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[Mark 5]
Exorcism of the demon whose name is "Legion"
1 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the
Gerasenes. 2 And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a
man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3 He lived
among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with
a chain; 4 for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains,
but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces;
and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among
the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising
himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and
bowed down before him; 7 and he shouted at the top of his voice,
"What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I
adjure you by God, do not torment me." 8 For he had said to him,
"Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 Then Jesus asked him,
"What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion; for we are
many." 10 He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the
country. 11 Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was
feeding; 12 and the unclean spirits begged him, "Send us into the
swine; let us enter them." 13 So he gave them permission. And the
unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd,
numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the
sea, and were drowned in the sea.
14 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country.
Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came
to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right
mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16
Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the
swine reported it. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their
neighborhood. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had
been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19
But Jesus refused, and said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell
them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has
shown you." 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the
Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was
amazed.

#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.

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.  

 

Chad
#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.

Chad
#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. 

Lou
#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.

Thoughts???

Chad
#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.

Chad
#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. 

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.

Chad
#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. 

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

What did you think of my comments in #1288?

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

Thanks, that worked.

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.

Thoughts????

Chad
#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.

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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. 

Chad
#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.   

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjoWMpcePQ8

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

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

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

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

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

That too.

Lou
#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.

  

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.

Chad
#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. 

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.

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

A talk we need to hear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjoWMpcePQ8

Lou
#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. 

Chad
#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.

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

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

Lou
#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?

Lou
#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. 

 

 

  

Chad
#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.  

Chad
#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.  

Chad
#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. 

Chad
#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. 

Chad
#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.   

Chad
#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?

Thoughts?

Chad
#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?.  

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

More like Macintosh and  Delicious a matter of variety.

Lou
#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.

  

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.

Gary
#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.

Chad
#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. 

Chad
#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. 

Chad
#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.  

Gary
#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.

Gary
#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. 

Lou
#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. 

Lou
#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.

Chad
#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'.

Lou
#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.

Chad
#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?

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

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

Lou
#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. 

 

 

Chad
#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.

Lou
#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.

Gary
#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.   

Chad
#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. 

Lou
#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.

Gary
#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.   

Chad
#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.

Chad
#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.

Chad
#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?

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

A short sermon on tomorrow's Gospel:

https://vimeo.com/336471130

Lou
#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.

Lou
#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.

Chad
#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?

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

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

Gary
#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.

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

These are quotes from a course on the New Testament. 

Lou
#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.

Lou
#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.   

Chad
#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.

Chad
#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.

MARK
Introduction
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
faithfulness.

Lou
#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.

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

Just think, Judas could have been heaven bound?

Gary
#1212 2019-10-21 10:20:15

Gary, your example of just desserts demonstrates how people get confused by and misinterpret Biblical language. The events are mythological they are not a history of actual events. Those people you have judged never existed. Only the myth exists.

Chad
#1211 2019-10-21 10:01:21

I wonder is it possible to bring the essence of Biblical teaching, call it ethical moral-spiritual considerations and study. In other words, observe what is actually going on in people's lives and assess and address those issues. Christ met people where they were they lived and addressed his and their needs as he saw was the most proper and easiest to administer and communicate and delegate to others in his absence. The needs have not changed but the way of administration and communication has changed dramatically. Our society is much more diverse and therefore much harder to reach on a broad scale such as a Sunday service and a 12minute sermon. I think somewhat structured small groups and individual counselling would be far more effective in these times. In that way, the trained professionals would be addressing the actual needs of the people in their language and at their comprehension level. Instead of just generalizing in a diluted way, throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if something sticks and possibly meaningful.

The overall umbrella of doing good things and being a light onto a community would not change but the language would be that of applied proven useful established principles rather than sometimes confusing Biblical rhetoric.

Chad
#1210 2019-10-21 09:58:23

Those people in the OT deserved what they got!

Gary
#1209 2019-10-20 17:42:54

The vengeful god, the old stinker in the sky as Frye refers to him, the aloof mean dictator that behaves poorly and in a very immature manner that fronts a number of cruel selfish autocratic thugs. These henchmen were very quick to judge and very quick to enact torturously inhumane capital punishment to others to preserve their selfish interests. They used the law as an excuse to serve themselves. Jesus references a far more humane personable and loving God.

