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Hi all,

Today and tomorrow I'm going to re-air 2 posts from three years ago about the nature of Jesus. I think these two posts will bless you and I pray we would together turn our eyes toward Jesus. Here we go.


Let's dig into Jesus’ answer to Philip’s request:

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." - John 14:8

Have you been pondering this passage?

Here is what jumps out at me – Now normally I would put all these words in red, this being Another Red Letter Day, but today I am going to paint a just a few words in blue so they stand out.

It would be awesome if you read this out loud (or out quiet) but I want it to be oral. The more faculties you involve the more tuned in you are, so let’s have a faculty party today.

Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. "After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." ~ John 14:9-21

I know, that is kind of a big chunk of scripture for a blog post, but as you can see from what is highlighted, there are some pretty strong ties from top to bottom.

Here is what I saw as I pondered this passage.

There are two (or maybe three) aspects Jesus emphasizes, that He says will enable us to see the Father.

Indwelling, or cohabitation

The first is the fact that, as He says, “I am in the Father.” This He says three times, and two of these are followed with “and the Father is in Me.” He tells Philip and the rest of the disciples that they can know God. They can “see the Father” right before their eyes because Jesus is indwelt by the Father.

The best way for them to see God was to look at Jesus.

Words and Works

The second way they could see God was to look at the things Jesus was saying and doing, His words and works. He actually tells them that if they were not sure what to believe about Jesus’ relationship with God, this indwelling thing, they should believe just because of the works He was doing. He was… – well as Luke tells us:

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. - Acts 10:38

Jesus, because God was with Him, the Spirit of God dwelling on the inside, did works that demonstrated God, His character, and nature.

We read again in my favorite of all scriptures (I am pretty sure this is the top of my top ten list:)

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, - Hebrews 1:1-3

We see here that Jesus is not "like" God, fuzzy around the edges, like what the prophets taught, according to verse 1. Instead, Jesus is the “exact representation of His nature.” He is not a partial image, where He is only depicting "the good parts" of who God is, but Jesus is a complete revelation of God. If you don’t find it in Jesus, it is not in God. Jesus is the complete study guide to God the Father. Jesus is perfect theology. [Tweet This] There is nothing in Jesus that is not in God, and there is nothing in God that is not in Jesus. And God has seen to it that what is recorded in the Word about Jesus is enough of a revelation for us to know the Father.

So my first takeaway is pretty simple. The best way to know God, and what God is like is to look at Jesus, His words and His works. He, Jesus, tells us this repeatedly and these other passages reinforce this idea, that He only ever did what God was doing, or would do, and His words were coming straight from the throne of God.

But Jesus does not stop here. He does not simply say, you want to see God look at Me! He takes it to a place that changes everything.

Come back tomorrow, and we will see as the other shoe drops.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you again soon. In the mean time…

Shine where you are screwed in.



It’s another red-letter day! Let’s take a look at some red letter and see what we can glean.

Come with me to Mark 2:3-12.

Today Jesus actually gives His accusers proof. For much of Him ministry He did not offer any evidence to His skeptics. They pressed Him time and time again for confirmations and signs and He left them wanting. They questioned Him and He gave them more questions and less understanding.

But here in Mark 2 He gives them a reason to believe that He is Messiah, He is:

as Paul puts in Philippians—equal with God

and again Colossians—all the fullness of the Godhead

as the writer to the Hebrews states—the express image of God.

Here’s what’s going on. He’s in the house and there is a crowd as usual. This time there are a bunch of religious folk pressing in to question Him, to put Him to the test.

Luke drops a wonderful nugget into his telling of this story.

…And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. - Luke 5:17 NKJV

We can talk about that another day, but isn’t that wonderful. Even in this room full of skeptics, the power of the Lord was present there to heal them.

Back to the story, there is a paralyzed man with some really good friends. They carry him to Jesus on a stretcher but can’t get through the door. Because of the crowd, they can’t get the stretcher up to Jesus. So what do they do?

They carry their friend up onto the roof, (yikes) break through the roof, rig the stretcher with ropes and lower their friend down in front of Jesus.

Now Jesus sees all this and is clearly confused. (kidding) Obviously the man on the bed needs healing, and as we already noticed, the Lord is ready to go with the power to heal.

But instead of just breaking the tension and healing the man, Jesus scrolls through His options and chooses—provoke.

So many times when Jesus is healing the multitudes we see Him simply touch and bless, but this time He decides a lesson is in order.

It’s time to pull back the veil a little further and let the world see another level of His glory.

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." - Mark 2:5 NASB

Let’s review. The room is full of the religious muckity-mucks and Jesus decides to demonstrate His authority over sin.


It’s time for them to understand that Jesus was not just another pretender come to stir up discontent. Jesus is Messiah, Emanuel, the One promised to rescue and redeem His people. God with us.

