Contrasts

When reading a Scripture passage it is often helpful to look for how the characters of the story are contrasted. The contrast highlights important aspects of who the characters are and what they do. We see this in the case of Cain and Abel, David and Saul, Mordecai and Haman, and others throughout the history of God’s people.

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No Surprises!

As the four disciples sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple they pondered what Jesus had told them moments before. He had just prophesied the complete destruction of the temple, and the disciples were a bit troubled by the news. So Peter, James, John, and Andrew got up and asked Jesus directly: “When will these things happen?” 

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I Can’t Read

The kids were kicking up the dust as they ran around the monkey bars and swings in front of the señora’s house whom we were visiting. Several locals walked by, making discreet comments about the little blonde-haired visitors. One young girl even took out her phone to take a not-so-discreet video of the güeros.

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The Most Important

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law of Jesus’ day are notorious for their hypocrisy and misplaced religious zeal. But we shouldn’t paint them all with the same brush. In chapter twelve of Mark’s gospel we meet one of the teachers of the law who came to Jesus not to trap him in his words, but to seek out his wisdom. 

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Update from Tepic

We are currently in the city of Tepic and our time here is reaching its conclusion. To give you an idea of what we have been up to I’ll tell you about some of the activities we have been involved with. 

Sunday Services

We have been very thankful that we are able to attend the Sunday worship services here, something not to be taken for granted these days. Over the course of the internship we have been able to be part of: voting and installation of an elder and deacon, a wedding, Lord’s Supper, a fellowship in the park, and a worship service in the park. The last three Sundays, Scott has led the Sunday school service and taught from some of the minor prophets. It definitely takes a lot longer to study for, write, and deliver a message when it is Spanish!

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The King We Need

Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover week is one of the most iconic images in all his ministry. The picture presented to us in Scripture is rich with meaning and challenges our understanding of who Jesus is. It certainly was challenging for the Jews of Jesus’ day, especially as they followed their newly hailed king into the royal city and witnessed what he did next. 

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Do Not Hinder Them

Jesus loves the little children. His love and concern for even the littlest ones of society is demonstrated in the fact that people were eager to bring their children to him. It’s obvious that they saw Jesus, powerful a figure as he was, as someone who would receive babies and toddlers into his arms. And Jesus encouraged them to come. 

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A Glimpse of Glory

Immediately after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus began to teach the disciples about his coming death. This would have been a shock for the disciples whose understanding of the Messiah was one-sided – they focused on his kingship and the defeat of his enemies. After Jesus explained that he must be killed and then rise again after three days, Peter once again stood up and speaks first. Peter had the audacity, and foolishness, to rebuke Jesus for talking of his death. Jesus in turn rebuked Peter and revealed the Satanic forces vying for control over those closest to Jesus. 

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How To Open Your Bible

At a recent bible study I was about to introduce the passage we were studying when the lady next to me asked a question I don’t think I’ve been asked before: How do you open your bible? At first I wasn’t sure I had understood her question and I asked her to clarify. What she wanted to know was: Is there a correct way to open your bible? Do you turn the pages in a certain way? Can you place your bible on the floor or is that not allowed? Basically, how do you handle the bible? 

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Who Do You Say I Am?

Mark begins his gospel by telling us exactly who Jesus is: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. As Mark unfolds the story, the identity of Jesus remains a central focus. The pressing question throughout the book is: who will recognize Jesus for who he truly is? 

John the Baptist appears first on the scene and announces that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah who brings salvation for the people of God. John was given a special insight into who Jesus is, yet he did not see the whole picture and at one point even starts to have doubts that Jesus really is the Messiah. 

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