Display Links
Show Dailys

Romans 15:14-21 New International Version (NIV)

Paul the Minister to the Gentiles

14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about him will see,
    and those who have not heard will understand.”[a]

#1394 2019-12-09 10:02:39

Living to Please God

15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

15:5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus,

Christ was much more direct in his teachings according to the gospels. God can not abrogate or interfere with our responsibility to be a good human being. The Gospels were quite clear about how we should treat our fellow humans.


#1393 2019-12-06 08:24:35

A superhero can not just show up. There must be history, a viable preamble. Paul demonstrates succinctly the evolutionary history of prophets to the ultimate prophet Christ. Christ frees us from the bondage of the prophets and allows us to see God on our own terms. All the prophets died with Christ. There will be no more prophets. We have God in us.

#1392 2019-12-05 15:38:51

I find it interesting that the Gospel writers at times distance themselves from the jews especially the Jewish elite but and yet hold fast to the ancient Jewish writings. I have 2 thoughts on this; !st Jesus needs to be elevated by some bonified legal process which can only be pulled from existing and commonly known literature. 2ndly there was a scarcity of Christian literature and dogma to seek. The NT writing would eventually become the cornerstone of Christianity.

#1391 2019-12-05 13:43:31

Not necessarily in the parables per se but certainly, parable-like. All of what the Gospel writers understood of the Gospel material (their sources) was interpreted, condensed, edited, and finally labourously written in a literary fashion. 

#1390 2019-12-05 10:54:27

Yes, but what I am saying is not everything Jesus said is a parable.

#1389 2019-12-05 09:15:35

Gary, I wonder where on Earth I got the idea that Jesus spoke and taught in parables?

Jesus taught using parables. The gospel writers taught with gospels The Epistle writers taught with letters. All of them used metaphorical language. 

#1388 2019-12-04 19:29:02

Is that because it has parable in the title?

#1387 2019-12-04 15:14:54

I only see one parable here about the fig tree?

#1386 2019-12-04 10:03:59

Matthew 24:23-35

These are parables. We know that parables are short fictitious stories that portray a message in a creative imaginary way rather than a prescriptive more direct manner. These passages should definitely not be taken literally. They allow Matthew to wax poetically and write imaginatively. It is the rhetorical style used by Matthew that gives us the idea that it is a matter of fact.

#1385 2019-12-04 05:59:42

Gary, what I hear and see comes from my natural, disposition my experience and from what I have learned or can imagine. What Christ is saying through Luke is that there is a God and he is trying to pass on some of his attributes and characteristics as they pertain to humans. Hopefully, we can appreciate them. It can be difficult for some who are close-minded and, totally certain of all things, to grasp because they are to concerned with being right and righteous or whatever the distraction that robs their attention. For example, a king may be preoccupied with his kingdom or a prophet may be to busy in his own thoughts.  

So I guess the question is what is your preoccupation and how is it preventing you from grasping Christ's message? 

#1384 2019-12-03 16:57:20

Luke 10: 22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

These verses seem to say different, sure you can turn your back on God, our choice.


#1383 2019-12-03 16:54:26

I don't have to choose God. If God exists and is ever existing and omnipresent he certainly doesn't need any confirmation or affirmation from me. 

#1382 2019-12-03 16:10:20

The people of Israel were God's chosen people, our salvation came through the Jews.  Jews had first crack at accepting Jesus, then the rest of us Gentiles. Your right, we all have the same chance at accepting Christ, but it must be a conscious choice.  

#1381 2019-12-03 11:43:32

The Psalmist believed was on his side which is the Israeli side. God was a very provincial fellow in those days at least in Psalmist's eyes. I don't think you can blame him. We know that God must be Universal in nature because he created the whole of the Universe. The supreme blessing of God-given equally to all.  

#1380 2019-12-03 08:11:22

Psalm 124:8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

We forget that to our own peril. The supreme blessing of God and it is given equally to all; it's up to us to be open to it.

#1379 2019-12-03 07:41:54

I think you hit the nail on the head Gary God is inert and it is us who defines our relationship and that also defines God himself. I don't think I have all the answers and I wonder if I have any of the answers I am curious though and I appreciate good questions more than answers. I find that answers tend to close the mind to other possibilities. Do you think that you have all the answers?

#1378 2019-12-02 20:55:53

God fits into everyones life different because it is a  personal relationship, God doesn't change, we do, no mystery.  

Don't we all think we are experts and have all the answers?

#1377 2019-12-02 18:41:59

Grace is another way of saying God's infinite love, mercy and forgiveness. That seems straight forward. Defining how an omnipresent all-powerful God behaves is best left to the experts who are knowledgeable about these things. I think the OT and NT writers gave it a yeoman's try.  Others have tried as well. It can be that God just doesn't fit into our current words and language and therefore a mystery remains. It's OK to say we don't know everything or even to say we know painfully little.

#1376 2019-12-02 17:13:54

I'm not the one saying that Paul is. 

#1375 2019-12-02 15:25:42

I diagree, we are still sinners saved by grace.  Check out Romans:7:14-22   Paul still struggles with sin every day.

#1374 2019-12-02 09:48:44

I would imagine that every Christian has accepted Christ in some fashion. Now I wonder in recent news RC priests have been convicted of molestation and rape. I assume they truly accepted Christ. Although they are being sent to Jail they are no longer sinners. In some cases they have confessed their sins and have been absolved by other priests. At any rate, this is an extreme example but none the less a true example of how Christianity works for the individual that believes and has accepted Christ. Where we wouldn't be so merciful as mere mortals Christ is full of mercy and forgiveness. 

I agree with you, Lou. If we have truly accepted Christ we are no longer sinners.    

#1373 2019-12-02 08:34:02

In chapter 6 verses 1-12 Paul says "count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus".

So if we have truly accepted Christ we are no longer sinners.

#1372 2019-12-01 13:54:57

Yes in a story anyone can know the future as it pertains to a particular fiction. Remember though, the arrow has already been shot. Mark and all the other NT writers are using their own paint and brush to draw the target around where the arrow happened to land.

I think it is also important to remember that the future does not exist for anyone or anything, not even God. 

My mini critique here is not to collapse the myth, you and lots of others wouldn't let me.

The idea is to show the power we give to words and narratives (myths). It seems we need a narrative or narratives to give some meaning to our lives and to our societies.

#1371 2019-11-30 17:21:23

Wow, lot of guess work here. As God incarnate, Jesus would have known the future, plus He also predicts Hie disciples would follow suit.  Stop trying to make the simple complicated.

