Today’s message from Mark 12: 28-34 showcases the Bible’s core message, about loving God and people. Have you ever wanted to know the most powerful statement of the entire Judeo-Christian tradition? Stay-tuned because you’ll soon have it. The original setting for our discussion began when Jesus was asked a crucial question by a studious observer. Jesus had just finished winning arguments with religious bureaucrats near the Jerusalem Temple when a man asked “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ response contains the universal supremacy of love. No one ancient or modern can successfully argue against loving God and others. Jesus stated that the first and greatestRead More →

Today’s lectionary theme focuses on restorative healing, first of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) and second for the Old Testament man Job (Job 42:1-6,10-17). Job has finally come to the end of a long ordeal. After Satan had instigated evil against him, Job’s children were murdered and he lost his health and wealth. That long travail of suffering would now cease and be replaced by a new life. Job’s friends had sinned by speaking agitating words that only added to Job’s suffering. Now, reflecting on his own shortcomings as well as his friends’, Job prays for his companions and God opens the gates of redemption. TheRead More →

Will you do whatever we ask of you? This off-putting question came from two status-seeking apostles (brothers James and John). This pair had asked Jesus if they could occupy the choice spots on either side of Jesus’ heavenly throne (Mark 10:35-45). Jesus first responded by declaring to the bold brothers that they didn’t really know what they were asking. Jesus drove home the point by asking them if they could experience the baptism (e.g., the calling/experiences/death) that Jesus must endure. With a bold “Yes!” from James and John Jesus affirmed that they would experience his kind of “baptism” but that it wasn’t within Jesus’ reachRead More →