Jesus rejected that old notion of God and I think if we are sane we must reject that version of God as well.

Remember this Biblical myth stretches over several millennia and so the Concept of God changes over time with the society that creates him through their myths and narratives and how he fits into these stories.    

 

   

Chad
#1208 2019-10-20 10:24:05

Jesus, The Son of God and The Son of Man was incarnate to show us the loving side of the vengeful God that is described in the Old Testament. What he is saying in John 12: 44-50 is that he is not here to judge according to the letter of the law but to fulfill it, to  go beyond it, and to let the father judge according to the spirit of the law. The Law says not to commit murder but the spirit of the law, God, says love your neighbor which includes your enemy, do good to those that hurt you, feed the hungry, and heal the sick. 

Lou
#1207 2019-10-20 09:48:33

1020 Summary of Jesus teaching

John 12:44-50

 I have come as light into the world so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.

 I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

On the last day, the word that I have spoken will serve as judge.

Gary, I think you read this passage with preconceived bias. 

It isn't the judgement that is important but the words Jesus has spoken that are important.

 

Chad
#1206 2019-10-20 06:41:53

Today's reading is clear, there is only one judge and we will all be judged, believer or not.

Gary
#1205 2019-10-18 13:40:08

Greeks Seek Jesus; Discourse on His Death

John 12:20-36

This is a very interesting passage. The literalists can have a real field day with this Passage that seems to have different but related streams. The Biblical writers hardly ever used descriptive language but relied on metaphors and symbolism to convey their thoughts. 

Chad
#1204 2019-10-16 09:02:17

The Last Judgment

Matt 25:31-46

I like your response, Lou. I wonder if we could take it that the stranger is another unknown person that we normally wouldn't associate with or we would likely ignore or possibly seems untrustworthy or not our type. That guy or gal is the test of our Christianity. I think we are to see Christ in all strangers.

Chad
#1203 2019-10-16 08:05:00

Today's reading Matt 25:31-46 The sorting out of the goats and the sheep show us what we need to do with our faith, with our acceptance of Jesus. Following James' advice to show that our faith is real by putting it to work helping our neighbors who are, elsewhere, describe to be everyone even our enemies. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find that sinners are to be excluded, on the contrary, all are welcome and may yet be saved by association. 

Lou
#1202 2019-10-04 14:49:01

All writing requires an educated imagination especially apocalyptic writing both on the writer's part and on the reader's part. The imagination is somewhat controlled or contained in the clever but restaining construction. This writing could be the raving of a lunatic if John was not held back by existing social and literary conventions. He is on fire and has set many a poet on fire with his words and imagery. So it is no wonder that we, ordinary folk are dazzled and stirred by his fantasy. He is no slouch. He has packed his imagery with metaphor, dramatic and poetic archetypes with more than a dash symbolism. The underlying meaning and emotion are left to the reader to interpret. Poets and literary critics get it. I think we should listen carefully to them for guidance before we go off half-cocked with our own agenda, untrained imagination and limited literacy.

Chad
#1201 2019-10-03 22:49:37

Apocalyptic writing in the Bible is dramatic and equally confusing for most of us. One thing it isn't is a prediction of the future. It is the proclamation of creation from the old order of things when it was written and this is revealed when it is read. John's vision was written for his time in the distant past. It has nothing to do with our present or future reality. John's writing brings the Biblical story to its climax. Ending the Bible with a new creation.

Chad
#1200 2019-10-03 19:32:17

Jesus knew it was never about the bricks and mortar. It was always about a spiritual domain that isn't centred in any particular spot on Earth. The people had a spiritual life before the Temple existed and after the Temple was destroyed.

All military leaders will tell you it is impossible to destroy an idea or dogma. An example of this is the rise in white supremacy and neo-Nazism.    

Chad
#1199 2019-10-03 12:21:42

Re: #1196

It is a sign that God has withdrawn from (though certainly not abandoned) the Jews. Although the Jews will survive—in accordance with the promise that they will be an “eternal nation” - the special relationship with God they enjoyed while the Temple stood is gone.  Some Jews today are still waiting to build a new Temple.

