Morning Musing: Mark 9:31-32

“For he was teaching his disciples and telling them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after he is killed, he will rise three days later.’ But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever missed something obvious? I mean, glaringly obvious. Like a large box in the middle of an empty room obvious. Sometimes we struggled to see what is right in front of us. The reasons for this are many. It could be we were distracted by something else. It could be we were just not paying attention to our surroundings at all. It could be that we just flat out missed it. Whatever the reason, though, discovering our obliviousness is always a little embarrassing. This is especially true when everyone around us caught what we missed. The feeling is abated a bit when aw hole group of people missed something, but it’s still pretty embarrassing. With this in mind, the disciples had to look back on experiences like this one with absolute mortification. Their ability to miss what seems like it should have been painfully obvious, though, gives us reason for confidence in something very important. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 9:9-10

“As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept this word to themselves questioning what ‘rising from the dead’ meant.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Has anyone ever entrusted you with a secret? That’s always a powerful feeling. You know something that most of the people around you do not know. You have an up on them. Whatever else happens, you’re starting things with the playing field tilted just a bit in your direction. At least, that works if you understand what the secret means. Has someone ever asked you to keep a secret, but you didn’t have any idea what it meant? That’s the position Jesus put the disciples in as they were coming down from their mountaintop experience with Him. Let’s talk about what that means for us.

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Morning Musing: Mark 8:11-12

“The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.’” ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

There are two kinds of people who don’t believe in Jesus: the seeker and the skeptic. The seeker hasn’t settled too fully into a particular worldview and is open to learning about the truth of the Gospel. The skeptic, on the other hand, is not. The skeptic doesn’t simply not believe, he doesn’t want to believe. A seeker won’t ask for a sign, but will be impressed by one. A skeptic will ask for one, but won’t accept it if it comes. Jesus knew the difference between the two and wasn’t about to tolerate being patronized by the latter.

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Morning Musing: Mark 8:4

“His disciples answered him, ‘Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to feed these people?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been around someone who was slow on the uptake? One of my favorite such characters is Pinky from Pinky and the Brain. The characters were originally one of the side shows of the classic cartoon, Animaniacs (currently in the second season of its revival on Hulu), but became so popular they got their own show. I watched every episode. Twice. The show is about two lab mice, one a super genius thanks to experimentation, the other a complete moron, who together try to take over the world. One of the show’s running gags is that Brain gets an idea for taking over the world, asks Pinky if he’s thinking the same, and Pinky responds by saying, “I think so Brain, but….” and then follows that up with something completely off the wall. Here’s a nice compilation of these responses. In any event, the joke is that Pinky never quite manages to be in the moment with Brain. He’s always a few miles behind the eight ball. When Jesus was facing another huge and hungry crowd, He asked the disciples yet again to feed them. From their response, they might as well have been Pinky.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 6:5-6

“He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. He was going around the villages teaching.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Can anything stop the power of God? Of course not! Right? Yes! I think so… Why the indecision? Because this is yet another of those stories in the Scriptures that leaves you asking some hard questions at first read. The plain text here says Jesus was not able to do a miracle. Now, if it said He wouldn’t do one, that would be interesting, but okay. But couldn’t? Wasn’t He Jesus? Let’s talk about it.

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