#1370 2019-11-30 15:49:55

I wonder if it's not simply that  Jesus could predict his death because he was doing his best to be a thorn in the side of the Jewish leadership even employing judas to make sure that they knew where to find him.  

#1369 2019-11-30 15:08:31

 Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

What if I said that the future can't be known in reality. The magic foretelling is not so difficult. A future can exist in the realm of imagination literature (stories, myth, etc). Mark is weaving past happening into a believable "future" event.  Here is how goes; something occurs, it is recorded in Mark's time by memory usually contained in a story, then there is the laborious process of writing from those memories and then we have final product accept for translations and editing. The law of entropy that is related to a positive timeline does not have to be broken to create a good story.   

#1368 2019-11-29 08:58:11

 All Things Possible

We know that this, not true or even a logical statement that can be defended in real life  It can be stated in a story (literature) because literature (a product of the imagination) has no restrictions or real-life consequences. A problem can arise if you take a story literally and believe it as real or true.

I think the clue here is that the disciples (I think of them as believers) could not cure the child of his infliction. How many people (believers) have prayed for cures for their loved ones or for themselves? How many of those loved ones have not been cured or even died? 

Belief cannot be measured and not all things are possible.  

We know that there is such a thing as a will to live and it is important for struggling people in life and death situations to have hope and to know they are loved and supported( this includes the best medical advice available). That is the best we can do. Then we are like the disciples at times our efforts prayers and best wishes are not enough to cure or save a person's life but it might soothe their soul. Death and suffering are part of life.


#1367 2019-11-29 04:57:17

"All things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” 

To me a stronger belief come through prayer, among other things. At the end of this reading Jesus seems to tell his disciples just that.

#1366 2019-11-29 04:47:07

I did say Matt. in # 1361

#1365 2019-11-28 21:51:32

Actually, Matthew is where the word 'vision' is found and not in Mark or Luke.

#1363 2019-11-28 19:40:47


#1362 2019-11-28 19:18:33

Where did you get that quote mentioning 'vision'? It's not in NIV, NRSV, KJV, nor any of the others.

#1361 2019-11-28 16:50:35

 Matt: 17-9   Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

God or Jesus if you prefer often spoke to people through vision's.  That's not my imagination.

#1360 2019-11-28 16:42:04

A vision, an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition.

I believe it could still be real and still be a vision.  Not the same as imagined.

#1359 2019-11-28 16:30:06

No, not imagined, visions.

#1358 2019-11-28 15:59:53

So, they imagined the whole thing coming from you that is amazing.

#1357 2019-11-28 14:19:54

I tend to think they were visions, but very meaningful visions.

#1356 2019-11-28 10:49:20

The Transfiguration

Mark is addressing his readers as narrator/witness. The four go up the symbolic mountain (used for important revelations closer to the sky god). They see wonderful and momentous visions (maybe hallucinations) from the Heavenly realm. They want to remain there or at least build a temple. Jesus says no, the visions vanish so that the 3 can return to Earth to desert him in his time of need one will outright deny him. Just like us isn't it? Not to worry the 3 finally get their acts together and redeem themselves.


#1355 2019-11-28 08:58:01

Christian the word is an adjective. I believe that adjective covers a lot of human territory and variance. The dogma or should I say dogmas that are believed are manifold. This isn't mathematics you don't do your calculations and come up with the one right answer and if not then we can say the person is a liberal as an insult. There are a number of reasons why people believe in a certain dogma none of it is based on right or wrong. It is based on what you choose to believe. 

Gary, some of us don't see things as you do. Does this surprise you? Your thinking is not God's thinking so why do you judge others about their beliefs. 

#1354 2019-11-27 22:49:10

Gary, you figured this out a long time ago. You are right and everyone else that has a different opinion is wrong. So why are you troubled?

#1353 2019-11-27 12:00:33

James 2:17: Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

This verse seems to fit in with what you are saying Lou.  Liberal Christianity has lost it's way.

Chad we never know what we can do unless we are tested.

#1352 2019-11-27 11:28:52

I do not think that hyperbole is being used here nor is there a call to do the impossible. What is called for is letting go of things, people, and even one's own life and surrender it all to God. To do what needs to be done for the glory of God. Heroic feats are not called for just concern for others. I think that message runs throughout the Gospel only to be ignored in the growing Christianity.

#1351 2019-11-27 10:37:51

The Way of the Cross

This passage is using hyperbole for dramatic purposes. No one is capable of doing the impossible but we get the idea of self-sacrifice or soul sacrifice.

#1350 2019-11-27 10:22:33

The Way of the Cross

In this passage, we are witness to a sort of a back to the future moment, Jesus, is defending a Gospel that can't possibly have been written yet. This isn't a problem because everything and everything is possible in literature. 

#1349 2019-11-26 13:27:08

Jesus is long gone so Mark is able to take what he already knows and combine it with the ancient Hebrew prophecy. So, in fact, Jesus' death and resurrection takes place prior to the Prophecy of his suffering and death that has been added by Mark for literary effect.

Mark has not informed the character, Peter, that he is in his Gospel. Mark controls him as a Character so he can manipulate what he knows and when he knows it. So he is able to make him a bewildered character to the main plot at this particular spot in his Gospel.

#1348 2019-11-26 07:31:22

It sure looks like Peter had the wrong idea about the nature of the Messiah. 

Likewise, do Christians often misunderstand what Jesus is all about? 

#1347 2019-11-25 18:40:26

I find it funny that I thought of Andy before I saw that he had sent you this info. So, Gary, I assume you have some thoughts on Acts 10 or Peter or Andy. 

O f course we know that there are no real barriers between people only arbitrary and or artificial ones. That message has taken centuries to take hold some still don't get it.

#1346 2019-11-25 15:28:51

Peter ... was called by God to take the gospel to Cornelius....

Acts: 10

As yet none of the disciples had preached the gospel to the Gentiles. In their minds the middle wall of partition, broken down by the death of Christ, still existed, and their labors had been confined to the Jews, for they had looked upon the Gentiles as excluded from the blessings of the gospel. Now the Lord was seeking to teach Peter the world-wide extent of the divine plan...

This is part of soomething Andy sent me.


#1345 2019-11-25 11:54:49

It's more than very likely, Peter said it, no doubt.  I never questioned the depths of Peter's conviction, but we can all act differently when we are scared.   (Jonny Nash)

#1344 2019-11-25 10:44:31

It's very likely for Peter to be the one to say that because all through the Gospels and Acts Peter is always showing spontaneity even speaking without thinking at times. Later, some of his actions make one question the depth of his conviction.