Gary
#1198 2019-10-03 10:03:07

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs."

  I would say all this is increasing, time may be short and unless the Lord comes we may all perish.  (Very Biblical)

Gary
#1197 2019-10-03 07:34:08

If you get a deeper meaning do share it with us.

Rumors of wars, wars, and nations rising against nations have been happening since the dawn of history and it has even eased a bit in recent history. 

Lou
#1196 2019-10-02 12:44:16

Today's reading about the destruction of the Temple, is there a deeper meaning?

Gary
#1195 2019-09-20 10:08:34

Going back to the season for figs, The tree of death ( the Cross) will in time bear fruit in time (the season). The Resurrection (the destruction of death) will create an abundance of people of faith (fruit). Their symbol will be the tree of death.

Chad
#1194 2019-09-20 09:53:15

I have read and heard from others that the fig tree is a metaphor for the Tree of Knowledge (the fall, death) in Genisis. It also represents the Cross that Jesus will defeat with his Resurrection.

These passages give the idea of the duality of faith and proper deeds (fruit ). Your faith, if it is strong, can remove mountains (tremendous difficulties). We are also commanded to love and care for our fellow man (forgiving his trespasses).

 

 

 

 

 

Chad
#1193 2019-09-18 15:26:29

I think Jesus was talking to the Jews and their reluctance to believe in Him and the new direction the new religion was going.

Also if we follow Christ we must bear fruit.  "Not the season for figs," I googled it and there are many responses, I am not too concerned about the season, I think it is about any of us bearing friut.

Gary
#1192 2019-09-18 07:34:44

Cursing of the Fig Tree

12 Now the next day, as they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13 After noticing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it. When he came to it he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

What we to make from the fact that it "was not the season for figs"? 

For one thing, it's not to likely that the writer would have made that up and why was it considered important enough to be remembered? 

Lou
#1191 2019-09-16 09:20:40

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem-- Reading for Sept. 16

I imagine He is weeping over our cities today, just turn on the news!

Gary
#1190 2019-09-14 07:07:57

The Plot against Lazarus

John 12:9-11
There is a slight problem with logic in this passage. Even if the Jews killed Lazarus. It would not negate the fact that Jesus had previously raised him from the dead.

This passage is a, fly on the wall, mini-drama that John uses to depict the fear and the desperation that the Jews had about Christ's growing popularity. 

Chad
#1189 2019-09-13 05:03:54

The Anointing at Bethany

Mark 14:3-9, Matt 26:6-13, Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-8,

I find it interesting but surprising that stories of the Anointing at Bethany are quite similar but are not the same. This is an excellent example that the story does not have to mirror any real event or even incorporate real people because the event and the characters are only used as a backdrop for the message of the writer and what he chooses to emphasize. 

Chad
#1187 2019-09-12 17:09:18

Many parables are aimed primarily at Christ's nemesis the Pharisees. At the time Matthew and Luke were writing under the duress of the Jewish animosity and persecution and I wonder if this factor influenced their depiction of this parable and others like it. We know that it is a common practice to exaggerate faults and demonize adversaries in conflicts.

By looking at these parables in this light we can understand the disappointment, anger animosity that Gospel writers convey, however, these parables can not contradict Christ's teaching, that you have to love your enemy, furthermore, because they are parables we can see them as hyperbole just to stress a point.

Chad
#1185 2019-09-12 11:24:50

The Parable of the Pounds

Matt 25:14-30 Luke 19:11-27

The point to this parable is that you need to willing to accept Christ as Lord and his teaching to prosper spiritually. If you do not accept all will be taken away spiritually.

 This is Luke's summary.

But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.
 

Chad
#1184 2019-09-12 10:19:34

 The Parable of the Pounds

Mark 13:24

This passage is totally poetic and therefore it precludes any literal translation. It echos part of Isaiah's prophesy and is picked up again in Revelation. Obviously, it is foreboding  and apocalyptic symbolism

 The Coming of the Son of Man
‘But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

Chad
#1183 2019-09-11 13:41:55

Re: # 1181   Very true Chad.

Gary
#1181 2019-09-11 09:56:05

Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10

Is the underlying message this; If a sinner becomes a true and devoted follower of Christ then he will gladly without hesitation adjust his world view and behaviour and follow Christ's ways and teaching.