It’s time for them to leave their nets, their accounts, their religious garb, take up their crosses, and follow Jesus.

"But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home." - Mark 2:10-11 NASB

This man who bursts onto the scene and starts stirring up the rabble is no pretender. He is the  real deal. And the healing He carried proves it.

No false Messiah before Him, and there had been many, moved with compassion through the crowds and brought healing to the nation. Only Jesus.

And He’s the same today.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. - Hebrews 13:8 NASB

He’s still in the same business.


It’s His family business, you know.

Don’t be confused by what the religious folks tell you. Don’t be distracted by all the shiny stuff the World dangles before you.

It’s time to drop your distractions, take up your cross and get after Him.

As Philip told his brother Nathanial in John 1, We’ve found the Messiah…come and see.

While you’re at it—if you’re in His family, it’s time you take up the family business too!

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. - Matthew 10:7-8 NASB

Let’s go!

See you again soon.



Among the attendants at Jesus baptism were two very important VIPs—that’s right, very important Very Important Persons.

God His (our) Father—a.k.a. YWYH and the Holy Spirit.

And He (Abba) had something to say.

Check out the account from the Passion Translation:

One day Jesus came to be baptized along with all the others. As he was consumed with the spirit of prayer, the heavenly realm ripped open above him and the Holy Spirit descended from heaven in the visible, tangible form of a dove and landed on him. Then God’s audible voice was heard, saying, “My Son, you are my beloved one. Through you I am fulfilled.” - Luke 3:21-22 TPT

This may be the only time (at least I can’t think of another off the top of my head) where Father, Son and Holy Spirit all show up in a form that can be perceived by all present. Of course, they are always together in all of Jesus life, but right here by the side of the muddy Jordan river the Father is heard, the Spirit is seen, and Jesus is the center of attention.

We don’t get this kind of manifestation at Christ triumphal entry.

Not at any of His miracles.

Not for the sermon on the mount.

Not even at His birth, crucifixion, or resurrection, though They were all completely involved in each.

There’s something really significant going on at the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Mark and John don’t even mention Jesus birth—Christmas—but all four gospel writers include a description of Jesus baptism. This is the launching of Jesus ministry. This is the day the age old plan, that was set in motion before the foundations of the earth were set in place by the Word of God, is going into it’s final phase. It’s a big deal!

But what really caught my eye was this phrase used by Abba. Most of us are familiar with the usual rendition, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And if you are anything like me, you long to have those words spoken over your life too. You long to hear the Father say He is pleased with you and your life.

But the way Brian Simmons (translator of the Passion Translation quoted above) renders it, the Father tells His beloved Son, “I am fulfilled through you.”

Jesus tells us that He came to fulfill the law that was crushing us.

Here we see that Jesus—the God man—fulfills the Father. The triune inseparable, incomparable God is completed by this flesh and blood man, Jesus.

And I guess that is how you would have to define trinity in the first place. If any one of them was not, God would be incomplete.

By the same token, in Jesus high priestly prayer, He used His words—same kind of words that set Jupiter in orbit of our sun—to ask the Father to allow us into that same relationship.

I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. - John 17:20-23 NASB

Could it be that we may someday here the same words from the Father, “you fulfill Me?”

So many Christians live lives of condemnation and feeling like they can never please God, or live up to His expectations. But what Jesus did for us, on the cross, gives us His nature, and His ability to please God, and to fulfill Him.

I heard Praying Medic say in a podcast yesterday that he finally heard to work from the place of rest, when he figured out that God was pleased with him, and even delighted in him. That’s when the spirit of striving died in him, and it set him free to minister in confidence.

Encounters With JesusSorry - I’m rambling a bit today, and now I have to get going.

benheadshot1Blessings on all of you today.

Thanks for coming by.



If you haven’t taken a look at my new book, Encounters With Jesus, check it out!


Jesus said:

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. - Matthew 11:27

I have to say, I am glad He said it. If I were to just come out and say, you don’t know God unless you know Jesus in this day of tolerance and relativity, I might be cast off as an extremist.

I am not extreme you see, I just follow Jesus. He is the extreme one. He is the one who keeps throwing down these exclusive statements.

You see, according to Jesus, there is only one road to the Father.

We all know He said it in John 14

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. - John 14:6

But did you know that right here in Matthew 11, right before some of the most calming and oft quoted statements He ever made, He threw down this same exclusive idea.

He says in no uncertain terms, that He – Jesus is the only one who actually knows God the Father, and the only ones who will ever know the Father are ones who get their knowledge from Jesus.

But Ben, what about the religions that consider Jesus a prophet but not the “only way?”

They need Jesus!

But Ben, what about the faiths that share our scriptures?

