Luke 5

Healing of the Paralytic (2009) (9″ x 12″)
collage on paper
Many of Jesus’ miracles seem to necessitate the faith of the one being healed. In this case, the only faith in Jesus implied in the story is that of the paralytic’s friends who bring him to Jesus.  Jesus’ ultimate motive in healing was to demonstrate his love, not to test others’ faith.

Luke 5

Gennesaret (2009) (9″ x 12″)
collage on paper
This is the miraculous catch of fish recorded in Luke 5:1-11. It is also the story containing the famous phrase “fishers of men.”  Peter’s actions are interesting to observe. First he agrees to Jesus’ suggestion on where to cast the net even though this is an area in which Peter is the recognized expert, not the son of a carpenter.  And then, when Jesus’ advice proves fruitful, Peter’s reaction is to declare his unworthiness to be in Jesus’ presence.
Most of us in the same situation would probably have sneered at Jesus’ advice to start with. And if we did follow it, it would be only to prove Jesus wrong. Then after his words proved true, we would probably have said, “I was just going to fish on that side of the boat anyway.”

The Prodigal Son: Part 3

Earner (2010) (17″ x 17″)
collage on hardboard
The elder brother is perhaps the most interesting character in the parable; at least he is the one we can identify with the most.  His major problem is not jealousy of his brother, although that certainly comes out clearly in the story. His problem lies in thinking that he can only gain love and respect from his father by his hard work.  The concept of grace is foreign to him.

The Prodigal Son: Part 2

Giver (2010) (24″ x 13″)
collage on hard board
The return of the prodigal son and his acceptance by his father is one of the clearest examples in the Bible of the principle of pure grace extended by God to all those who repent and turn to Him as their only hope of salvation.

The Prodigal Son

Taker (2010) (17″ x 17″)
collage on hardboard
Our home Bible study group is going through the Sermon on the Mount. To comment on Matt. 27:9 (“Which of you, if your child asks for bread, will give him a stone?”), I read a quote from George MacDonald collected in an anthology by C. S. Lewis: “The Father will never give the child a stone that asks for bread, bt I am not sure that He will not give the child a stone that asks for a stone.”
One of the people in our group noted that this was exactly what the father in the parable did; he gave the younger son what he asked for, knowing that it was not best for him but realizing that the son needed to learn his lesson first hand, the hard way.

Luke 24

Road to Emmaus (2010) (16″ x 20″)
collage on canvas
Just as the beginning of Luke’s Gospel describes the various witnesses to the miraculous events surrounding Jesus’ birth, the conclusion describes the witnesses to his resurrection–including the two travelers on their way to Emmaus.

Acts 9

Road to Damascus (2010) (16″ x 20″)
collage on canvas
The concept of “road” or “way” is especially important in the New Testament. One of the first names for Christianity was actually The Way.  One fateful road was that taken by Saul on the way to persecute Christians in Damascus. This four-panel “cartoon” describes what happened to him, as related in Acts 9, 22 and 26.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Prisoners (2010) (12″ x 16″ x 10 3/8″h)
mixed media construction in antique vending machine

The concept of seven deadly sins is not present in the Bible but arose in early Catholicism. These sins were said to lead to all other sins.  Each of the polymer clay figures in the above assemblage represents one of the sins.

Joseph in Prison

Dreamers (2008) (34 3/4″ x 23″)
collage and metal grate on hardboard
Genesis 39-41 describes Joseph’s stay in prison before being released by Pharoah. While he was dreaming of freedom, his fellow-prisoners were literally dreaming. In fact, it was Joseph’s interpretation of their dreams which eventually led to his release. This piece is in the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas.

Chiasms in the Gospel of Mark

“Come” (Mark) (2008)
mixed media in modified cigar mold
Mark’s Gospel has a number of symmetrical word patterns (such as chiasms) hidden in it. A simple example is found in all the appearances of Satan:
                                                                         Tempts Jesus (1:13)
                                                                               Against himself (3:23-26)
                                                                               Against believer (4:15)
                                                                         Tempts Jesus (8:33)
The triptych above is based on the most elaborate pattern in the Gospel, a 22-part symmetrical pattern formed with all the occurrences of the Greek word aperchoma (“come”).  This work is now housed in the Museum of Biblical Art-Dallas.