Digging in Deeper: Mark 15:2-5

***This is an update of an earlier post from Thursday. Sometimes things come out right on the first try. Other times they need to go back to the drawing board for a bit of reconsideration. Thanks for growing with me.

“So Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ And the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate questioned him again, ‘Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of!’ But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you didn’t know if you should speak or not? Sometimes a well-spoken word can lift a hard situation up out of a pit and make it better than it was before. On the other hand, there are times when even a single word, no matter how well-intentioned it may be, will only add to the weight already pressing down on another person. Sometimes an eloquently arranged argument can diffuse a moment of great tension or change a mind and heart forever. Other times, whatever comes out of our mouths (or off of our fingers) will only be used as more fuel for the fire. When we are in these kinds of moments of decision where we have to decide whether to speak or hold our peace, we should know that we aren’t alone. Jesus has been there too. Here’s a story of one such time.

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Morning Musing: Mark 14:6-9

“Jesus replied, ‘Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for me. You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been the victim of unfair criticism? That’s never a fun place to be. I once had someone come sit down with me in my office to offer “constructive” criticism. He came prepared a 4×6 note card filled front and back with everything he thought I was doing wrong. His complaints were all rooted in personal preferences of pastoral style rather than anything biblical, but he was convinced, as he told me, that I just didn’t preach the Gospel. Maybe you’ve been through something similar. Much to this man’s credit, he did not air his grievances publicly nor share them with a small group of others in an effort to build a coalition against me. And when it became clear we were not going to find common ground on some of them, he left quietly and found a church more to his liking. Other folks with less character and genuine intent to honor Christ with their life would have made a production of leaving. I respect him for that. Being criticized, no matter the source, is hard. When a woman made an incredible gesture of worship to Jesus, she faced intense criticism for it. Fortunately, she had Jesus in the room to defend her actions. Let’s look at the results this morning.

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