Do they know God through Jesus, or through another?

But Ben, what about the Jews? Jesus was a Jew, as were all His disciples!

They need Jesus! Judaism without Christ – the Messiah – is still a religion pointing forward at something that happened in the past.

There is only one who came to Save His people from their sins.

After this exclusive, intolerant statement He makes an offer that we love to talk about:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

But you can’t have this promised rest without Jesus.

Will you follow Him with me today?

Come back tomorrow for a bit on the 'WHY' behind this exclusivity.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

Shine where you’re screwed in!



Photo credit -
Photo credit -

Merry Christmas!

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:5-11

He humbled himself.

He took off His royal robes and put on swaddling clothes.

He took off the purple robes of majesty and put on diapers.

The same mouth that uttered the words “Light Be” and exploded the universe into motion, now cooed and drooled and spit up on His mama’s shoulder.

The same mind that informed Solomon would soon sit and ask questions of the Spiritual leaders in Jerusalem.

The Captain of the Lord’s army who lead Israel into battle against Jericho would soon be taken captive by a Roman cohort.

The same lungs that breathed breath into the dust of the ground and brought forth Adam, would heave with the words, ‘it is finished’ and then be silent for three days.

The same Christ, this same Jesus, who condescended to put on flesh, would again put on immortality, and ascended into heaven.

This same Jesus who talked baby talk and ate baby food will one day judge all men dead and alive.

This same Jesus who was mocked and scorned is the One before whom every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.

O come let us adore Him.

Ben NelsonHave a great Christmas Incarnation Celebration

Come back soon!



And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NASB)

Eternal Father

Ok – Honestly – I am not smart enough to figure out the trinity. I get Father, Son, Holy Spirit (sort of) but now I am seeing prophecy that calls Jesus the Eternal Father.

How does this work?

I dunno – but I am OK with that.

I do know that Jesus has the heart of a father.

When He met the woman at the well, He confronted the mess in her life.

When He met the woman caught in adultery, rather than taking up stones, He treated her as a father would treat His daughter.

When He met the leper whose only question was whether Jesus was willing, He said I will.

When He met the man whose son was throwing himself into the fire, He listened to the man’s tale and cast the evil spirit out of the boy.

He gave the widow of Nain back her son.

He let the little children come to Him.

Truly this Son of God is an Eternal Father.

I am so thankful.

How has He been a Father to you?

Ben NelsonMerry Christmas



And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NASB)

Mighty God

In this prophecy we have come to the most controversial note. Anyone who looks at the life of Jesus, even from a natural standpoint, and is not predisposed to hate Him would probably be OK with every name on this list with one exception.

There is enough empirical evidence that He did miracles – wouldn’t historians of the time have debunked all the talk of Messiah if no one ever saw or experienced His powerful touch?

Anyone who reads the Beatitudes, the Golden Rule or the Prodigal Son would agree that He was a great Counselor.

I suppose Father is a bit tricky since He never married or had earthly children, but the way he Fathered the multitudes with His words, healings, feedings, etc – no big problem here.

Clearly a man of peace – never raised His voice in His own defense as He was unjustly accused, tried and executed.

But Mighty God? Has Isaiah gone too far? Is this over the top?

Many Christians would point to His calming of the sea as to where His God robes were in full view, or perhaps when He was walking on the water, or multiplying the loaves and fishes.

But according to Jesus himself, this was not an exposé of Jesus as God, but rather the man, Jesus, full of the Spirit of God, who descended upon Him in the River. (He told us He only did what He saw the Father do, and that the works that He did, we could do the same way – eyes on Jesus)

I do believe there were 5 guys who got to see this “Mighty God” aspect of Jesus when He walked the earth. – Peter, James, John, Moses, and Elijah.

It was only on the mount of transfiguration that Jesus slipped back into the Mighty God Robe that He set aside just before stepping into that Manger.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:5-11 NASB)

[Sorry – I can’t break that bit up – my word processor was offended when I tried to only put the highlights in.]

Jesus emptied Himself, and took on the form of a servant.

But know this: HE IS MIGHTY GOD!

He has picked up that wonderful robe, and is seated on the throne of heaven, rising now and then to greet His loved ones into their eternal home.

Hey - I know the robe is not a perfect image, but it helps me understand the difference between Jesus wanting us to walk like He walked. We are tempted to say, I can't do it because He was God and I am not. Yes, He was, and IS God, but chose to walk as a man filled with the Spirit of God, as a demonstration of the "normal Christian life." He never stopped being God, but that does not excuse you from walking like Jesus.

That’s my Jesus!

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping in today.

See you tomorrow.



And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NASB)


Proverbs 8 poetically personifies Wisdom. When I read it, I can’t help thinking to my self – hey – That’s Jesus!