Maybe we should question the depth of our own conviction when we declare Jesus to be Lord to make sure it's not simply passing enthusiasm.

 How far are we prepared to go in following his command to love God and our fellow human beings.

#1343 2019-11-25 09:29:09

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

Mark could have used any of the disciples or any charter to declare Jesus as the Messiah. He had demons declare exactly that prior to Peter's declaration. It wasn't a stand-alone declaration but a response prompted by a question asked by Jesus. I find it interesting that Jesus didn't say, right you are, now go tell it on the mountain but said yeah, but put a lid on it.

What Mark was pointing out is that the people were confused as to Christ's true identity but they did identify him as one of the top prophets. We know he was the antitype of the prophets that came before him.

#1342 2019-11-25 09:06:48

I think the operative words, in L Sayers's quote, are; "In a way" but then says the way is unknown. He wasn't really touched by Jesus in a physical sense but he had an epiphany and a paradigm shift in his perception of the world and his place in it and a strong feeling that Jesus had some significant part in his transformation.

I would expect from his statement that he had a dramatic, somewhat spontaneous and therefore detectable change in his behaviour. There should be evidence of a before epiphany character and an after epiphany character. 

The only Leo Sayer I could find was a singer/songwriter with no mention of Christianity or a major epiphany.

Gary, what do you know about Leo Sayer? Is there more to this story?

#1341 2019-11-24 21:24:08

In a way Jesus touched my eyes several years ago and they were opened.  Don't know how He did it, but I see clearly now.   (Leo Sayer)

#1340 2019-11-24 11:19:10

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

I lie your take on Lou, Jesus' constant complaint is that we have eyes but cannot see, we have ears but cannot hear, we have a voice but we are afraid to speak. I might add we have a mind but we are reluctant to think.

I agree with you Lou most of Christ's healings and/or miracles are spontaneous and are void of process. Most of us would think to spit in someone's eye as derogatory or an indecent assault and not an intimate expression of love and healing. Maybe a take away on a practical side might be; if we truly open our eyes then we would have a miraculous world to behold.

#1339 2019-11-24 09:45:27

In Mark 8:22-26  Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida Jesus heals with a hands-on approach even repeating the procedure. This healing is different from most especially the healing of the Greek woman's daughter where he didn't even see the daughter. 

He even went as far as to spit on the man's eyes. Perhaps sometimes He has to spit on our eyes to get us to see what's good for us. 

#1338 2019-11-23 13:03:54

The yeast is a metaphor as is the bread. the product of Jesus' efforts is goodness and spiritual nourishment The yeast of the Pharisees et al produces difficulty and strife and spiritual disenchantment. 

#1337 2019-11-23 07:27:47


I wonder why Mark 8:14-21 is labeled The Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod since it's more about the disciples' lack of understanding than it is about the Pharisees.

Aren't we sometimes, like the disciples, slow to understanding and even prone to misunderstanding!

#1335 2019-11-22 10:09:03

I like Chad's comments in #1334. 

#1334 2019-11-22 09:25:10

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

This has come up again so I will repeat what posted earlier.

I see this as a recurring allegory. The story it is based on is the manna from heaven found in Exodus 16. So Exodus 16 is the "type" found in the OT and Jesus feeding the 5000 is the "antitype" found in the NT. For Jews, Exodus 16 would be a very familiar and important OT story and therefore it should translate to a very important NT story.  All the 4 Gospels picked it up because of its importance and resonance with the OT.

I suppose the obvious take away is that God will always provide us with spiritual sustenance and abundance. 

A practical lesson we can take away from this passage is;  if we are generous and we share our resources wisely there is more than enough for all.  

#1333 2019-11-22 09:12:37

We can see that this woman is of the same type as the woman at the well.

#1332 2019-11-22 08:31:05

It's elementary my dear Watson. The woman approaches Jesus while he is still alive. Jesus was still teaching in the Synagogs as well as the countryside. The woman was not a Jew and we glean this from the words in the passage. She is not a Christian because Christianity didn't become established until after Christ's Death and Ressurection. The woman had heard of Jesus' power and her faith made her believe that Jesus obtained his power from God. There is no doubt in my mind that after her daughter was cured she would become an early Jesus follower and a convert to Christianity when it became established.


#1331 2019-11-22 08:14:35

In the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 the disciples had very little faith.  Imagine what Jesus can do in the lives of people who have great faith. Like the woman who Chad said had no idea who Jesus really was, I wonder at this point who the disciples really thought Jesus was?

#1330 2019-11-21 20:50:17

That's it. That's all you have to offer. Gary that disappoints me.

#1329 2019-11-20 15:34:26

Chad's last paragraph is pure speculation.  We don't know who the woman thought Jesus was.

#1328 2019-11-20 10:36:53

I agree with the last paragraph especially and I would add that he did not ask anything of her faith was enough.

#1327 2019-11-20 08:57:00

Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

This passage is totally metaphoric. 

The children represent either the Jews or the disciples which is the primary target (those present)of the good news. However, the outsider (the Syrian Woman) the dog is of secondary concern. The woman says that even the dog or the non-Jew (or the remote person, the daughter) needs Christ's attention. He agrees with her insightful thoughts and faith and so grants her request.

I think there is an underlying point here. God can not be claimed as our own only. The woman didn't see Jesus as a Jewish messiah or the Christ of a new faith. She saw him as the Son and messenger of God on her own terms and Christ was in agreement with her approach.

#1326 2019-11-19 14:01:07

That Which Defiles

This passage involving a dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees demonstrates clearly the differences between the two philosophies from Christ's or the Christian's point of view. People like rules dogma and the status quo especially those in power. Christ says you don't need to be beholden to rules or dogma because someone else tells you to need to be imprisoned by them. God and goodness must be in your heart. No amount of outside dogma or rules can put God there.

#1325 2019-11-19 10:06:27

Mark 6:45-56 Jesus Walks on the Water

Gary, I think Lou is right. Most of us appreciate the way the Bible or any literature has been imaginatively created. We mostly go along with the story for the stories sake. The story is a mechanism of communication. It is the conduit for the author's thoughts and feelings. It is not important whether or not Jesus walked on water unless you are a literalist.  Where would such an idea come from? It comes from stories that have been told previously by other storytellers. Storytelling was then and is now still a primary source of communication.

I'm pretty sure that you don't go to church because you think Jesus walked on water or turned water into wine. 

#1324 2019-11-18 21:17:21

Re:  #1319  What's inviting Him in got to do with Jesus walking on water? 

#1323 2019-11-18 17:54:17

It is beyond me what can anyone find anything objectionable about post #1319. it does not infer anything about whether Jesus really did walk on water or not. 

