Salt (Chapter 30 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. –Mt 5:13

While we’re on the topic of rocks, let’s not forget salt. It’s a rock which, strange to say, we eat. Arguably it is the only edible rock.

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Sand (Chapter 29 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. -Mt 7:26

Jesus referred to sand only once, in the parable of two men who built houses, one on rock, the other on sand. Although sand is composed largely of rock, in this parable it comes to symbolize the opposite.

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The Tomb of Lazarus (Chapter 28 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

Jesus, deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” He said. –John 11:38-9

Someone you dearly love has died. You’ve had the funeral, buried your loved one in the cemetery, and finally had a granite tombstone beautifully carved and placed over the grave. Then someone comes and says, “Take away the stone.”

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Jericho (Chapter 27 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. -Lk 19:1

Take a hike down the Bright Angel Trail of the south rim of the Grand Canyon and you’ll see, plainly spread out like the layers of a gigantic Dagwood sandwich, epoch after epoch of earth’s geologic history recorded in rock strata. By the time you reach the floor of the canyon, you’re deep into the Pre-Cambrian period over 600 million years ago.

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The Transfiguration (Chapter 26 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain. -Mt 17:1

Among the many benefits of being followers of Christ is that of expanding our vocabularly with glorious words like transfiguration. While most of us know what this means, it’s worth setting down the Oxford definition: “a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.”

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Throwing Stones (Chapter 24 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

The Jews picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone Me?” –John 31:2

The word stone, like rock, can be both a noun and a verb. The practice of stoning, or lapidation, as a method of execution was commanded by God in the Law of Moses for a range of crimes including blasphemy, idolotry, and adultery.

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The Magdala Stone (Chapter 23 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons. –Mk 16:9

In Jesus’ day the city of Magdala was located about five miles south of Capernaum on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. With a population of 40,000, it was the principal city on the lake until the founding of Tiberias in 19 AD.

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Capernaum Millstone (Chapter 22 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

“Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” –Luke 17:2

As Jesus pronounced these words, He may have been looking at this very millstone pictured in the photograph.

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Oil Lamps (Chapter 21 of Jesus: His Story In Stone)

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. –John 8:12

On the same day Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, He went on to heal many others “that evening after sunset” (Mk 1:32). As night falls quickly in Israel, we can imagine the dark street dotted with dozens of oil lamps as “the whole town gathered at the door” (v 33).

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