Chad
#1180 2019-09-10 09:11:22

The Healing of the Blind Men (Bartimaeus)

Mark 10:46-52, (Matt 20:29-34 and Matt 9:27-31), Luke 18:35-43

These miracles as metaphors suggest that those that have faith and believe see Jesus. Those that don't are blind to him.

Chad
#1179 2019-09-09 15:13:26

The Dispute about Greatness

Mark 10:35-45, Matt 20:20-28, Luke 22:24-27

This teaching should not feel like a put-down but should be looked at as a counter-intuitive message about servitude and service to our fellow man. This is very hard to do and impossible if one holds fears animosity and grudges or even hatred against their fellow men.

This teaching alone would be a big step forward if only Christians could grab its significance and internalize it.

Chad
#1178 2019-09-08 12:35:41

Living in the Gospel era where written literacy was hardly existent stories of events of that era were transmitted orally. The information related to the story and the story itself had to be formulated prior to its documentation.

For example, watching a movie isn't the same thing as writing a review about it. A reviewer or critic needs to see the movie first, mentally process it and then give his impression and critique of what he saw.

Now creating a Gospel based on oral history is similar in a way except that the author also pulls in information from other sources such as OT references metaphor and symbolism and uses sophisticated literary devices and rhetoric to compose the final product. The gospel writer isn't telling you what happened. That would be descriptive writing.  He is giving you his thoughtful creative version of his biased ideas and conclusions based on his convictions and beliefs. His knowledge of certain important events. He adds many of the other infused elements such as OT references. He uses a rhetorical argument that he feels will convince you the reader there is an importance about certain events possibly directly witnessed but more likely recalled or reported. He also gives a creative account of how the people involved thought and reacted to these events. Most importantly he tells you how you should react to these events.

He is so skilled it seems real, John's gospel in particular. 

Truly a Gospel is as real as the words written on a page. Those words are carefully crafted by very skilled and knowledgeable writers.

http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/print/opr/t94/e1382

 

 

 

Chad
#1177 2019-09-08 08:33:57

What oral tradition, these guys lived through all these events.

Gary
#1176 2019-09-07 12:29:35

Jesus Retires to Ephraim

John 11.54-57

John continues his Gospel based on how he interpreted and presented the existing oral story of the Passion. He cleverly sets up the time frames to coincide with Jesus going to Jerusalem bringing in the idea and the connection between the Jewish Passover and Christ's Ressurection.

The early Christian elite and writers didn't have unique mythology of their own so they needed to lean heavily on the OT for their symbols metaphors and themes. They, understanding the methods of storytelling, couldn't pull Jesus out of a vacuum they needed some significant context and prelude. There was only one very familiar immediate source that they could tap into for that.

This symbiotic relationship if accepted by the Jews I speculate would have just modified the Jewish traditions and beliefs and we might be Jews today with Christ accepted as the promised Jewish Messiah. Speculating, possibly the Christian tradition would not have taken off as it did.

So it turns out that Christians writers needed Jewish Mythology for meaning and continuity but found they had to distance themselves from that very same mythology. 

Chad
#1175 2019-09-06 12:12:54

 The Chief Priests and Pharisees Take Counsel against Jesus

John 11:45-53

We can see that John somehow got to be a fly on the wall during the Counsel against Jesus. By John's account, we can see to the extent that the Pharisees feared Christ and the extreme measures they were prepared to take in order to destroy and dispel Christ, his followers', and his message.

Unfortunately, the backlash from the Christians created a mentality of "us and them" which first mentioned in the Bible was indoctrinated into the expanded beyond just Jews but to all others. Unfortunately, this focus that came out of the original animosity and related conflict took energy and the focus away from Christ's core teachings. The "us and them" thinking and related dogma has somewhat dominated the Christian mentality since then. 

It is easy to be critical of previous times, however, I think that we need to significantly reduce or drop this defensive attitude and become much more compassionate empathetic and flexible with others, especially if we want that sort of loving church to survive in the future. Really all that is needed is to focus on and emphasize Christ's positive doctrine. 

If Christ is truly universal and we want everyone in we can't block or force anyone out.    