"Lou you argument, whether He did walk on water or didn't walk on water doesn't matter, it's the story that counts,  doesn't hold water." again shows that you read what's on your mind and what is written. "Argument" what argument?

All it says is that the reading triggered the thought that God goes out of his way to reach for us and we need to respond which, I imply, we fail to do most of the time.

#1322 2019-11-18 16:07:12

Gary, you like good narratives and there is a good reason for this. Stories are told to hold your interest and as a memory aid so that you can understand and remember underlying meanings that are revealed. In our day to day existence, we know people can not walk on water. Mark's Gospel account is not about everyday existence described in everyday terms. You know humans can't fly without mechanical assistance but that does not stop you from enjoying a Superman movie. You know that there is more to the story than that.


#1321 2019-11-18 14:57:19

If you don't believe He walked on water, which is in 3 of the Gospels then what is the use of discussion. I don't think the Bible and fantasy together can be used in a thoughtful discussion.  See my picture in today's posting.  It says a lot to me.  Chad, "You Want to Walk on Water you Have to Get Out of the Boat."  That's what Jesus did.

Lou you arguement, whether He did walk on water or didn't walk on water doesn't matter, it's the story that counts,  doesn't hold water.

#1320 2019-11-18 10:07:04

Mark 6:45-56 Jesus Walks on the Water

The story of  Jesus walking on the sea is a fantasy. The meaning of this fantasy and I think you Have it, Lou, is that no matter where we are and no matter how hard we struggle if we have faith then Jesus will be present.

#1319 2019-11-18 07:39:01

Mark 6:45-56 Jesus Walks on the Water

God has his Son walk on water for us; the least we can do is cry out and invite Him in.

#1318 2019-11-17 14:03:00

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

I see this as a recurring allegory. The story it is based on is the manna from heaven found in Exodus 16. So Exodus 16 is the "type" found in the OT and Jesus feeding the 5000 is the "antitype" found in the NT. For Jews, Exodus 16 would be a very familiar and important OT story and therefore it should translate to a very important NT story.  All the 4 Gospels picked it up because of its importance and resonance with the OT.

I suppose the obvious take away is that God will always provide us with spiritual sustenance and abundance. 

#1317 2019-11-17 07:26:38

In Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand I read that if we surrender completely to Him he will take care of us (give us this day our daily bread).

#1316 2019-11-16 12:51:11

Lou when I used the expression divine right Kings it is as you suggest a societal understanding or convention. The actual Harold was undoubtedly bread and or groomed to assume the role of a tyrant ruler.  Herod the Gospel Character is a certain personality type that pops up throughout the Bible known by other names elsewhere. This character is used in this case to create a contrast and conflict with the righteous and Godly John the Baptiser. His characteristics are realistically portrayed by Mark and we can identify this well-known character type by his characteristics. 

#1315 2019-11-16 11:20:00

Herod was not responding to a higher authority but to a societal norm that insisted that an oath must be honored at any cost. You are right about authority from above but, most often, societal norms are what has to be resisted or at least carefully analyzed before acting. 

#1314 2019-11-16 10:57:37

I agree with you, Lou.

There you have it the divine right of kings dictators and rich white men with authority. They are arrogant, self-centred and all-powerful (at least in their own minds). Often blasting off emotionally charged idiotic rhetoric. Their impulsive often predatory bad behaviour causes grief for others and usually goes on unchallenged with impunity.  They are narcissistic. They demand and expect continual praise and total devotion from others.

We have all sorts of characters like this in our own time. 

When Herod realizes he has been compromised by his own boasting he must carry on with the pretense of flattery as he can not be seen to lose face or tarnish his inflated ego.  Herod suffered some regret from the knowledge he was responsible for the death of someone he admired but more hurt by the fact he had been totally outmaneuvered by a crafty woman. 

#1313 2019-11-16 07:33:46

"From Mark 6:20 "Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man." yet he had to have John put to death.

Lust made Herod swear an oath and so he couldn't go back on his word. We should not fall into the same trap of letting lust control us or of letting society's approval force us to do wrong or stop us from doing what we know is right. 



#1312 2019-11-15 12:00:49

One of the qualities of Biblical rhetoric is in order to maintain its force and effectiveness it keeps passages relatively short and somewhat simplified. This quality can give the illusion that the issues that are considered and dealt with are simple, straight forward and easily remedied.  

#1311 2019-11-15 07:53:29

That is what I was suggesting. The message has been oversimplified for the reader ( illiterate audience) to get a basic idea without covering the nuances that were learned from going town to town with Jesus observing how he handled his ministry. From reading this passage it might be erroneously construed that doing effective ministry is simple, straight forward and not fraught with difficulties. If memory serves me well all but one were martyred.

#1310 2019-11-15 07:28:06

There it is, the example, we are to share the word with all.  Short and to the point.

#1309 2019-11-15 04:18:33

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

This is instructions to his 12 disciples. This was not intended to be steadfast dogma as some literalists believe. Jesus was wise in the use of his limited resources. In this passage, we are given a brief summary of Christ's final send-off message to his disciples. If this was all or the only training (advice) given by our current seminary then our clerics would be ill-equipped to manage their ministry. 

#1308 2019-11-14 18:25:33

#1304 2019-11-14 09:36:26

A Prophet Without Honor

The way I see this passage is this; We don't tend to see anything special in what is the familiar day to day stuff. We tend to take things for granted. We, therefore, fail to see the beauty, the mystery and the possibilities that present each day. As a matter of routine, our senses are dull and expectations are low, particularly of those we think we know. I doubt we would recognize and acknowledge Jesus if he was in our midst. The Gospel tells us how we would ( I think accurately) behave in that same circumstance 

That is why we have the Gospels. They expose and emphasize the miracle, mystery and the possibilities that are present but are mostly overlooked. 

It is obvious that no one can live in a Gospel. All we can do is appreciate what the Gospels reveal to each of us.

#1307 2019-11-14 17:05:30

Post #1304 needs to be re-posted a reasonable size and deleted or I will simply delete it.

#1306 2019-11-14 10:41:33

Just to flush out the idea a bit.

Today, if someone is addicted to drugs and alcohol and is thinking about suicide, and he finds an excellent addition counsellor and turns his life around, can that be considered a miracle? 

I'm not sure if it qualifies as a miracle. I think the healing needs to be spontaneous immediate and complete without any natural explanation to be technically considered a miracle. I think what you are describing is a healing process triggered by something (the Bible in this case) that gives the impetus to improve one's lifestyle. I think it has been proven that an addict is always susceptible to his addiction even if he has had it under control, in other words, he is never truly cured.

