The man who went up a hill and came down a mountain to chaos

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Which scene in the Bible do you think the heading is referring to?  In Mark 9, Jesus goes up  a hill/mountain with a few of his disciples. There at the summit, there is a revelation of God’s glory, an encounter with The Law (Moses) and The Prophets (Elijah) and God speaks.  When they come down… Continue reading The man who went up a hill and came down a mountain to chaos

In his name (Mark 9:38-41)

The disciples see someone who has been out and about working miracles, specifically they are casting out demons and it seems with good results.  It seems that this guy had at some point heard about Jesus, maybe witnessed him in action and maybe he had even encountered Christ’s healing power himself. Whatever had happened, it… Continue reading In his name (Mark 9:38-41)

I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:14-29)

As Jesus and the small group of disciples are coming down from the mountain after the transfiguration, they meet quite the scene.  A man has brought his son to Jesus who is oppressed by a demon that frequently throws him into convulsions. Fascinatingly, I’ve always pictured the son as a young lad but the man’s… Continue reading I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:14-29)

Foretastes of glory (Mark 9:2-50)

Jesus has promised that at least some of the disciples will see the glory and power of his coming kingdom. This, in context, is pointing to his death and resurrection. However, as that day approaches there seem to be further opportunities for them to see even clearer glimpses of what that will look like. First… Continue reading Foretastes of glory (Mark 9:2-50)

Demons and Pigs (Mark 5:1-20)

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Why does Jesus permit a legion of demons to leave a human being and possess pigs?  Jesus and the disciples have crossed Galilee and on the other side, they find a man who is possessed by many demons so that he’s been given the nickname Legion.  The demons bring with them superhuman strength so that… Continue reading Demons and Pigs (Mark 5:1-20)

Recognised by enemies (Mark 3:7-12)

We’ve seen that Jesus is getting a lot of attention.  Crowds are coming from far and near, Judea, Galilee and Idumea (Edom) are mentioned here. This is causing problems for him because as his fame grows so do the crowds and this means that his movement and activities are restricted.  We’ve already seen an example… Continue reading Recognised by enemies (Mark 3:7-12)

Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons

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Traditionally one of the tensions and taboos around mental health has been the perception that this is primarily a spiritual issue with people believing that mental illness from depression through to schizophrenia is caused by sin or even by demonic oppression and possession. When I’ve written about mental health before, I’ve urged care in this… Continue reading Mental Health, spiritual warfare and demons

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)

Why is the doctrine of creation so important?

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So far, we have sketched out the story of Creation as we find it in Scripture and we have compared it to other Creation accounts, both historical and contemporary. Now, we can start to think through the implications of Creation. First of all, we want to look at the doctrinal implications. What are the important… Continue reading Why is the doctrine of creation so important?