By Tyson Thorne

June 25, 2019

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Thinking about the book of John this week took me on a bit of a rabbit trail. I'd like to walk you through it as I think it will make an interesting research project after we're done working through this gospel. The trail head is John chapter two and Jesus' first miracle. Jesus turned the water in two stone vessels to wine. What happens with those vessels next? We don't know, but my mind made a connection to handkerchiefs and aprons that, after touching the apostle Paul's body, could heal sickness and exorcise demons (Acts 19.11-12).

I'm not big on holy relics and the like, but if I'm being honest the Bible does contain a few items of interest in their regard. Like the strange incident with Elisha's bones in 2 Kings 13.21. When burying a man the undertakers feared being overtaken by a band of raiders. Rather than finish their job they laid the man in Elisha's tomb. As soon as the dead body touched the bones of the prophet the man came back to life! Elisha had brought people back from the dead during his life, now his bones had one more miracle to work.

The handkerchiefs and the bones are interesting not because they are anything in and of themselves, but because it appears they retained some of the power of God which continued to do its work. Is the exercise of God's power like radiation? Does it permeate physical objects, including people? Does it dissipate slowly, or at all? Could this help us understand other mysterious passages? Take Jude 9 as one example, where the devil wants the body of Moses. Why would he care about that? Moses was in God's presence for days — even months — at a time. So much so that Moses' face glowed (Exodus 34.34-35). Could the bones of Moses somehow contain evidence of the presence of God?

All this brought me back to John chapter 2. Those stone vessels. Do they too contain residual power of some kind? Are they like the widows oil lamp (2 Kings 4.1-7) that never ran out of oil? There is much we don't understand about how God works in our world, but looking at these passages may bring about some answers. We're busy now working through the gospel of John, but when we're done I might just turn our attention to a study of these various mystery passages.

That's today's food for thought. Tomorrow we'll return to our regular program.

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