On the other hand, Gary if want it to be a miracle that's OK with me.

#1305 2019-11-14 10:13:32

I agree with # 1304, whoever posted it?  

Quick question, it says Jesus only laid His hands on a few sick people.  Today, if some one is addicted to drugs and alcohol and is thinking about suicide, and he finds Jesus and turns his life around, can  that be considered a miracle?

#1303 2019-11-13 19:15:55

Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

The age of the girl (12) synonymous with the age of puberty and therefore we can deduce the older woman is suffering from excessive menstrual bleeding. I suspect the woman and the girl are the same person, Of course, the girl is just sleeping. We know now that menstrual bleeding is natural and it is men that have set up the taboos related to it. 


#1302 2019-11-12 14:47:18

I can imagine that possibility, Lou.

Here's another thought we, are aware of some of the threats and physical torment that Jewish people suffered. This passage gives us an idea of some of the mental anguish and pain they often experienced as well.

#1301 2019-11-12 08:32:23

An excellent analysis also the raising of pigs and their drowning could be a jab at collaboration with the occupying forces.

#1300 2019-11-12 07:09:20

[Mark 5]
Exorcism of the demon whose name is "Legion"

The affliction the poor man suffers from has 3 masks, first all he is a demon, secondly a legion ( a legion such as a Roman legion could be made up a company of 5000 + men) in this case 2000 demons, And finally a heard of swine.

All forms have negative connotations as far as the Jewish faith is concerned. We might be able to surmise that the man stands for the people. The demon stands for the occupation of forces on the people such as the Pharisees, the Romans and other unclean non-Jews. Christ's ministry was to address and ease the suffering that stemmed from this occupation and persecution.  


#1299 2019-11-11 16:58:57

You are right Lou. In my example, I was using the calm after the storm and the 23rd Psalm to suggest a spiritual calm. I think apathy suggests a spiritual numbness and a disconnect from God and I think neither of us thinks that is a positive step.

#1298 2019-11-11 14:12:22

You do have something there. But we better be sure it's tranquility and not apathy that we have reached. 

#1297 2019-11-11 12:16:51

Mark 4:35 - 41

Just thinking, We could without too much imagination compare the storm and calm with our chaotic human existence in contrast to the quiet tranquil Heavenly or spiritual realm and/or the tranquil Heavenly realm with the Chaos of Hell.


#1296 2019-11-11 09:32:42

Mark 4:35 - 41

This is where Jesus is able to dramatically control the weather with 2 words. Peace! Be still! The storm immediately abates. We can see the contrast of the disciple's uncertainty and panic compared to Christ's composure and assurance. The 23rd Psalm comes to mind.

#1295 2019-11-11 09:11:39

Lou, you bring up a good point. It is best to consider the parts in the context of the whole Gospel. I think it is common for some to think of the whole Gospel in terms of just a few passages. 

#1294 2019-11-10 21:37:20

I must agree that my comments were about more than the parables in question but more on the whole drift of the Gospels.

#1293 2019-11-10 17:30:54

In these parables, I didn't see any idea of our acceptance portrayed. It seems to me that Heaven however described is a constant and has nothing to do with our acceptance. Don't get me wrong I think all the Gospels are strongly suggesting that we should go along with the concept no matter how blurry it may appear to be and accept without reservation what we can make of it.

#1292 2019-11-10 15:04:59

The way I see it is that Jesus is telling us that Heaven is here now and if we accept the seed it will grow and change our world. Every time he describes heaven is that it is in us and around us and we should recognize it, let go of it and enjoy it. 

#1291 2019-11-10 12:16:56

What did you think of my comments in #1288?

#1290 2019-11-10 11:53:09

Thanks, that worked.

#1289 2019-11-10 11:44:53

"the icon blends with the daily reading and is not usable" if it persists try clearing your cache.

#1288 2019-11-10 10:13:59

Mark today has some interesting parables (metaphors) to describe Heaven. I wonder do any of you envision plant development when you conjure up Heaven. I know Faith was compared to a mustard seed in another passage.


#1287 2019-11-10 10:05:52

Lou, I like your idea and I like the lightbulb icon, however, the icon blends with the daily reading and is not usable.

#1286 2019-11-09 15:15:03

In response to #1284 I have added an icon above where a different talk from Rabbi Sacks is offered.

If you want a video to show there you can email the link to me and I'll put it there.

#1285 2019-11-09 13:22:36

In today's passage, the message underlying the Parable of the Sower is explained. Jesus also discloses that his teaching like the rest of the Bible is spoken, then written in a metaphorical language. His choice of metaphor for teaching purposes is a parable. He warns the listener that he needs to pay close attention to the parable to hear and understand the intended underlying message. 

Basically, if you don't understand the use of metaphorical language you will not understand his preaching and so what you have heard or read is meaningless. 

#1284 2019-11-09 13:00:29

Gary Go to #1273 to just click on the web address or copy and paste my last post.

Lou, maybe you could put that site on the header. It might be worthwhile to consult it from time to time.   

#1283 2019-11-09 12:53:01


#1282 2019-11-09 12:37:30

Who is rabbi Sack's and where's his talk?

#1281 2019-11-08 15:21:44

I wonder what Gary thinks of rabbi Sack's talk.

#1280 2019-11-08 15:19:32

That too.

#1279 2019-11-08 14:22:47

Lou, you site # 7 as being analogous to, hearing what we want to hear and disregarding the rest. I have always thought of it as conflicting messages from a multitude of unreliable sources that interfere with and corrupt the original message. At any rate, both conditions are a hindrance or obstacle to understanding the legitimate message.


#1278 2019-11-08 13:41:48

You're right. The thorns in verse 7 could our tendency to hear what we want to hear in the message instead of what is there.

Mark thought this parable so important that he has Jesus explain it to his disciples.

#1277 2019-11-08 13:27:27

[Mark 4]

This passage would be in line with Rabbi Sacks' interview. There are a lot of obstacles that can hinder our understanding and appreciation of important content. We can see that Jesus understood this and he attempted to convey this problem to his audience. He knew that not everyone could be reached with his message his wish was that there was enough to create a tipping point towards his ideas.

#1276 2019-11-08 11:40:06

I Have finished watching the video.

I think the focus of the Church needs to encompass a broader perspective. The Christian model of the world and God is incomplete. Rabbi Sacks has found a way of preaching that incorporates the profound old and the profound new in a non-threatening way. He has a way of critiquing past wrongs for the purposes of educating and proposing better models. He is steeped in his religion and most importantly he is knowledgable in many other disciplines and religious thinking. That helps him be a modern-day relevant communicator. 

