In the days following Jesus’ cleansing of the temple, the different religious and political groupings have attempted to take him on and bring him down. His actions in the temple courts amounted to a direct challenge of their authority and so, they attempted to undermine his. Jesus however has defeated all comers. He has demonstrated… Continue reading Who has more to give?
Whose is it?
We’re about to see a whole set of new currency produced including coins and banknotes. The death of Queen Elizabeth II means that new coins and stamps must carry the image of King Charles III. Read Mark 12:13-17 Jesus is approached by a group of people trying to catch him out. The group is an… Continue reading Whose is it?
Taking on the religious guardians (Mark 12)
Jesus’ opponents were looking for an excuse to have Jesus arrested. Here in his last week, Mark puts the focus on their attempts to trap him. I guess that in a sense 12:1-12 forms a kind of invitation to “bring it on.” Jesus tells a parable which might also be seen as a figurative retelling… Continue reading Taking on the religious guardians (Mark 12)
A question of authority
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
What do you need to see? (Mark 8:8-12)
Yesterday we saw Jesus willingness to repeat a sign to help his disciples get the point. Today, we find him refusing to play the Pharisee’s game and meet their demands for a sign. Are those two things in tension? Do they contradict each other? On the one hand, we’ve just said that Christ is more… Continue reading What do you need to see? (Mark 8:8-12)
Life or Death? (Mark 3:1-6)
At the end of Mark 2, Jesus presents himself as the Lord of the Sabbath and further announces that the Sabbath Law was given for our benefit. This pushes the question back into our court. How will we use the time that God has given us? Jesus is in the Synagogue on another Sabbath Day.… Continue reading Life or Death? (Mark 3:1-6)
Who needs a doctor? (Mark 2:13-17)
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)
Authority to forgive (Mark 2:1-12)
Jesus is drawing a lot of attention. We saw in Mark 1 that he had urged the healed leper not to go out and about telling people about him but he does, as presumably do others that are healed. This starts to cause challenges for Jesus, restricting his movement. An example is seen here when… Continue reading Authority to forgive (Mark 2:1-12)
Through Mark we are going to keep running into the Scribes and the Pharisees, in fact, they show up quite a bit from the end of chapter 1 and through chapters 2 and 3. These are frequently mentioned as being in opposition to Jesus, seeking to catch him out, grumbling against him, accusing him of… Continue reading Unexpected enemies
Forgiven (Matthew 9:1-13)
It’s one of the most wonderful words you can hear isn’t it? You’ve well and truly messed up this time. You’ve allowed something to catch fire in the microwave and whilst attending to that, you’ve allowed the sink upstairs to overflow so that water has rained through the ceiling into your front room. Then in… Continue reading Forgiven (Matthew 9:1-13)