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

Jesus satisfies (Luke 9:10-17)

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I want to ask you two questions.  We are heading into a difficult winter with rising prices, a cost of living crisis and an energy crisis. Even with the help offered by the government, many will struggle.  Are you anxious as we head into the winter?  Perhaps you’re thinking that even if domestic energy costs… Continue reading Jesus satisfies (Luke 9:10-17)

A second look (Mark 8:22-26)

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I identify with the blind man healed in Mark 8:22-26. I’ve often sat in the optician’s chair as he’s moved lenses around pausing to ask “better here … or better here.” Ninety five percent of the time I find myself saying “about the same.” I used to worry that I was giving the wrong answer… Continue reading A second look (Mark 8:22-26)

Food shortage? (Mark 8:13-21)

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After refusing to give the Pharisees a sign, Jesus heads off with his disciples across Galilee by boat.  Once again we are faced with a bread crisis. The Disciples have only remembered to bring along one loaf of bread, that’s probably a small loaf so it’s not going to feed all of them. This seems… Continue reading Food shortage? (Mark 8:13-21)

Worth doing twice (Mark 8:1-7)

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Sometimes I wonder what tone Mark expects us to read different episodes from his Gospel in and where the emphasis is.  I imagine that 8:1 is meant to sound something like: “and the people ran out of food AGAIN.” We’ve been here before, and at first sight it looks like Galileans were poor planners.  This… Continue reading Worth doing twice (Mark 8:1-7)

Halfway there? (Mark 8:1-9:1)

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We are in effect at the mid-point of the Gospel here.   The challenge then is whether or not people are beginning to see, hear and understand the truth about who Jesus is.  In case the disciples have not learnt yet, Jesus offers a reprise of the miraculous feeding -this time with 4000 men (8:1-10).  Even… Continue reading Halfway there? (Mark 8:1-9:1)

Why did Jesus heal? (Mark 7:31-37)

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Mark 7 closes with another healing. Returning from Tyre and Sidon to Galilee, he is met by a man who is deaf and also unable to speak. It may well be that his muteness is a consequence of his deafness and not hearing speech. The context of the two healing miracles at the end of… Continue reading Why did Jesus heal? (Mark 7:31-37)

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)