Aug 8, 2021 • 32M

Jesus the Teacher

The Secret Garden, Episode 1

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Appears in this episode

Diana Butler Bass
Episode details

Welcome to The Secret Garden, a new private podcast for paid subscribers. Today’s sneak “eavesdrop,” however, is open to everyone at The Cottage - both free and supporting members.

Sometimes I’ll host a conversation with a guest in the Garden; sometimes I’ll post a reflection or reading; sometimes I’ll review a book or article; sometimes I’ll share a lecture or talk. The first episode is a sermon that I preached just this morning (August 8) at Commonwealth Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. The title is “Jesus the Teacher,” and it is based on Matthew 7:24-29 and is drawn from my book, Freeing Jesus.

I hope you love The Secret Garden at The Cottage as much as I do - and that these conversations will cultivate understanding and grow your heart toward greater faith, hope, and love.

For further information on supporting subscriptions and upgrading from free to paid, please click the button below:


“The Teacher” is the poem I share at the end of the sermon. In it, Marie Howe imagines Mary Magdalene’s response to her teacher - her “rabbouni” - Jesus.

The Teacher
from Marie Howe, Magdalene

When Moses pleaded, and Yaweh agreed at last to let the people

Hear His voice,

It’s said that he allowed each person to hear what each could bear

To the very brim of that and no more.

Afterward the people said, Please Moses, from now on you listen.

We don’t want to hear it. You do the talking and listening now.

Being with the teacher was a little like that

As though he were a book too difficult to read.

So, I thought I had to become more than I was, more than I’d been.

But that wasn’t it. It seemed rather that

Something had to go. Something had to be let go of.

It wasn’t that I saw something new – or saw suddenly into him,

Not that, not ever

But that the room itself, whatever room we might be standing in,

Assumed an astonishing clarity:

And the things in the room: a table, a cup, a meowing cat.

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