later this was used against him at one of the illegal trials the Jewish leaders held to condemn Jesus (Matthew 26:61).

In Matthew 27:40, we read that mockers shouted at Jesus on the cross, “You who would tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days, come down from the cross and prove your words!” Jesus meant that they could kill the temple of his body and He would rise three days later. They didn’t get it.

Peter did not understand forgiveness. Martha did not grasp the promise of Jesus concerning an immediate resurrection. Jesus’ enemies missed the point about the temple of his body. We have the advantage of 20-20 hindsight to understand what Jesus taught.

Are you in the Word every day?

You may contact Tom Haynie at