Chad
#1174 2019-09-05 23:16:45

Here is something that I think may be important. In the early church say within 100 years after Christ's death the Jews guided by the Pharisees were at the Christians throat. In that time frame, Pauls epistles and the Gospel writing occurred. During that time the animosity of the Jews against the Christians was intense and often deadly. This conflict is strongly reflected in the Gospels. The Gospel writer's emphasized that the early Christians had to aggressively distance themselves from the Pharisee led Orthodox Jews. At that time, the us and them dichotomy was extremely important for both sides. And still is in some minds.

Chad
#1172 2019-09-01 19:02:16

The Pharisees and others who insist on following the letter of the law instead of the spirit are the ones who claim to have all the answers. Asking how to gain life eternal is acknowledging that they finally felt that following the law is not enough. I'll take a cue from you and suggest you read the Gospel.

Lou
#1171 2019-09-01 09:52:23

The rich ruler thought he had all the answers covered, he was wrong, so what are the chances any of us have all the answer?   Even if he gave away all his possession's, he would still have to accept Christ.

Gary
#1170 2019-08-31 07:50:17

Asking about what can be done to inherit eternal life even though they have been following all the commandments showed that the felt that something was lacking. What Jesus is doing is forcing them to realize where their heart stands, in love of possessions or in the love of God. 

Lou
#1169 2019-08-28 23:06:01

 Departure to Judea

That is the 

The Gospels are a story already told, I guess we could say they recreated story in a written form. So we are recreating it when we read it. We can be intrigued by the drama and the rhetoric even though it is almost certainly more familiar to us now then it was to the original Gospel writers when they first heard it.

I think Paul was flabbergasted at the absurdity of it all. He came up with some illogical rationale to explain what he reasoned it was what it was and why we should believe his rationale although he believed it to be irrational himself. 

 

Chad
#1168 2019-08-21 08:23:44

Jesus Foretells His Death

John 8:21-29

We can see that John is telling the Jews that because they were thinking in their earthly materialistic self-serving self-centred antiquated ways they were incapable of grasping either the significance of his words or the source they originated from.

On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to entertain or accept new ideas when our mind is closed and only concerned with our own little bubble of thoughts and egotistical entrenched beliefs. In that case, we are unwilling to surrender our own thoughts and beliefs or suspend them to consider what Jesus is really telling us and here is the kicker we don't even realize that we are doing it. 

Preachers teachers books and lectures can be put away and forgotten because we have no need for them. We want to live in a reinforced never changing echo chamber of our own thoughts. Just like the Pharisees.  

 

Chad
#1167 2019-08-20 19:28:32

Jesus the Light of the World

John 8:12-20

I think John enlighten us further about Judgement in this passage. The idea is as I see it that Jesus does not Judge or function based on earthly human-created laws but much more importantly in a divine and spiritual way or dimension. That is why our judgements are only base and humanly limited whereas Heaven is based on infinite possibilities that are unknowable to man. It is something to accept but not understand. 

Chad
#1166 2019-08-20 17:35:00

You could say sin if you like, however, Jesus did not choose to condemn her. The Pharisees were more interested in following the letter of the law then they were in recognizing the woman and addressing the issue at hand. The woman and her crime, for the lack of a better word, was useful in demonstrating the difference between the Pharisees simplistic mean spirited approach to the law and its administration versus  Christ's more merciful and compassionate approach focused on the women's well-being.  

Chad
#1165 2019-08-20 14:39:25

"Jesus wisely suggested that she should discontinue this inappropriate behaviour. "  Chad you probably meant to say her sinful behaviour?

Gary
#1164 2019-08-19 14:47:02

Woman Caught In Adultery

I find it interesting but not surprising that John only depicts half the law. If you check it out you will see that both the man and the woman caught in Adultery are to be stoned to death. I am sure that Jesus would have taken the same action had they brought the man forward as well. He had the courage and the wherewithal to not only confront the religious elite but to publically humiliate them. It is obvious that the elite wanted to put Jesus on the spot. Instead, the woman was free to go because charges had been dropped. Jesus wisely suggested that she should discontinue this inappropriate behaviour. 

