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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Morning Musing: Mark 6:7

“He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the classic characters from American television history is the Lone Ranger. This hero of western lore was a symbol for justice in the untamed American West. He fought villains and protected weak wherever he went. Since his original introduction in a radio series in 1933, the Lone Ranger has been an American icon. He is what we should all aspire to be: brave, just, honest, kind, gentle, fair, and true. There are other elements of his persona that reflect the American spirit as well. Perhaps the most notable of these is the fact that he is the Lone Ranger. He’s on a solo quest against injustice. He can do it all by himself. That sounds so rugged, so adventurous, so noble, and so likely to fail spectacularly. In real life, Lone Ranger-type quests rarely make a splash. Jesus understood this. And so while He was actually the one person in human history who could have done it all Himself, He refused to take that path.

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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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The Story of Salvation

We’ve been talking all month about the great plans of our faithful God. His plans were always for our salvation and this past Sunday we dug into exactly what that means. What does it mean for you and for me that Jesus came to save us from our sins. Read on to find out. Also, this will be the final entry this year. I will look forward to continuing our journey in Mark with you starting next week. See you then and Happy New Year!

The Story of Salvation

Well, we made it. Christmas has come and gone. And, should our Lord tarry, we are only a couple of days from kickstarting a whole new calendar year. Who’s ready for that? 2020 is almost in the rearview mirror. What a relief, right? Have you at least enjoyed the season we’ve been through? I mean, much of it hasn’t been the same as we would have preferred, but it was Christmas. How could you not enjoy Christmas at least a little bit? Some of you are thinking, “Easy. Try me.” Yet when we really understand what Christmas is all about, it really is pretty hard not to enjoy at least some part of it.

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