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Cursing the Tree and Curing the Temple

Jesus demonstrates through two action parables that he came to restore us to right relationship with God and with each other.


When the emergency room staff at a Rhode Island hospital viewed the scans of this 86-year-old man, they discovered a blood clot, a hematoma, in his brain. So they immediately paged the on-duty surgeon. The surgeon came and he was about to operate when a nurse interrupted him and said his medical form is not properly filled out. We don’t know where the blood clot—the hematoma—is. And the surgeon said, “Well, I remember seeing those films. The blood clot is on the right side of his brain.” And he was about to operate and the nurse said, “Well, maybe we should just confirm that on the computer.” So she walked over the computer to confirm that, and the surgeon shouted out, “We don’t have time to do that. We need to save his life.” So the nurse came back, along with other medical staff, and the surgeon proceeded to cut off a piece of this guy’s head from the right part of his skull. When he opened up that part of his head, everyone gasped and someone said, “Oh my God.” Because there was no blood clot there. And the surgeon said, “Quick, turn him over on his other side.” And he cut off part of the left side of his head, and sure enough, there was the blood clot. He vacuumed out the blood. But as a result of that medical error, that surgery which should have taken just 30 minutes ended up taking an hour. They were also delayed in evacuating this guy, and this man never regained consciousness. In fact, two weeks later, he died. Now, it was impossible to determine the precise cause of the man’s death, but his family argued that the medical error which caused the surgeon to make not one but two cuts in this man’s head, ...

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Ken Shigematsu is pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver, BC and the author of the award-winning, bestseller God in My Everything

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