Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bethany Bullet - February 24, 2015

As breath is to the body, so prayer is to the spirit. 
May we breathe deeply ‘O God.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Our Father".

The word Father tells us that:

A.      God loves us.
If you ever wondered if God cared about you, knew you, thought of you etc. the word Father proves that; though He is the Sovereign, Eternal, Holy Creator of the Universe, the imminent God enthroned in glory and majesty He desires to have an intimate, personal, relationship with you His dear child and He your own Father.

B.      God wants you to come to Him with confidence and without fear. 
Even as a parent wants their children to feel they are able and welcome to come and ask; so too, God would have us view Him.

C.      God delights in your company.
Prayer is an invitation to enter the throne room of God.  The place where saints and apostles, prophets and martyrs reside is where you too are welcome.  For He who has drawn near to you, in Jesus, wants you to draw near to Him in Jesus’ name.

D.      That prayer is more than merely a means of presenting our requests to God; it is a means to pursuing our relationship with Him.

For by this Word, Father, God would tenderly encourage us to believe that He is our true Father and we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear Father.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

Monday, February 23, 2015

The One Year Bible- February 23rd

It seems like every year we get busier and busier. Life seems to add things to our plates on a daily basis. This past week I have been busy planning Bible studies, writing sermons, getting ready for Vacation Bible School,  as well as gearing up for Mission Alaska.  Right now time seems to be at a premium. To put it mildly, I am busy. The one constant this week has been my daily readings. I have managed to read every day and it has been a source of strength and a blessing for me. When you have days, or, weeks, or months like this I hope you will lean on the strength that you will find in God’s Word. On to the study...

Seth’s Thoughts

The Old Testament
Not much to talk about from a theological perspective on this week’s readings from the Old Testament. The big thing is the rules and regulations regarding offerings and health. Last week I gave you some info on the different kinds of offerings. Please refer back to that if you need to as we continue to read. The other thing about this week is the copious use of blood. I think we have talked about this before, but remember that this was a different time and culture. In our day, blood is seen as bad and possibly containing diseases. For the people of Israel the spilling of blood gave them life. This all points to Jesus and we have talked about that time and again. I got an email a few years ago at this time from someone who was reading The One Year Bible and I want to share the question and the answer with you:

Good Morning Seth,

In Leviticus 11:1-12:8 today the Bible states the following:

"And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you." What does it mean when God says it is unclean? Is it His law that we not eat pig or does it just make us unclean? This was interesting this morning as I did not know that God has commanded us to eat or not eat certain foods.

Any insight you could offer would be greatly appreciated.


My Reply:

I just finished that reading myself. The thing you need to remember about all these laws and regulations is that they are for the people of Israel in the wilderness as God is forming them to be his people. All these laws were not written for us in the US in the 21st Century. The reason that God placed some dietary restrictions on the people was two-fold. First of all many of the animals that were considered unclean had problems with parasites and other things that could make the people sick if they were not cooked or handled properly. God needed the people to be healthy. Secondly, many of these animals were used by the pagan people they would encounter in the Promised Land in their worship of false Gods. God did not want them to associate with them so he set them apart.

Fast forward to today...some people still follow these dietary laws but they are no longer required. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in Jesus and we now have freedom. This does not mean that we can abuse our freedom, but we are not bound to all of the requirements of the Old Testament Law. If it were so we would have many more things to do every day (like ceremonial washing, staying outside of the city until sunset if we are unclean, men not shaving beards, etc.) Rest assured that eating pork, or lobster, or a cheeseburger (all would be unclean in the OT) is OK. I hope this helps.

Pastor Seth

You may have had the same question and I hope this helps you as well. Please feel free to email me your questions or better yet make a comment on the blog, I will answer it and others can benefit from the discussion. You can always comment as “anonymous” if you would like.

The New Testament
The book of Mark is filled with miracles and parables. It is no wonder many point new believers to this Gospel. Mark lays out the evidence that Jesus is the savior of the world and Jesus proves it by his miracles. Jesus also is a good teacher and as all good teachers he uses the power of stories. Stories teach in ways that other words cannot. Stories captivate our imaginations, they take us to places we have never been, they can help us understand complex ideas. Jesus knew the power of story and he used it. In our reading for the 20th we see that “He did not speak to them without a parable.” (Mark 4:34a ESV). What better way to teach to a bunch of uneducated people. I think at times we have lost the art of storytelling in our Churches. We do a good job of it in Sunday School but we often forget it with Adults. I feel that we all can benefit from a good story and what better story to start with than the story of Jesus Christ.

