Scraps (Mark 7:25-30)

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Jesus and the team head out from Galilee to Phoenicia, close to Tyre and Sidon. There a Gentile woman comes and asks him to heal her daughter but Jesus at first appears reluctant, he says that in the family, the children should eat first.  She responds by pointing out that even dogs get to wat… Continue reading Scraps (Mark 7:25-30)

Inside out – lessons from the digestive system (Mark 7:14-23)

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Perhaps one of the most helpful illustrations I’ve both seen used and used myself in pastoral conversations is this.  You take a glass and you fill it with water up to the brim and then set it on a table. Then you hit it so that water spills out. You ask those observing why the… Continue reading Inside out – lessons from the digestive system (Mark 7:14-23)

Who needs a doctor? (Mark 2:13-17)

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We now begin to see why sharp divisions were growing between Jesus and the Pharisees.  There was a clear line drawn between “us and them”. That line was between those who were considered to be faithful or at least trying to be faithful to YHWH by keeping Torah, by seeking to be pure, clean, hol… Continue reading Who needs a doctor? (Mark 2:13-17)

The transforming kingdom (Mark 1:16-2:13-17)

We now begin to see what it means for Jesus to preach about the Kingdom and call people to repentance with a series of examples. It means calling people to follow him and leave behind other priorities (1:16-20 and 2:13-17) It means calling evil spirits out of people.  Captives are set free (1:21-28) It means… Continue reading The transforming kingdom (Mark 1:16-2:13-17)

Clean (Mark 1:21-45)

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One of the big themes in the Gospels is that Jesus comes to make us “clean.”  The idea of cleanness arises out of the Old Testament Law.  The Law distinguishes between Blessing and curse Life and death Sin and righteousness Law keepers and law breakers Holy and profane Clean and Unclean There is a relationship… Continue reading Clean (Mark 1:21-45)

“Do you want to be clean?” Preaching to the affections from the Old Testament

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I mentioned the other day the conversation I had with Dan James about Haggai 2.  One of the things I’ve been challenged about increasingly is the importance of preaching to the affections.  This is an old puritan phrase meaning that our preaching should speak to the whole person not just to the intellect. We don’t… Continue reading “Do you want to be clean?” Preaching to the affections from the Old Testament

I want to be clean

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In the second of our series of videos based on “A last conversation” between Jesus and his disciples (John 13), we look at Peter’s initial refusal to have his feet washed. We talk about the sense of shame and guilt that feels like dirtiness and how Jesus offers deep and lasting cleansing.