#1275 2019-11-08 11:08:40

He points out the problems with society today and hints at how to fix it. He embraces diversity and getting along.

We, society, need more of this kind of talk from our religious leaders.

#1274 2019-11-08 08:23:52

Thanks, Lou.

Rabbi Johnathan Sacks is an intelligent worldly man. So far I have listened to !/4 of his talk. I agree with everything he has said so far and I strongly suspect that I will be in total agreement with him at the end of his talk. I'll post more when I have finished listening to it later today.

#1273 2019-11-08 07:21:26

A talk we need to hear:


#1272 2019-11-07 14:16:53

Sin is defined by each Christian. A Christian knows God has and will observe his sins. God is only the observer. 

#1270 2019-11-07 10:42:47

The will of God is a sinless state of mind.

We know we are not doing God's will when we sin.

#1269 2019-11-07 10:36:40

Chad, was there a reason for you to re-post #1265?

#1266 2019-11-07 07:51:35

"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

Can anyone do the will of God?

#1265 2019-11-07 07:30:05

The defeat of Satan and the new community.

Jesus does not mention Satan until he is accused of being Satan. He rejects this notion with an interesting rhetorical argument using split loyalties and how these divided loyalties will destroy the substance of the whole.  His conclusion to this rhetoric is that Satan can't remove Satan.

It seems to be common knowledge that a strong man must be tied up before his house can be plundered. This is interesting because it seems out of context with the original rhetoric. 

Then he goes on about the forgiveness of sins and exemptions and who truly is in his community.

I think the literalists could have a field day with these verses. 




#1264 2019-11-06 12:37:12

Appointing the twelve

This small group of devotees formed the original structure of the Jesus movement. A nomadic band of 13 doing their thing around the and  Sea of Galilee. It was very grassroots with a limited hierarchy very reliant on the generosity and good nature of the peasants and lower classes for support. Every once and a while someone comes along with new ideas. They are rejected by the establishment at first but if their ideas are allowed to spread the establishment will eventually pick up and formalize those ideas into the new establishment and hierarchy.  

#1263 2019-11-06 08:36:54

I'm being too hard on the Pharisees. The Gospels at times paint the Pharisees and Sadducees with a broad brush so one could easily get the idea that all the Sadducees and Pharisees were jerks and enemies of Christ.

Some of them obviously were in conflict with Christ.

Paul was a Pharisee and he helped shape the new order of things to come.  

#1262 2019-11-04 11:30:38

Healing a Withered Hand

How stupid are the Pharisees? Jesus helps someone and they want to kill him. Selfish self-centred morons. This is why diversity of thought is so necessary because when a society has only itself to listen to it gets carried away with its own stupidity. 

#1261 2019-11-03 13:02:53

Healing a Withered Hand

The Pharisees and people that have a similar disposition seek out rules or conventions to justify judge and condemn others. These hypocrites will persecute others because they are different misunderstood or are accused even if they are falsely accused. They are incapable of empathy for others or making a sound judgement. 

#1260 2019-11-02 10:27:15

Lord of the Sabbath

Jesus chastised the Pharisees for stealing the Sabbath from the people. He told them they were out of control literalists. They should not persecute those without guilt. The Sabbath and God are for and serve the people and not the way around. You give thanks to God's mercy on the Sabbath and sacrifice is not necessary. 

The Pharisees didn't like being criticized like so many people today are steadfast in their beliefs no matter how far away from the essence of the Gospels they may have strayed. Christ himself could not put them back on track.   

#1259 2019-11-01 16:44:06

The Superiority of the New

I mentioned earlier that the gospel of Mark was written at a different time and the circumstances were very different from today.  For one thing, Judaism was the dominant religion Christian Jews were the emerging religion. The author of Mark's gospel was in that fledgling but a growing cult. We know by the gospels rhetoric that Mark was more than a little preferential to the new way of understanding life and spirituality.  Is a new religion better because it is new, Mark seems to think so?

My question is this; Is Christianity superior to Judaism? Is it an alternative but equally valid religion?


#1258 2019-10-31 15:01:23

The Call of Levi; Eating with Sinners

The Pharisees don't know how to address or comprehend Christ's ministry mostly because it is different from their own.

It is common today for people to fear others that are different from themselves. They think that Jesus is on their side and that he thinks and looks like them. They also think that Jesus would judge those that are different from themselves more vehemently than he would judge them

I find this amusing, don't you?.  

#1257 2019-10-31 14:36:27

More like Macintosh and  Delicious a matter of variety.

#1256 2019-10-30 20:58:08

I think we may be talking apples and pears, Lou. In the context of Mark's gospel, his rhetoric is about sin in relationship to Jesus. His gospel would be a little flat if he omitted all references to sin and evil doing. I don't think he would write his gospel if that was the case.

We have the benefit of living 2000 years later so we are able to put, sin and God in a much larger context. Mark did what he could with what he had at hand. His God and sin were specific to the Jews and early Jewish Christians and pagan converts.  It was all quite provincial contained and well defined.


#1255 2019-10-30 17:59:08

That is absolutely not what I am saying maybe the opposite would be closer. Buddhism has no god but they do have a concept of sun.

Even if you define sin as failing to obey the Jewish commandments God is not needed just the commandment.

#1254 2019-10-30 17:01:19

This is probably repeating what chad and Lou are talking about but I say without God, there is no sin.

#1253 2019-10-30 13:43:52


Re #1249 posted by Gary

I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Eat with them but it doesn't change who they are. 

 Being in the presence of and engaging with Christ may not change a person but it sure has the potential to do so. That is what Christ came to do cleanse people of their sins and teach a better way of approaching their circumstances especially those that involved their fellow man.

#1252 2019-10-30 13:27:53

I like your idea taken from Luke Gary. It indicates to me that one needs to be sincere when they accept Christ. I might see possible exceptions if Christ is other than a provincial hard-nosed God.

Gospel writers wanted to keep things simple and straight forward for the simple-minded and illiterate audiences. If they had a long list of exceptions or conditions, some of them will come to mind immediately, it would dilute the simplistic message and their rhetoric would suffer and might even seem confusing. 

#1251 2019-10-30 12:27:46

Lou, I liked your definition of a sinner.

The way I see it is that a sinner is a candidate for salvation and once Christ is accepted is no longer a sinner but sin only sins occasionally. Just like building an extension to the back of my house doesn't make me a carpenter the occasional sin doesn't make one a sinner. 

