As was his custom, Jesus went to the temple in Jerusalem to teach. Perhaps in a moment of rest—for every teacher needs a sip of water—he began observing.
Then he sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it.
Mark 12:41 NET
In Mark’s gospel, Jesus points to the poor widow as an example of the first commandment, about which he had taught just hours before (verses 26-31). Continue reading “The observing Christ”
The Old Testament uses anthropopathism, attributing human feelings to God, in order “to declare that God is personal and that He responds to the actions of His creatures.”* When Jesus came into the world, however, he felt true human emotions:
Sighing deeply in his spirit he said, “Why does this generation look for a sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Mark 8:12 NET Continue reading “Jesus felt emotion”
Jesus is the I-Am, he who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God sent him to save us from our errors. Against those who cling to their own merits and powers, however, he pronounces judgment. Few confess or follow the true Jesus. Lack of faith is epidemic. Jesus is rejected by many, even in his hometown:
And he was amazed because of their unbelief. Then he went around among the villages and taught.
Mark 6:6 NET Continue reading “Next!”
In the streets of large cities, on the buses and subways, in parties and other places where many people gather, we feel the touch of people without giving it much thought. So it was with Jesus as well, surrounded constantly by multitudes, pressed upon on all sides by people who wanted to see him, hear him, and ask of him some benefit. But there was a moment …
Jesus knew at once that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”
Mark 5:30 NET Continue reading “A special touch”
Jesus told an illustration which he called “the parable of the sower” (Matthew 13:18). Though many lessons can be gleaned from the parable, the last and perhaps most important lesson should not be lost on those who sow the seed of the gospel.
But these are the ones sown on good soil: They hear the word and receive it and bear fruit, one thirty times as much, one sixty, and one a hundred.
Mark 4:20 NET Continue reading “Guaranteed harvest: sow the seed!”
Many think their works speak for themselves. That they don’t need to defend or explain themselves. Jesus didn’t think like that.
He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
Mark 3:30 NIV Continue reading “Do like Jesus: defend the truth”
According to the predominant religious models, the religious life is thought of in contemplative terms. To be spiritual is to flee from the world. Literally. To the monastery.
As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him. And he got up and followed him.
Mark 2:14 NET
Jesus walked up and down the country, teaching and serving. And calling. Levi got up and followed him. To follow Jesus, one has to move. Teach. Serve. Do, like the Master, the will of the Father.
Life in Christ isn’t an escape from the world, but engaging oneself in the battle for souls in need of salvation.
We like beginnings, new things, new year, inaugurations. Business, schools, and stores hold cocktails for openings (but don’t drink the alcohol). Products and books have launches and signings. The beginning of something excites us.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mark 1:1 NET
Some thoughts come to mind: Continue reading “Beginning of the gospel: start here”
One of the most neglected spots on the Internet is this blog. It’s the first to find itself thrown carelessly into a corner. It’s practically been scrapped for useable parts. Work reports and points went to GoSpeak.org. Posterous caught our eye and captured our virtual quotes and comments thereon. News, what little I know, since I’m the posterboy for the Last One to Find Out Things, gets posted on BrotherhoodNews.com. And The Fellowship Room, the big and beautiful group blog for Forthright Press on the web, takes the chatty breath out of my mouth.
So this personal site gets the crumbs: the rare piece of poetry that manages to seep out among the prose; the journey/journal entries with long and silent gaps between them; the sermon outline or Bible thought thrown to English speakers as a sop from the Portuguese side of the brain; the jagged, raw thought that demands expression but fits nowhere else but here. Ah, forsaken namesake!
• Ron Jackson popped into Brazil this week for more meetings with his employer, Embraer. He came to our house for a snack and taught our Bible reading group last night (Wed.). He’s always a joy and encouragement. He was here last in June, I think. Continue reading “Visits, cities, books and, of necessity, Christmas”
Someone on a forum asked what Mark 15:34 meant. The verse says, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” My reply: Continue reading “Sabachthani”