The Intimate Ministry

intimateministryLeft Window Pane

The term Intimate Ministry refers to those occasions when Jesus spoke to a single person rather than to a multitude. Nicodemus was a scholarly Pharisee, one of the intellectual elite of Judaism. The Pharisee’s whole discipline was devoted to jealously guarding the Law. They were intent on baiting Jesus with picky questions and offended at Jesus “law-breaking” actions, like healing the sick on the Sabbath. He, in turn, condemned them for ignoring the spirit of the Law while keeping the letter of it.

Nicodemus came to question Jesus by night and Jesus expounded on spiritual rebirth. The pomegranate in the lower left border symbolizes Jesus’ resurrection. The seeds bursting from it typlify Jesus bursting from the tomb.

A circle containing a cross is in the upper right border. Greek letters surround the cross. IC XC is an abbreviation for IHCOYC XPICOC which means Jesus Christ. The chi rho, Xp is a variation of this. NIKA means “Conqueror”. The panel below shows Jesus’ feet and Mary’s jar of ointment used in spite of criticism by the disciple Judas.

Center Window Pane

This window shows Jesus talking to the rich young ruler who asks Him how one might attain eternal life. The man insists he has always kept the Commandments. Jesus suggests that he sell all his possessions and become a disciple. The young man turns away sorrowfully, carrying a bag of money, unable to make a final great commitment.

The two coins dropping into the money box in the bottom panel are the two mites deposited by the widow under the watchful eye of Jesus. Two mites is a very small offering. However, because it was all she had, Jesus commended the gift beyond those of wealthier givers.

The form of chi rho which is flanked by the alpha and omega in the upper right corner was found in the catacombs. A newer version of the alpha and omega, combined with a cross is seen in the upper right of the lower panel.

Right Window Pane

Jesus and Mary of Bethany sit talking. Busy Martha stops her tasks to ask Jesus if he would persuade Mary to help with preparations for supper. Jesus’ reply is that Mary has chosen the better part, that is, to be concerned with the spiritual, rather than the material things of life.

Below this scene in the bottom panel are jars standing beside the well. These jars recall the meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in Sychar in Samaria. He was able to tell her facts about her life which He could not possibly have known apart from His divine knowledge as Son of God. He convinced her that he in truth was the Messiah.

Beside the stylized flowers are a small lighted lamp and a Celtic cross. The Celtic cross is a cross with the circle of eternity around it.