By this definition, a Christian can sin after the acceptance of Christ as long as he discrete and/or doesn't let his sinfulness get out of hand.

At any rate, we can see how crucially important sin is in the creation and in the evolving dogma of Christianity.  I would also say it is very influential to the devout Christians' psychology.

But the good news is there is hope for sinners even the worst sinners. Accepting Christ absolves them of all sin. I think this would be for the past present and future sins. 

#1250 2019-10-30 09:30:27

Luke 13:26-28: The tragic misunderstanding. God responds to the one who knocks at the door: “I do not know where you come from.” But they insist and argue, “We have eaten and we drank in Your presence, You taught on our streets!” It is not sufficient to have eaten with Jesus, to have participated in the multiplication of the loaves and to have listened to His teachings on the streets of the cities and  villages! It is not sufficient to be in Church and to have participated in catechism class. God will answer, “I do not know where you come from; away from Me, all evil doers!” This is a tragic misunderstanding and a total lack of conversion. Jesus considers unjust what others consider just and pleasing to God. It is a totally new way of seeing our salvation. The door is truly narrow.

Forgive me but this fits with Mark.  Jesus may be in our presence no matter who we are but it doesn't get us off the hook.  

#1249 2019-10-30 09:09:19

"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Eat with them but it doesn't change who they are.

#1248 2019-10-30 08:01:45

In The Call of Levi; Eating with Sinners Jesus shows that welcoming people in the way to go not the building of walls.

I hope you realize that I use "building of walls" as a stand-in for exclusion, discrimination, bullying, etc. 

#1247 2019-10-30 07:55:09

The way I see it is that a sinner is a candidate for salvation and once Christ is accepted is no longer a sinner but sin only sins occasionally. Just like building an extension to the back of my house doesn't make me a carpenter the occasional sin doesn't make one a sinner. 

"If you are sin-free then you can not be saved." only in the sense that if you are in Paris you cannot go to Paris since you are already there.

I'm trying to figure out if all this agrees or disagrees with #1246. 

#1246 2019-10-29 20:54:52

Christ came to save us from our sins. No sin no Jesus. That just what the gospels are sying. you need to be a sinner in order for you to be saved. If you are sin-free then you can not be saved.

#1245 2019-10-29 17:49:54

"Without Christ sin is meaningless." I totally disagree with it. Not following the Law is the definition of sin and John preached repentance. Jesus came to pay for our sins and redeem us. I would even say the opposite 'with Jesus sin is meaningless'.

#1244 2019-10-29 16:45:19

What I am saying is that Mark didn't care about Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or other religions, His rhetoric has only a single aim. He is attempting to persuade us to believe in his narrow focus of his Gospel.

I live in a different time and societal environment that was much different from Mark's era. There has been a lot of water under the bridge in 2000+ years since he put quill to parchment.

Gary, he may have forgiven his sins but of course that's like being knighted. What the man was most impressed with was his healing. It is the practical concrete things that we Earthlings can detect that we readily accept. The spiritual world is based on faith (what you believe is true without proof.) He and his buddies actual believed Jesus could cure his condition hense the drama.

Now if you believe that serious sickness and injury are based on sins you have committed then you live in a different superstitious era.

#1243 2019-10-29 14:49:29

Did you notice Jesus first forgave the man of his sins, then He healed him.  Jesus knew what was most important in this man's life?

#1242 2019-10-29 13:41:32

Are you saying that sin doesn't exist  in Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or others? 

#1241 2019-10-29 12:21:20

Was it the man's sins that made him a paralytic?

Mark's point is exactly that Lou, Sin cannot exist without the possibility of Christ's forgiveness. Without Christ sin is meaningless. It is a necessary dichotomy, on the one hand, you have, sin, on the other you have Christ the forgiver of sins. In order for this to make sense for us reading Mark's rhetoric or as a believer of Mark's gospel, you must believe that sins can be expunged. You must believe that only Jesus is the destroyer of sins. You must believe that you can not help yourself. That all your efforts to do good or to do evil are not relevant to your spiritual life. You must ask Christ to take your sins away and believe your sins are forgiven. 



#1240 2019-10-29 07:55:52

Mark 2:1-4 suggest that sometimes action is needed in addition to prayer; helping onsef, seeking help from friends, from doctors. That also applies to social, political, and enironmentall problems.

verses 5-12 show that coming to Christ means that our sins are forgiven.

#1239 2019-10-29 07:22:58

Jesus seemed to heal because of the faith of the paralytic's friends than the man himself. Jesus still heals today if our faith is strong enough.

#1238 2019-10-28 20:08:31

I watched the sermon you presented on # 1230 Lou. I liked it. The idea of being equal to all others in God's eye is a brilliant principle. If we can have this thought upmost in our minds. If can avoid comparing ourselves to others especially in negative ways. No matter who we are we will always pale before God. There is no way you can be better than anyone else in God's eye.   

#1237 2019-10-28 17:45:01

My post was not about pity vs. compassion but about the fact that a scribe did like Gary did in post #1235 and refused to believe that Jesus could get angry and changed the word from angry to pity and that the other way around is extremely unlikely. 

The sermon should remind us not to be like the pharisee. 

#1235 2019-10-28 15:56:00

Why was Jesus moved to anger or indignation?  Anger, no.  Pity or compassion,yes.  Maybe His weariness was mistaken for anger, but I doubt it.

#1234 2019-10-28 12:24:10

I watched the sermon you presented on # 1230 Lou. I liked it. The idea of being equal to all others in God's eye is a brilliant principle. If we can have this thought upmost in our minds. If can avoid comparing ourselves to others especially in negative ways. No matter who we are we will always pale before God. There is no way you can be better than anyone else in God's eye.   

#1233 2019-10-28 11:57:32

Cleansing a Leper

This passage shows the extent of the power that the Priest had over the people. If you were deemed unclean by the priest you were unclean. They alone could lift the curse and stigma of this proclamation. Christ's miraculous healing would come to naught if the priests did not lift their condemnation or sentence. The Leper didn't care. He was filled with joy so much so he wanted the whole world to know it. He was given a new lease on life no matter what the priest's dictated or Christ requested of him.

#1232 2019-10-28 11:41:40

Andy brought this up a while back. Pat Andy Ken and I had a go at attempting to justify one word over the other. I have thought about it since. My thought is if "their" understanding of pity could be stretched to also encompass the idea of compassion then I would be more content.  I think that compassion is more nuances and could umbrella more emotional territory. Translating is difficult and sometimes there are no words or expressions that fit the original writer's thought.