The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills I was brought forth; While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world. When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, When He made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed, When He set for the sea its boundary, So that the water should not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men. (Proverbs 8:22-31 NASB)

Doesn’t that sound like Jesus, the only Begotten of the Father, the First Born of all Creation? Doesn’t it sound like The Word of God made flesh?

What is counsel but wisdom applied to your circumstances?

One of the most important verses for our training in righteousness is in James where it tell us:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NASB)

And what kind of counsel did He give?

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:32 KJV)

His counsel comes with power – authority. When He gives you guidance you can have complete confidence that this is the right way to walk.

Do you need wisdom applied to your circumstances today? Don’t hesitate. Don’t hold back. Run to the throne room where we have an open invitation. [Tweet This]

Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NASB)

Ben NelsonMerry Christmas

See you tomorrow




And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NASB)


Check this out – the word is not an adjective – it’s a noun. [Tweet This]

Another way to say it might be

He will be called Miracle!

Here – look where else this word is used:

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11 KJV)

I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. (Psalm 77:11 KJV)

Thou [art] the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. (Psalm 77:14 KJV)

And that is how Jesus lived. He was Mr. Miracle.

In fact when John the Baptist was in prison, he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask if He was in fact the Messiah, and the answer was:

Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. (Luke 7:22 KJV)

And when people wondered whether to believe in Jesus He told them to “believe me for the very works' sake.” (John 14:11 KJV)

Furthermore, He was a light who lit us up so we can shine, He is the miracle that miracled us so we can miracle. (right – spell and grammar check hated that)

Here is what I mean:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12 NASB)

He truly is Wonderful!

Now it’s your turn to be wonderful!

Ben NelsonMerry Christmas!

See you tomorrow




Christ Heals a Man Paralyzed by the Gout. Mark 2:4. Engraving by Bernhard Rode, 1780.

As we look at the Red Letters today, I want to stick with this story we have been talking about all week. Today I want to observe two interesting facets in Jesus’ healing ministry.

"But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”--then He said to the paralytic--“Rise, take up your bed, and go home.” ~ Matthew 9:6

So, I want to be more like Jesus, in the way I do everything. Don’t you?

Have you ever noticed that Jesus never prayed for the sick? He did not pray and ask God to do something. In fact Jesus tells us specifically how He does what He does.

Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.  ~ John 5:19 (NKJV)

So, according to Jesus, rather than pray for God to heal this sick man, Jesus looks at what the Father is doing, and acts as the hands of God on earth to bring about what the Father is doing in heaven.

Don’t get me wrong here, I do think we need to pray, but perhaps the prayer we should be praying is “Lord, help me see what you are doing right here and right now.” [Tweet this] Of course then we might find ourselves making mud out of our spit, or writing in the dirt, or even declaring that someone’s sins are forgiven.

The second observation I want to make is that He often adds a call to action to His ministry.

I know when someone comes to me for prayer, there are times when I ask God to do something in their life, and I walk away hopeful.

Jesus expected and inspected. He ministered in whatever way He saw the Father ministering, and then checked it out with a call to action.

Rise, take up your bed, and go home.

One time in our home group, during a time of prayer we prayed for the shoulder of one of our members. We laid our hands on her, and then we just went on with the meeting. Later that evening she was talking and pointed up in the air for some reason, I don’t remember that part, but what I will never forget is the look on her face when she realized all the pain in her shoulder was gone.

We laughed and rejoiced, but I realized that we should have inspected right away to see what the Lord had done, so we could have given Him the glory due Him sooner.

When you pray for someone to be healed, I encourage you to ask them to do what they could not do before.

There is an account in Jesus ministry where He ministered to a man who was blind, and when He asked Him if He could see, the once blind man said:

I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about. ~ Mark 8:24

Then check out what happens next:

Then again He (Jesus) laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. ~ Mark 8:25

The Son of God, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, needed to touch this man twice in order to fully heal him.

If He (Jesus) had prayed or ministered once and walked away, the man would have been better off than before, but still impaired. Jesus stuck with Him and saw it through.

So perhaps, though I only promised two observations, we have a bonus observation before us.

Don’t quit!

Let’s recap.

  1.  See what the Father is doing. Let your prayer be, for your own sight, and partnership with the Father’s hand.
  2. Check for results
  3. Don’t just move on, if your first attempt at ministry is unsuccessful or does not bring the results you were looking for.

One last caveat, if in the end your ministry does not change the circumstance, realize there are many factors at play, way more than we can understand. Be sure the person you are praying for has been loved, and is not left feeling condemned or worse off than you found them. Does that make sense?

Ben NelsonHey, thanks for coming by today.

See you again soon.


By the way, if you missed the first hand account of this day in Jesus life, you should check out "Arise, Take up your bed and walk"

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