I also want to address one historical point today. In the reading for Feb. 22nd we are introduced to King Herod. We have not seen that name since Matthew’s Gospel. What you need to know is that the Herod in Mark 6 is not the same one as in Matthew 2. A bit of history here; in Matthew 2 we are talking about Herod the Great who was the king of Judea, Galilee and other areas at the time of Jesus’ birth. He was the one who ordered all the baby boys killed to try to take care of the new king that was born. When he dies his kingdom is split between his three sons, Herod Philip II, Archelaus, and Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee and is the one who puts John the Baptist to death and is mentioned in Mark 6 (And Matthew 14). This is also the same Herod we will see in Luke 23 when Pilate sends Jesus to see him just before the crucifixion. We will see two more Herods. In Acts 12:1-24 we will see Herod Agrippa I who is a grandson of Herod the Great. Herod Agrippa I is the one responsible for killing the apostle James, who put Peter into prison and was killed by an angel. In Acts 25 and 26 we will see Herod Agrippa II who is the son of Herod Agrippa I. This is the Herod who Paul has a trial with before he is sent to Rome. If you didn’t follow all of that don’t worry. Just remember that we are talking about one royal family with the same name.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bethany Bullet - February 17, 2015

God works in conversation!  Even in the lives of the Children of Israel when He manifests His presence in a pillar of fire and smoke, when He did mighty deeds like open the sea and make a path on dry land, when He kept lions at bay and used giant fish to deliver a prophet; God’s primary means of proclaiming Who He is and What He had done or would do was conversation.  So too in the Life of Christ, when a stroll on the surface of the sea, a feast formed out of a few fish or a toast made possible by the miracle of water to wine, God’s primary means of proclaiming the coming Kingdom and His children’s redemption was conversation.  So to in our world!  God works through conversation.  For us as Christians that means being in worship, being in the Word, and being in prayer; but it also means conversing with those, “Who do not know or have not heard.”

Fortunately for us, there are a few questions (this list is certainly not conclusive) that the un-churched might very well ask us.  We don’t always need to begin the conversation but we need to be ready to engage in it when the time comes. 

Below is a list of potential conversations and re-sources for you to read and thus prepare to engage by speaking the truth in love. You can listen to last Sunday’s sermon as a podcast through Bethany’s website but included in this Bethany Bullet are the basic talking points that were addressed in the message. 

Is the Bible even reliable and isn’t the Resurrection just a fable? 
  • The New Testament is a historical document rooted in history. 
  • Archeology has validated names, places and dates of the New Testament record and never proven any assertion false. 
  • Extra Biblical material (texts and writings from non-Christians) both Jewish and Roman historians verify that Jesus was a real person who was crucified and that the early Christian community (first followers) believed that He had risen from the dead. 
  • Other works of antiquity that provide what we believe to be true history from Caesar to Aristotle have been found in the dozens (copies) dating within several hundred to sometimes nearly a thousand years after the events.  The New Testament has been found in tens of thousands of manuscripts and portions of manuscripts dating to within decades of the events.  The message of the New Testament (Jesus’ life, death and resurrection) is the most reliable event of the entire ancient world. 
  • New findings, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, have only validated that the Scripture we possess is what the authors of Scripture wrote.

For more information read: 
The Case for Easter or The Case for Christ (Zondervan publications) by Lee Strobel          
Reasons (Living Books) by Josh McDowell
Is the New Testament Reliable?  (IV Press) by Paul Barnett

For deeper readings:
Faith Founded on Fact (Nelson publishing) by John Warwick Montgomery
Eyewitness to Jesus (Doubleday) by Carsten Peter Thiede
The God Who is There (IV Press) by Francis A Schaeffer

How can you believe in God with all the evil in the world? 
  • Evil is not always the result of the Maker.  
    • How many works of art are stored behind glass and guard?  If stolen or defaced this is not the cause of the artist. 
  • The very concept of evil presupposes the concept of holy.  
    • Can’t claim something is evil unless there is the polar possibility “the divine.” 
  • The Christian freely acknowledges that evil exists, we confess that we are the cause, and we believe that God is NOT the source of suffering, but the source of strength midst suffering.

For more info read:
When God Doesn’t Make Sense (Tyndale) by James Dobson
Shattered (Tyndale) by Frank Pastore

“The Truth Project” Lesson 3.  You can borrow this from Bethany.

For deeper study:
The Problem of Pain (MacMillian) by C. S. Lewis

Doesn’t science make faith useless and silly? 
  • The most commonly accepted understanding of how the universe came into existence is from practically nothing to the vastness of what there is in a rapid time from an instantaneous event.  Called the Big Bang.  
    • Genesis doesn’t seem to be that out of whack now does it? 
  • Darwin was convinced that if the fossil record grew without discovering transitory stage or the cell was found to be complex, his theory would all but collapse. 
    • Since his theory the fossil record has grown dramatically, with no ‘missing links’ and the cell has been discovered to be very complex.