The context will allow for both interpretations you have suggested and I like pity better as well, Lou. 

However, your other point wanting it to mean and say something other than what was intended happens all the time. We are not machines when we write translate and interpret things we can not help but bring our personal baggage to the task. That is why the Bible was usually interpreted and translated by teams of scholars so there is a consensus of thought. St Jerome apparently worked on his own with his interpretation. An incredible intellectual challenge and undertaking. The whole would be at least consistent with his style and sense of things. 

Our little group often debates the intent and meaning of scripture. Our interpretations I think says more about us than it does about what was truly intended at times.

#1231 2019-10-28 08:01:46

Today's gospel reading Mark 1:41 is an example of making scripture say what one wants it to say instead of what it says. Most manuscripts and modern translations have Jesus moved with pity while many have him moved with anger. The two words in the original languages look almost similar so the scribe changed them accidentally or perhaps even on purpose. It is unlikely that the copier would change pity to anger so the original worn must have been anger. 

What does that mean to us? Why was Jesus moved to anger or indignation? Could it be the way he was asked questioning His willingness?  Are we not supposed to take for granted that Jesus is always ready to come to our help?

#1230 2019-10-26 18:55:28

A short sermon on tomorrow's Gospel:


#1227 2019-10-26 07:50:33

Only the demons realize who Jesus really is while the people are simply amazed and gossipy.  

It's the first indication that saying "Lord, Lord" is not enough to achieve salvation. We should keep that in mind when we read scripture.

#1226 2019-10-25 12:33:52

Gary retreats works, he needed time to contemplate organize and plan out his ministry. 

Proclaiming and manifesting the kingdom of God as the renewal of
Israel, over against the Jerusalem priestly rulers

Jesus' opening
proclamation of the kingdom of God

Mark is setting a new course away from the old self-serving and corrupt orthodoxy and proclaiming a much more positive vision of the common Man's relationship with God. God and Sabbath for the people not God for the powerful and the elite.

#1225 2019-10-25 11:29:33

Do you really think that arguing over whether his 40 days can be called a retreat is inspirational? He retreated from daily life in his community and went into the desert where he had plenty of time to think and to meditate on his mission. I wouldn't hurt us to do that once in a while instead of bickering over the meaning of words. 

Pondering on what was Mark telling his readers, what he's telling us; would be a lot more edifying than naming the episode.

Or am I totally wrong about the reason you read the Bible?

#1223 2019-10-25 10:26:21

I don't think you could call it a retreat, read your scriptures again Lou!

#1222 2019-10-25 08:36:11

Mark 1:12-20 Jesus went on a retreat to sort things out, face temptation, and plan his mission.

He came out with a plan and started to assemble his crew.

#1221 2019-10-24 19:45:48

These are quotes from a course on the New Testament. 

#1219 2019-10-24 19:29:20

Mark begins his account by calling his book a “Gospel” (1:1). The term Gospel means “good news.” Thus, by using this title, Mark doesn’t claim to be writing a historically accurate biography in the modern sense, but an account of Jesus that reveals how his life and death brings “good news” to those willing to receive it. In particular, as we will see, the book was written not simply to recount events from Jesus’ life, but also to explain to the readers who he was and why his death mattered.

#1217 2019-10-24 17:24:29

Mark tells us of this Hell Hole that is Palestine in time his but we are numb and find it difficult to make sense of this distant injustice torture humiliation and scarcity or truly empathies with its victims. We must hopelessly suffer ourselves to a similar degree, only then can we understand the white-knuckled fear present in his time. In the comfortable pew, we are pretentious preoccupied insensitive and very self-satisfied. There is no passion, no empathy and nothing can buy our mood. We are the Pharisees.   

#1216 2019-10-24 11:40:22

Although Jesus teaches them the mystery of the kingdom, they
persistently fail to understand what he is teaching and doing — that
the "kingdom of heaven/god" is already here (in their hearts and
minds), but not yet (among the people and society) — so much so that
by the end, they betray, deny, and desert him.

I guess the question I have is this; Is it possible to understand the actual Christ from the myth that has been generated about him. The myth has to be more interesting than history. Mark and all the Gospel writers were constrained by the current mythological stories of their day and the elite that had given themselves the power to direct the church. The early Church elite actually edited censored out stories that didn't fit their particular mindset. 

Don't we betray deny and desert him? What we have done and are doing is editing out what doesn't fit into our mindset.

#1215 2019-10-24 07:51:05

I am starting a study of the gospel according to Mark. You are invited to follow and comment.

Modern readers often take the Gospel according to Mark as a story of
Christian discipleship, but it is much more than that. Mark is a story of
conflict — or rather of multiple conflicts. That is why it is so exciting to
read and why it has such a compelling message. In the dominant
conflict that builds to a climax throughout the Gospel, Jesus' challenge
to the high priestly rulers and their Roman imperial overlords escalates
from his preaching and practice of the kingdom of God in the village
gatherings of Galilee to his dramatic demonstration against the Temple
and confrontational challenge to the rulers in Jerusalem. That results in
his torturous crucifixion by the Romans as an insurrectionary. In Jesus'
exorcisms, moreover, God is winning the struggle with Satan and the
demonic "unclean spirits" that have taken possession of the people like
an occupying Roman legion. Surprisingly, however, a conflict between
Jesus and the very disciples he designates as representative of the
renewed people of Israel also develops in the course of the story.
Although Jesus teaches them the mystery of the kingdom, they
persistently fail to understand what he is teaching and doing — that
the "kingdom of heaven/god" is already here (in their hearts and
minds), but not yet (among the people and society) — so much so that
by the end, they betray, deny, and desert him. By contrast with the
misunderstanding and faithless disciples, women, who play an
an increasingly prominent role in Mark's story, serve as models of

#1214 2019-10-23 11:50:52

I think that Judas realized his mistake too late. He couldn't live with that knowledge. Jesus needed to be sacrificed in the cruellest manner possible. He needed to be humiliated ridiculed stripped naked and nailed to a cross. Judas was just a sacrificial pawn in God's plan. Let's face it somehow we needed to get Christ on that cross. Where would the church be without this wonderful symbol of torture?  I don't think he could be considered a hero by any means but we can give him credit for being an essential character in the story and thereby the church's symbolism. Christ comes out of it mostly unscathed so we can't really charge Judas with being an accomplice in a murder but rather a key figure in the resurrection.

Gary, let's forgive Judas and lets even praise him for a job well done. In this case, he was God's heavenly agent. I'm sure he was rewarded for his cooperation.

#1213 2019-10-23 10:34:42

Just think, Judas could have been heaven bound?