Chad
#1163 2019-08-19 14:25:25

It was a rhetorical question, Gary.  I was giving a plausible reason for the comparison. I think Lou understands the significance of the passage.

Chad
#1162 2019-08-18 21:27:19

Somewhere in between I suspect depending on the day.

Lou
#1161 2019-08-18 20:24:51

From Luke 18:9-14 

God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.

My guess is that you can substitute any group you prefer. I'm sure that this list Jesus mentioned is only a small sample of the others that could be targeted by the Pharisee. 

So why is the comparison made?

Are we more like the Pharisee or more like the tax collector?  

 

Chad
#1160 2019-08-13 07:03:49

Luke 18:9-14 calls us to do some serious soul searchig to find where we stand.

Lou
#1159 2019-08-11 09:41:50

Matt 24:37-41

Today's reading from Matthew sure sounds like Jesus will return, we must be ready!

Gary
#1158 2019-08-06 23:28:02

Gary, you know that Job is a fictional character in an imagined or imaginary narrative. Good story though I agree.

Chad
#1157 2019-08-06 22:04:06

The Creation of Man

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

 

This is part of the Judeo-Christian creation myth. We have known this to be a creation myth for quite some time now, the people that wrote knew it was a creation myth they borrowed from other creation myths they were familiar with. Ask Kit if Genesis is a creation myth? If you still believe it is something other than that.  

Chad
#1156 2019-08-05 14:54:26

From today's reading it is easy to have faith when everything is going well, Job shows what real faith looks like.

Gary
#1155 2019-08-05 14:52:33

The Creation of Man

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Gary
#1154 2019-08-05 14:48:37

Watched it, makes you think but I am not much of a fan of Darwin.

Gary
#1151 2019-08-04 19:33:38

Worth viewing:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10217863987544835&id=1637569616

Lou
#1150 2019-08-03 18:12:25

I will check them out.

Gary
#1148 2019-08-03 17:56:42

There is also two icons to the right Readings for Sunday that gives you both the Epistle and the Gospel. Have you been using that?

Lou
#1147 2019-08-03 17:51:47

The second icon from the left on the second row leads you through the complete new testament in the course on one year. Have you been using it or have you found something blocking you from getting at it?

Lou
#1145 2019-08-03 16:10:56

There are many stumbling blocks to put before people, one may be not including Paul's letter's in our studies as well as studying Revelation and OT.  Only my opinion.

Gary
#1146 2019-08-03 16:10:56

There are many stumbling blocks to put before people, one may be not including Paul's letter's in our studies as well as studying Revelation and OT.  Only my opinion.

Gary
#1144 2019-07-27 07:51:54

The Prodigal Son is aimed at the Pharisees and the orthodox Jews They can't get what Jesus is saying. We can't buy your way to Heaven with dedication and effort alone, we truly have to love God and your fellow man as well even though they may seem to be sinners and don't seem to be following our rules as we see them. We should never give up on anyone or say they are unfit for Heaven like the Pharisees would do. We should rather hope that God opens his arms to them as he did with the prodigal son. After all, He has the final say. The Pharisees and those like them only have earthly rules and prejudices. God is love and therefore not affected by earthly bias or self-serving thoughts and attitudes. 

    

Chad
#1143 2019-07-27 07:32:43

"He divided his property between them" So how can the oldest son complain about being treated unfairly?

What lesson can we take from that? God bestows his grace equally to all and the ones who live virtuous life envy the ones who live a life of debauchery.  

Lou
#1142 2019-07-26 18:57:11

The lost coin is being used as a  metaphor for a lost soul in Luke's writing today. given the time it was written I wonder if the persecuting Jews were the sinners that this passage is aimed at. Paul would be one such convert.

Chad
#1141 2019-07-26 08:02:49

Today's reading like scores of others tells us that we are to give up everything for God, possessions, father, mother, children, safety, life itself. 

Lou
#1138 2019-07-21 09:24:08

Christ disciples do not seek revenge, nor try to injure those who injure them. They do not complain or condemn, but strive to benefit those who maltreat them. They would rather be defeated and cheated again and again than grow distrustful of their fellow human beings. People who are ignorant do not recognize the oneness of all humankind. It is easy for them to bring pain and suffering to others. But those who are awakened see all people as their brothers and sisters and they shrink from hurting any living thing.

