Our Inner Life

When Jesus instructed his followers from the mountain, he instructed them on their inner life. Merely religious people tend to practice their religion before others to be admired by them for their righteousness. However, Jesus’ followers cultivate an inner righteousness by following Jesus when no is there to see them, because they understand that trueContinue reading “Our Inner Life”

Disappointment with God

During Jesus’ testing in the wilderness, Satan took him to the pinnacle of the temple and stated that since Jesus was the Son of God, he should throw himself down so that God would send angels to save him. Jesus saw the devil’s second temptation as testing the Lord God, which we are commanded notContinue reading “Disappointment with God”

Our Foundation of Freedom

When Jesus cried out from the cross asking why God had forsaken him, the word he used to describe what had happened has particular significance. While Jesus was forsaken on the cross, after Jesus’ resurrection Peter declared quoting David from the Psalm 16:8-11 that the Messiah would not be abandoned (forsaken) to Sheol. Here PeterContinue reading “Our Foundation of Freedom”

The Irony of Unbelief

As Jesus hung on the cross, the majority of those who saw him mocked him, but unknowingly their mocking was filled with irony. Some mocked Jesus because he had earlier claimed that if they tore down “this temple”, he would raise it back up in three days. They believed Jesus had referred to the JewishContinue reading “The Irony of Unbelief”

The Destructive Power of Fear

The account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate makes no logical sense, until you figure in the emotion that was present. Just days before, the crowd had praised Jesus as he entered into Jerusalem, declaring him to be the son of David. The religious leaders should have followed Jesus and rejoiced at his coming, because theyContinue reading “The Destructive Power of Fear”

Being Attentive

While the chief priest and scribes plotted to kill Jesus after the Passover, Jesus was at the home of Simon the Leper, when a woman, unnamed in Mark, but identified as Mary the sister of Lazarus in John, brought a flask of perfume with which she anointed Jesus’ head. However, there were some there whoContinue reading “Being Attentive”

Kingdom Values

When Jesus observed individuals making contributions to the temple treasury, he made a surprising observation revealing that Jesus doesn’t necessarily take quantity into account, but sacrifice. While many gave more than the poor widow, she sacrificed more, because she gave all she had to live on. This is what pleases Jesus, what we sacrifice inContinue reading “Kingdom Values”

God’s Image Revealed

It intrigues me how Jesus revealed truth in unexpected situations. When some Pharisees and Herodians came to test him about paying taxes to Caesar, they hoped to discredit Jesus before the people or accuse him before the Romans. If Jesus said that they should pay their taxes, he would have been discredited before the people,Continue reading “God’s Image Revealed”

Avoiding People Pleasing

When the religious leaders demanded Jesus to tell them on whose authority he accomplished miracles and taught the people, Jesus responded with a question of his own to them. His question revealed the perils of living as people-pleasers. Jesus responded to the leaders’ demand by asking them about John the Baptist, whether they believed thatContinue reading “Avoiding People Pleasing”

Living and Following Truth

The story of the rich ruler, in Mark 10 identified as a man who ran up to Jesus, reveals the cost of entering the Kingdom of God. His decision to keep his wealth and not follow Jesus, reminds me of what martyred missionary Jim Elliot had said that one is no fool who gives upContinue reading “Living and Following Truth”