Prejudice that Blinds to the Power of God!
The text we will be looking at today is Mark 3:22-30. Between the text of last week and this week’s text are verses 7-19 which introduce what some would call the “later Galilean ministry of Jesus. The earlier ministry was prior to the religious leaders plot to bring about his death. The later Galilean ministry occurs after that plot and continues through 6:6a. Read more »
The Gospel and Patriotism
Dr. John P. Davis
Note: I am indebted to Steve Wilkins’ article on “Biblical Patriotism” for some of the major points and the basic thrust of this blogpost.
Recently in the United States, the last Monday in May was marked by the remembrance of those who have given their lives as members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. In just one week on July 4 we will celebrate Independence Day. National occasions such as this raise the question of ‘what does it mean for a Christian to be patriotic?’ Were you to draw a continuum of Christian opinions on this subject you would have a myriad of views including pacifists, ‘just war’ proponents, some who will not swear loyalty to any earthly government, others who are actively involved in the political process, etc. Read more »
1Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
What is happening in these early chapters of Mark is what we might call a paradigm shift – A paradigm shift is a change in the way in which you look at and interpret life and the world. Read more »
“The Disciples Plucking Grain on the Sabbath” by Gustave Dore (1832-1883)
Mark 2:23-28 (ESV) One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Read more »
Jesus Meets the Greatest Human Need
Mark 2:1-12 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he said to the paralytic– 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
You may feel at times as we go through Mark that some of what is being said about Jesus is strangely familiar. (Did I take the same content from another encounter and transfer it to this one. Yes and No) We will find a persistent consistency in who Jesus is and what His concerns are. Read more »