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Showing posts from October, 2016

Mark 1:1 | Meeting Jesus as He Is

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus asked the all-important question, “[W]ho do you say that I am?” (Mk 8:29).   We must each wrestle with this question and come to the truth on the matter.  When Mark tells us about Jesus, he certainly presents him as a man, but he also doesn’t withhold deific language.

The term “Son of God,” while normalized in the Western World after 2,000 years of Christian use, would be an astounding claim in the ancient Roman and Hebrew world.  To say that one is the “son of” was to share attributes with that individual, such as rank, etc.  To say that one is “the Son of God” is to elevate that individual to a position of glory reserved for God alone.
Moreover, Mark calls Jesus “Christ.”  The Greek term, Christos (“anointed one”), would have been understood by a Greek-speaking world as a term of sovereignty.   It’s the equivalent of the Hebrew term mashiach or “Messiah.”  This would be the One the Old Testament predicted would ru…

The Bible and the Blessed Life | Psalm 1:1–2

“Blessed is the man who
walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Yesterday, we noted that blessedness includes negatives and positives, what we should not and should do.  The psalmist says that you’re blessed if you do not partner with unbelievers, and you are blessed if you delight in Scripture.  Both are essential to this deep-rooted blessedness.
Changing our companions isn’t enough.  We need the Word of God as the foundation of our lives, which is why the blessed man delights in the law of the Lord.  Some read Scripture, but they never delight in it.  The blessed man, though, meditates day and night, wrestling over its meaning and its application.  He reads it, prays over it, and considers it throughout the day.  He understands that “blessed is he who keeps the law” (Pv 29:18), so he worships by being a doer of the Word.  Romans 12:1–2…

Companions and the Blessed Life | Psalm 1:1–2

“Blessed is the man who
walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”
The beatitude of blessedness—we could render this verse, “Happy is the man.”  Even so, our idea of happiness is too restrictive for the idea of blessedness, since it’s based on happenings, and blessedness goes to a deep-rooted joy that flourishes regardless of circumstances.  Whether the winter winds blow, or the spring showers bring life, the blessed life isn’t moved.
How do we get a blessed life?  When we try to impart advice for wise living to our children, we communicate in negatives and positives; we tell them what they should not do and what they should do.  The psalmist does just that in these first two verses; you’re blessed if you don’t partner with unbelievers, and you are blessed if you delight in Scripture.  Both are essential to attaining deep-rooted blesse…