Lou
#1132 2019-07-18 21:52:37

Well, I have to leave at that. I'm off to the cottage.

Chad
#1130 2019-07-18 14:21:39

I have always been interested in the passage about Herod and the Pharisees use of him as a threat in order to shake him. He wasn't phased or worried in the least. He rebutted them. Tell Herod I'm busy with my ministry, Luke throws in a 3 day period as a foreshadowing of the future. Now we know that Luke knows that Jesus will die in Jerusalem at the time he wrote this passage so the statement that a Prophet has to die Jerusalem is a safe bet as far as Jesus is concerned, but it might be interesting to see if there is a previous reference regarding the requirement of prophets to die in Jerusalem. If I recall Moses didn't die in Jerusalem.

Chad
#1129 2019-07-18 12:24:27

Oh, don't get me wrong Gary. You are free to worry and fret all you want, but as Jesus suggested all the worry in the world will not change anything. You for some reason seemed to be worried more about those unrepentant others than you do about your own salvation, which I find quite admirable and pleasantly self-effacing , and you seem to imply that they, whoever they are, are in danger at the judgement day and you also seem to be happy with your assessment of how it is and how it is all going to work out. You may be a prophet.

Let Jesus know how you feel I'm sure he will be impressed. Maybe you could help him at the slaughterhouse because obviously by your assessment most of us are going to Hell.

;-)

Chad
#1127 2019-07-17 19:31:48

The narrow way parable is obviously directed toward the Pharisees. They had high earthly importance but in Heaven, the lowly and downtrodden are exalted and the Pharisees will be least. If you have earthly riches you already have your reward. 

I'm not worried because that is not the point. If we were mean spirited and Pharisitical like to others, then I might have some concerns.

Chad
#1126 2019-07-17 16:04:51

I don't think we can come up with anything definitive in this forum. What are differences are mostly related to are differences in our personalities and backgrounds. But this makes sense If you have 2 people or more in a group with different backgrounds and they are allowed to think for themselves and they exercise that ability in a discussion, disagreements will ensue especially when considering literature, especially Biblical literature. 

     

Chad
#1125 2019-07-17 11:56:47

I should have said OT and NT passages. I see you got my point. 

Chad
#1123 2019-07-17 10:13:08

Gary, I guess you feel justified now that you have made a point. You have taken excerpts from the OT to make it, neither of which have anything to do with what I said.  What I would like you to do is make your comment as if you live and speak as a modern Canadian living in a relatively progressive society, not as some type of quasi Biblical scholar pretending to be an oppressed ancient Hebrew. 

 

Chad
#1122 2019-07-17 09:35:12

O  God, a violent society filled with "pride" seeks to despise me, for they do not know you. Turn your face upon me, O Lord, I pray, and have mercy on me, for you are full of mercy and truth. Give strength to your servant and show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed of their hard hearts, and turn to you for help and comfort, as I do.

Amen.

from Psalm 86

Re:1118.  Who says; "Remember that we are not the intended recipients of this writing. The Gospel and Epistle writers had no idea of us that were coming along 2000 years late."  Oh it was Chad.   God Knew.  The truth of Scripture never changes.  See Jude 1: 3-4   

Gary
#1121 2019-07-17 09:33:41

It is disturbing but unfortunately, it is the way things are. My way or the highway mentality. If they (those that you referred to in your post) read like trained scientists or historians they would quickly discover the Bible is not a history and certainly not science. There are are no dates or reliable time frames there are a few verifiable facts but we know most of the writing was written for and with a certain society in mind with a strong cultural bias and rhetoric.

Today we attempt to understand the Bible from a jumbled inconsistent sometimes incoherent modern perspective. One of the problems of many is that some want to limit the Bible so it has a meaning that justifies and reinforces their own level of limited comprehension and very strong biases. They think the Bible speaks to them but not to anyone else, especially if they don't agree, which is fine until they want to impose that limitation on the rest of us as you have suggested, Lou. 

The Bible is a good book to study for our own edification and maybe if we are lucky some interesting conversation. 

