Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

  After the experience of having Jesus walk up to them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee as they were struggling to row their boat across to the other side, Mark says this about the disciples, “They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened” … Continue reading Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God

Proverbs 21:12-13 [NET] The Righteous One considers the house of the wicked; he overthrows the wicked to their ruin. The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and will not be answered. It runs counter, I think, to our stereotypical understanding of the book of Proverbs … Continue reading Bible Note #23: Blessing without Regard to Deserving & the Gracious Heart of God

Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil

Facing the Evil The year 1944.  The place, Nazi-occupied Poland.  The narrator, Dr. Viktor Frankl, an Jewish psychiatrist from Austria. Fifteen hundred people had been traveling by train for several days and nights:  there were eighty people in each coach.  All had to lie on top of their luggage, the few remnants of their personal … Continue reading Bible Note #22: Facing the Evil

Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”  Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism.  The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

Bible Note #20 — Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and Cruelty to the Vulnerable and Weak

Deuteronomy 22:6-7 [ESV] “If you come across a bird's nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it … Continue reading Bible Note #20 — Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and Cruelty to the Vulnerable and Weak

Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

I am always torn by this story—by the inherent social tension in the story.  This passage and the accounts in the other Synoptic Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke) see this event as taking place on the first day of the same week in which Jesus would be crucified.  And I see no good reason to argue with that … Continue reading Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

BIBLE NOTE #18–Matthew14:22-33: Adventures in Water-walking with Jesus

ADVENTURES IN WATER-WALKING WITH JESUS   I love this passage – Matthew 14:22-32. But I’m still not sure I understand what Peter had in mind (v.28). It all happened one dark, windy night out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. It’s typically called a “sea,” but really it’s a large, freshwater lake. Still, … Continue reading BIBLE NOTE #18–Matthew14:22-33: Adventures in Water-walking with Jesus

Bible Note #17 — Matthew 6:25-34 — God’s Orientation Toward Us

Some of the great truths of Scripture are not so much great doctrinal concepts as they are simple relational realities concerning God’s orientation toward us.  What Calvin says of the Lord’s Supper can, I’m convinced, be applied to this whole category of truth.  “I rather experience than understand it.” [Inst. IV. xvii. 32]  Grasping these … Continue reading Bible Note #17 — Matthew 6:25-34 — God’s Orientation Toward Us

Bible Note #16 — By the River Jabbok

The tinkling of sheep bells was the last sound audible to him fading away up the path and over th hill on the other side of the small river.  The crunch of foot and hoof on the sandy gravel of the path had been lost to him fist, washed away by the splash and rush … Continue reading Bible Note #16 — By the River Jabbok