Morning Musing: Hebrews 5:7-10

“During his earthly life, he offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was the Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. After he was perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, and he was declared by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Process matters. There are certain things for which the process of getting there is as important as the getting there itself is. Or, perhaps to put that another way, there are some things for which the journey is as important as the destination. Getting a diploma – whether high school or college – is like that. Having the piece of paper that says you’ve done it is a good thing. Going through the process of learning and growing over the span of four years, though, can be just as important. You are not the same person coming out as you were when you started. The author of Hebrews here is talking about the process Jesus went through to become our ultimate high priest and Savior. Let’s join him and talk about why it mattered.

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Morning Musing: John 15:9-10

“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We hate hypocrisy and people who take up contradictory positions. And this is not without good reason. Seeing someone claim one thing to be true – and in such a way that they are actively seeking to force others to live up to these standards – and then to see them live in such a way as to betray a belief that it isn’t really true is to witness a lie. It is to see someone creating a fantasy world into which they are trying to force others, but in which they won’t live themselves. It’s disgusting. Because this so bothers us, critics of the Scriptures are always on the lookout for hypocrisy and contradictions in the them. As people who would uphold the integrity of the Scriptures, we need to be ready to explain why places like this aren’t examples of it.

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Digging in Deeper: Luke 12:16-20

“Then he told them a parable: ‘A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, “What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,” he said. “I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, ‘You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.'” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared – whose will they be?”‘” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Context matters. A classic example of this is a man who pushes an old woman in the middle of the road. You might judge him as the kind of man who pushes old women, but what if he was pushing her out of the way of an oncoming bus? Then his act was not one of villainy, but heroism. Context matters. Just like for this man pushing old women, context matters in your life. Why you do what you do matters. Jesus helped us understand that through a jarring parable. Let’s talk about it and what it means for us.

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Morning Musing: Mark 12:35-37

“While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he asked, ‘How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself says by the Holy Spirit: “The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.'” David himself calls him “Lord”; how then can he be his son?’ And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I remember playing school with my sister one time when I was growing up. I was the teacher and she was the student (which of course is how it worked since I was the older brother and it was my natural right to assign positions between us). I made up a math worksheet for her to do. Feeling a bit prideful in my own abilities, I created an entire sheet of math I had recently learned in class. It was a subtle, jerky way of telling her how much more than her I knew. She couldn’t answer any of them. My own kids occasionally do that to each other. It must be a sibling rite of passage. In a larger sense, though, there’s just nothing quite like a well-placed question to reveal ignorance. The religious leaders were smugly confident in their understanding of the law and of the nature of the Messiah. One question from Jesus, however, stripped them of that entirely. Let’s see how this morning.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:35-38

“On that day, when evening had come, he told them, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.’ So they left the crowd and took him along since he was in the boat. And other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in a situation that left you completely unnerved, but didn’t seem to bother the other person at all? How were you feeling then? You probably had three competing emotions all vying for dominance in your mind. The first was fear because of the unnerving situation you were in. The second was frustration that the other person was not equally bothered by the situation as you were. The third was wonder at how the other person could keep cool in a situation like the one you were facing. As Jesus and the disciples headed across the Sea of Galilee one evening after a long day of teaching, this was exactly the situation in which they found themselves in one of the wildest stories in the Gospel of Mark. Check this out with me.

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