John 2: The Miracle at Cana

Saving the Best for Last (2009) (9″ x 12″)
collage on paper
This first miracle of Jesus, at the wedding in Cana, again reminds us that one of the main purposes for Jesus’ coming was to bring joy and good news into the world, not a sense of doom and more onerous commands to follow.

Matthew 14

Stepping Out (2009) (9″ x 12″)
collage on paper
The story of Jesus walking on the water not only demonstrates his complete mastery over nature, but also the strengths and weaknesses of Peter’s character. He is the fearless leader, charging out ahead while the other apostles are more hesitant. On the other hand, when he fails to keep his eye on Jesus and tries to go his own way, he fails miserably (as we all do).

John 11

Never Too Late (2009) (9″ x 12″)
collage on paper
Jesus is chided for being too late to save Lazarus, but actually it is his delay in arriving that is the cause of this most spectacular miracle of all. Appropriately, this event closes the first half of the Gospel of John and prepares for the Passion story that will culminate in a true resurrection.

Mark 5: Healing of the Demoniac

Decapolis News (2009) (9″ x 12″)
collage on paper
This story of Jesus casting out the demons from a possessed man is loaded with images of uncleanliness, at least from a Jewish viewpoint: graves, nudity, and pigs. This emphasizes the demonic nature of the man’s condition, in contrast to those who would simply label the man’s problem as one of epilepsy.  As in other encounters with demons, there is no question that they recognize Jesus immediately for who he is and bow to his lordship, unlike many of the people Jesus interacts with.

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.