Morning Musing: Mark 14:21

“For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him if he had not been born.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday we talked about loving in ways that seem hard to the recipient of that love. Last week we talked about why Judas betrayed Jesus. This morning, I want to look with you at something Jesus said that sits right at the intersection of these two conversations. This is another one of those things Jesus said that doesn’t make sense at first read. Well, that’s not quite totally true. It makes sense on it face, but the sentiment He expresses here prompts some challenging theological quandaries. Let’s talk for a few minutes this morning about the time Jesus said it would have been better for someone not to have been born.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:36-37

“He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but him who sent me.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Are you a humble person? That’s kind of a tough question to answer honestly. I mean, on the one hand, you don’t want to say, “No,” to it because you’ll be outing yourself as prideful. No one wants that. On the other hand, if you say, “Yes,” you’re also outing yourself as prideful because surely no one who was really humble would claim such a mantle for themselves. But, if you say, “No,” and you really are a pretty humble person, you’re lying about it and humble people are fundamentally honest about themselves and so you’re either humblebragging or being dishonest which are neither one marks of true humility. Next question please? Well, how about this one: How can you spot a humble person? That seems like it should be an easier one to answer, but sometimes people who act the most humble in public are the least humble in private. Thankfully, Jesus gives us a pretty good litmus test here.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:34

“When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

If you have kids, you can probably relate to this situation. You get home from work and it’s been a long day. You have used every last brain cell just to survive. You’ve been emotionally and vocationally bruised. Nothing went right, but you managed to put out all the fires. You still have a mountain of work waiting for you in the morning and that’s weighing pretty heavily on your mind, but for now you’re gratefully done. You manage to get through dinner and baths without losing it. Once the dishes are done you finally sit – collapse really – on the couch and prepare for nothing. Then it starts. “Daddy, will you?…” “Mommy, will you?…” If you’re being honest, the last thing in the world you want to do is whatever happens to follow the “you.” But you love your kids. So you dig down into those emergency reserves, get up off the couch, and say, “Yeah, let’s go, Buddy.” What we see here is Jesus saying, “Yeah, let’s go, Buddy.” Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 10:6

“I will strengthen the house of Judah and deliver the house of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them, and they will be as though I had never rejected them. For I am the Lord their God, and I will answer them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you even seen someone do a project halfway and then quit? Sometime when you want a chuckle, google “that’s not my job memes.” You’ll be treated to a series of pictures of times when someone obviously did exactly what they were asked to do and not a scintilla more, even though the situation clearly required just a bit more to be made truly right. Well, when it comes to God’s restoration of the people of Israel–and us–He never quits until the job is totally complete.

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Morning Musing: Nahum 2:2

“For the Lord will restore the majesty of Jacob, yes, the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their vine branches.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things we try and teach our kids is that they shouldn’t delight at someone else’s misfortune. Doing that is natural. We tend to think about life as a zero-sum gain affair. Someone else winning means we’re losing. Their losing, therefore, must mean we are winning. But that’s not the way of Christ. How are we supposed to teach them this lesson well, though, when we see Nahum, whose name means “comfort,” offering as much to Israel by prophesying the destruction of Assyria?

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