For reading:
Reasons for God (Riverhead books) by Timothy Keller

“Expelled” by Ben Stein
“The Truth Project” lessons 5a & 5b

                        Answers in Genesis (https://answersingenesis.org)
For Deeper Reading:
Darwin’s Doubt (HarperOne) by Steven Meyer
                        The God of Science (Exposition) by Frederick E. Trinklein

Why should I go to church when it’s just full of hypocrites? 
  • There is a difference between a hypocrite and being repentant. 
    • Sorrow over sin committed doesn’t mean one can’t discourage them be committed again.  
    • Being a sinner doesn’t invalidate ones call for godliness!  
  • Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites not because they were sinner nor because they called people to godliness, but because they condemned others for sins that they, themselves were committing and though they were committing them they claimed to not be guilty of them!

Dennis Prager and Ravi Zacharias websites for great discussions on the meaning of hypocrisy as well as many other things 

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

Monday, February 16, 2015

The One Year Bible- February 16th

This is the 12th year that I have read through the Bible using "The One Year Bible" format.  It has been a profound blessing to me as I read God's powerful word daily and then write some of my thoughts and insights.  I will freely admit that over the years I have recycled many of my thoughts.  In doing so it turns out that I am once again a week ahead of myself in these posts.  So, to get us back on track I am not posting anything new this week, instead I will be honest enough to say please forgive me if you have done this study before and it seems like déjà vu as you read my notes.  If this is your first time going through this study, well, I guess you know my secret.  Each week I do review my notes and make some updates etc.  Thanks for your understanding and for your commitment to reading God's Word daily and deeply. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bethany Bullet - February 10, 2015

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me;
The Bible tells me so.

Now I know most of you know those words by heart and perhaps have sung them most of your life.  I have too.  But it has been a long time since I have really looked at this text and friends; let me tell you, these are powerful words and words that work well with sanctity of human life Sunday. 

Anna Warner used a passage from her sister Susan’s novel back in 1860 that became one of the most famous Christian songs in the world. William Bradbury added the tune and the chorus soon afterward.

But if you are like me, you can sing the song and almost not think of the words.  But the text is profound and insightful. 

It begins with an assertion of faith, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

It is the foundation of belief, it is what we stand upon each and every day and the proof is found in Scripture, “For the Bible tells me so.” It is in the Word where this sure and certain hope is found.

The love of Jesus extends to all, “Little ones to Him belong.”  All of us, young and old, belong to Jesus, were bought at a price when Jesus took our sins to the cross and destroyed them in the open tomb. 

“They are weak, but He is strong.”  We are all weak.  The sinful flesh drags us down and makes us incapable of freeing ourselves from the grip of sin.  But the strong arms of Jesus are strong enough. 

To me this shows just how much Jesus cares for us.  Even in our weakened condition, all human life is precious in the sight of God and He is strong enough to bring us into His glorious presence where we belong where we can boldly sing, “Yes, Jesus loves Me!”

We are all little ones in the sight of God, but that does not mean we are insignificant.  All human life is precious to God, because life is sacred.  It was God who gave breath to life back in the garden and it is by His Spirit that life is sustained.

·         The sanctity of Human life is not just a slogan, it’s a doctrine. 
·         It’s not just an assertion, it is a confession.
·         It is not something that we should just reflect upon annually, but act upon daily. 

Life is intrinsically sacred.  It is God’s creation, God’s gift, God’s doing.

No one can claim that God loves them more than others!

·         God doesn’t love Lutherans more than Baptists.
·         He doesn’t love Americans more than Iraqis. 
·         God does not like conservatives more than liberals, or vice versa; girls more than boys, or vice versa.
·         He doesn’t like those in the pulpit more than those in the pews, Patriots more than Seahawks or Angels more than Dodgers.

I don’t understand it; I just know that it is true. 

Like the song says, “Jesus loves me, this I know”.

Sanctity belongs to human life by nature, for we have been created in the image of God.  Of course that image was shattered in the garden, and it is daily concealed and harmed by our own sinful action and choice, including that of denying the sacredness of life of that of profaning it by seeking to promote our own through greed or lust or lies. 

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” 

You heard the inspired words of Scripture proclaimed to you already this morning.  The Bible is clear that God loves you.  Listen to the words from 1 John chapter 4, “This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

And the sweet words of Jesus himself from John 3:16, “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me;
The Bible tells me so.”

