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Showing posts from February, 2020

New Testament beginning Mark

We've read through the Gospel of Matthew, and now we begin the Gospel of Mark.  Mark was the "John Mark" of Acts 12 & 15.  He was a young man when he traveled with Paul & Barnabas on their first missionary journey and mid-way into the journey he quit, returning home.  Subsequently, Paul did not want to take him along on the second journey.  Barnabas was insistent on taking him along and it caused a split among them.  Later Paul wrote to ask Timothy to bring Mark, "as he is profitable to me".  Whatever else that happened, the relationship was restored and Mark served the church well.  He ended up as a disciple of Peter and it is - in all likelihood - wrote the very first of the Gospels as a record of Peter's records. Mark moves quickly...the most common word in the Gospel is "immediately".  Over and over Mark keeps moving the story of Jesus along.  You'll notice that Mark is similar, in a shorter version, to Matthew's Gospel.  Alo

Valentine's Day - God's Love

Friday, the 14th, is Valentine's Day. In this week's readings in the New Testament, we come to Matthew 27:1-54. It is the Crucifixion of our Savior, and on Valentine's day, it's the story of "God so loving the world (us) that he gave his one and only Son". Read the unfolding drama of our Savior's crucifixion and come back to think a bit more with me. I read that account in Matthew and the other Gospels with a sober sadness. How can we not think of the heights of God's love, and the depths of our own sin? The story unfolds around people: Judas - remorse and guilt without repentance and forgiveness. Pilate - a Roman governor. He doesn't know Jesus, but what he does know is that he is a threat. "Are you the King of the Jews". Jesus' answer leaves him mystified, but not in search of the truth. The Crowd and Barabbas - They dragged Jesus and Barabbas out in public. Pilate's wife warns h
Reading through the New Testament in a year is our goal.  This week's readings are from Matthew 22 thru 25.   Yesterday I looked at the first of the many confrontations that will take place this week in our readings.  The Religious rulers are on a quest to see Jesus condemned, and Jesus is confronting the shallowness of their religious show.  This is the notes I wrote about today's reading. Tuesday, reading through the New Testament, we come to the last half of Matthew 22:23-46. Read the section and come back so that we might think a bit more about what is happening. I mentioned yesterday that there were three confrontational questions given by the Religious authorities in their quest to trip Jesus up. In these questions, we get a glimpse of the two main groups of religious leaders in Jesus’ day. First, it was the Sadducees who came to Jesus with a rather obscure “what if” scenario concerning the laws of raising up children when a husband passes away. Sadducees were th