  

Chad
#1120 2019-07-17 07:50:20

Chad, that is a very good summary of what we have been saying all along but the great majority of Christians insists on reading scripture as a history and science book that has the final divinely inspired answer to everything and are willing to impose their views on the rest of the world.

Lou
#1119 2019-07-16 22:17:17

I would make an amendment to your prayer Gary.

May those that follow him seek out, discover and embrace the truth found in the Gospel.

 

Chad
#1118 2019-07-16 21:02:57

A good way to think of the Bible or the New Testament at least is that it functions much the same way as a parable does only much longer.  We shouldn't worry too much about the details, for instance, how accurate they might be, but we should pay attention to the teachings and principles that are contained in the message. 

So we are left with making a go of it as best we can. Remember that we are not the intended recipients of this writing. The Gospel and Epistle writers had no idea of us that were coming along 2000 years later. They were dealing with a fledgling Church of mostly illiterate and confused people that had various factions vying for their allegiance.

Actually not much has changed in that regard.

Chad
#1117 2019-07-15 19:16:24

God our Father,
Your light of truth
guides us to the way of Christ.
May all who follow Him
reject what is contrary to the gospel.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Gary
#1116 2019-07-14 13:58:03

Re: today's reading.   "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."   So we should enjoy whatever we do on Saturday or maybe Sunday.

Gary
#1113 2019-07-10 17:43:37

Theory? Please explain, on Forumx, what you mean. Jesus must have been in a mood that day because that doesn't fit with what he says anywhere else.

Lou
#1112 2019-07-10 07:07:07

Lou today's verses must fit right in with your theory, Jesus seems to be saying anyone who follows him, look out for trouble from non believers.

Gary
#1111 2019-07-09 11:10:59

New activity at :https://dubelou.com/Forumx/

Lou
#1110 2019-07-09 07:57:29

Christians have been interpreting the Bible literally when it suited them and fighting each other over it since the very beginning. Some, on the other hand, take it that Jesus meant what He said and try to live accordingly. An inner attitude of detachment, of selling all our possessions, is what is called for.

Reading what the Bible is meant to tell us about our road to salvation instead of reading it literally is what we are supposed to do. 

Lou
#1108 2019-07-08 17:43:49

I didn't say that everything has to be taken literal.  You guys said nothing can be taken literal.  See it works both ways.  As to today's reading you still have to be smart and plan for retirement, Jesus is talking about hoarding and worshipping your wealth.  Put your faith in God but be smart about it.

 

 

Gary
#1107 2019-07-08 16:44:52

Today's passage Luke 12:33-34 is more than the description of an event Jesus is telling us to do something. Gary, how do you deal with this since you say the Bible has to be taken literally? The same goes for most of the Sermon on the Mount.

Lou
#1106 2019-07-07 20:08:32

What concerns, I don't have any concerns.   OM

Gary
#1105 2019-07-07 19:52:04

Off to the cottage for a week.  Gary, I don't think you get the idea of the lilies of the field. I don't have time to address your concerns now so I' ll try to respond when I get back.

Chad
#1104 2019-07-07 14:10:06

‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

This is from today's reading, what a glorious promise for the faithful.  All encompassing, one body in "Christ!

Gary
#1103 2019-07-07 12:39:31

Luke 10:10-12: Wiping the dust from their feet.
How can we understand such a hard threat? Jesus came to bring an entirely new thing. He came to recover the community values of the past: hospitality, sharing, communion around the table, and welcoming the excluded. This explains the severity of the words used against those who refuse to accept the message. They are not refusing something new, but their own past, their own culture and wisdom! Jesus’ plan for the 72 disciples was aimed at digging up the memory, recovering the community values of the oldest tradition, to rebuild the community and renew the Covenant, to renew life and thus to make God the new great Good News in the life of the people.

   Sounds good to me, if it's good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me.  And there is enough dust to go around.

Gary
#1102 2019-07-07 12:33:56

“Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind with which you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your suffering and death. Thus, the cross which had seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the resurrection and source of new life.  Amen

Gary
#1101 2019-07-07 11:09:49

Re: 1098.  I am afraid you have lost your way Chad.  There are many things in the Bible you can take literal.  Eternal separation from God just one of them.  I think the term eat, drink and feel Mary came from your lips. ;-)

Gary
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