The Temple was one of the wonders of the ancient world. Initially a fairly simply design had replaced Solomon’s temple and Ezra records the disappointment of the people at this. However, by Jesus’ day, the second temple had been remodelled and extended greatly by Herod the Great who hoped to win favour with the Jews. … Continue reading Judgement is coming (Mark 13)
Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem certainly was making waves. There was something strategic about his actions. Arriving on a donkey in line with prophetic promises of God’s anointed king arriving in such a manner, he had then gone into the Temple courtyard and caused disruption, pronouncing judgement. This was a declaration of intent. Jesus was taking… Continue reading A question of authority
The cursing of the fig tree seems like one of the most peculiar events in the Gospels. What was going on there? Did Jesus just lose it with an inanimate object in the same way that I get frustrated when the internet plays up or the TV refuses to respond to the instructions I send… Continue reading Cursed
Spot the story arch between Mark 10 and Mark 11. At the end of chapter 10, Jesus has been interrupted on his journey through Jericho by a blind man crying to receive his sight. Healed of his blindness, Bartimaeus now follows Jesus, joining with his disciples. When we get to chapter 11, we discover where… Continue reading This is the moment
One of the questions thrown up by the Easter week narrative is how could the crowds so quickly have turned on Jesus? How is it possible that those who on the previous Sunday were shouting “hosanna” were by Friday shouting “crucify”? One possibly, strongly favoured by commentators is that there were two different crowds. Those… Continue reading Were the Palm Sunday and Good Friday crowds completely different?
Power has won another roundFreedom’s shaking, gagged and boundBut we’re not so far awayAnd all these mighty little menProclaiming dollars, sterling, yenBut we’re saving for the day These are days of selfish dreamsTroubled Kings and beauty QueensSo far awayFrom all those decomposing townsWhere starving hands claw the groundStraining for the day I hear the ocean… Continue reading Wedding Day (Revelation 22)
One of the little spin off controversies during lockdown has been around the question of where to live-stream church services from. Initially some churches broadcast from their buildings. The aim was to give a sense of continuity for unsettled congregations. In some cases, it also made sense because prior to the full, tighter lockdown it… Continue reading Spatial Awareness