God gave His Son to bring life and new life to all of us little ones.  He came to restore our broken image.  Through Jesus’ perfect life and His innocent suffering and death we have been sanctified and declared holy in His sight.  Jesus lost His life on the cross so that we might be born again, given the life of faith and to have eternal life.

Jesus not only proclaimed the sanctity of life, He granted dignity to the living.  Jesus cared for the little ones, the lowly, the less fortunate, the lepers and the lost.  He still cares for all his children including the most shunned and forsaken, like those who are on deaths door or those who have decided to keep the baby and not terminate a pregnancy.  He cares for all the little ones growing in the womb and even those who are feeling the grief and guilt of abortion. 

And Jesus loves and cares for you, no matter what you are going through. 

“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Jesus restored our dignity, declaring us—who were God’s enemies—to be His friends.

Life is intrinsically sacred but it is intentionally dignified.  The sanctity of human life is intrinsically possessed, it is God’s creation and His gift, but the dignity of life is intentionally afforded by human action. 

Think of Jesus and who He spent time with, an outcast Samaritan woman at the well, a band of lepers, the ill, the infirm, the blind, the deaf, the outcasts and dregs of society, and Jesus touched them, and dignified their life on this side of heaven and resolutely went to the cross to sanctify their life and guarantee eternity with him. 

It was a bitterly cold evening in Northern Virginia many years ago. The old man's beard was glazed by winter's frost as he waited for a ride across the river. He heard a brigade of men on horses coming around the bend. He let the first one pass him without any effort to get his attention.

Then another passed by, and another. Finally, the last rider neared and the old man caught the rider's eye and said, "Sir, would you mind giving an old man a ride to the other side?" The rider said, "Sure, thing. Hop aboard." Seeing the old man unable to lift his half frozen body onto the horse, the horseman dismounted and helped the old man onto the horse.

The horseman not only took the old man across the river but to his destination which was just a few miles away. As they neared the man's home the horseman was curious and he asked, "Sir, I noticed that you let several other riders pass by without making an effort to get a ride. Then I came up and you immediately asked me for a ride. I'm curious why on such a bitterly cold night that you would wait and ask the last rider. What if I had refused and left you there?"

The old man replied, "I've been around these parts for some time. I reckon I know people pretty good. I looked into the eyes of the other riders and immediately saw there was no concern for my situation. It would have been useless even to ask them for a ride. But when I looked into your eyes, kindness and compassion were there. I knew that your gentle spirit would welcome the opportunity to help me in my time of need."

Those heartwarming comments touched the horseman. "I'm most grateful for what you have said," he told the old man. "May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion." With that, Thomas Jefferson turned his horse around and made his way back to the White House.

Jesus cares for life at all stages, we are called to do the same; to see it protected in the womb and see it defended and supported in the world.  The body of Christ is called to stand up for the little ones, the ones who have no voice, and to stand up with those who do.  We are called to bring dignity to all.  This is God at Work.  You can't pretend you care. Others will know.

As we affirm the sanctity of life we dare not abort our calling by neglecting human needs and failing to grant dignity to the living.  Through our love many may come to know God’s love and join with us in singing:
Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me;
The Bible tells me so.

-Pastor Seth Moorman

Monday, February 09, 2015

The One Year Bible- February 9th

Later this week we will start the book of Mark and right at the beginning of this Gospel there is a verse that jumps out at me, “News about him [Jesus] spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee” (Mark 1:28 NIV). Just think of the power of Jesus. Mark tells us “At once” everyone around knew about him. It reminds me of living in the Internet age. We can get information “at once” as soon as events happen. It is amazing how fast news travels. But what has happened to the good news about Jesus? Why is his fame not being spread everywhere? Well one reason is because the Devil doesn’t want it to. Satan is waging war against the good news of Jesus Christ and at times he seems to be winning. Satan is not happy that you are reading the Bible this year and he will work on your soft spots to get you behind and tempt you to give up. Don’t let his tricks get you down. You have the most powerful weapon in the fight, the Word of God. Remember that the battle belongs to the Lord and even though we may loose a few skirmishes here and there the ultimate victory is the Lord’s. Keep up the good work and fight the hard fight as you pick up the sword of the Spirit daily. On to the study...

Seth’s Thoughts

The Old Testament
The end of Exodus is just a foretaste of what is to come in the book of Leviticus. We will be taking a break from the narrative story for a while and read about many of the nuts and bolts of religious life of the people of Israel. We usually do not read these sections of scripture in Church so they may be brand new for you. Exodus ends with the building of the tabernacle and all the furnishings. This place (and later the temple) is the physical representation of Yahweh on earth. It is quite literally, God’s house. The building of this structure is important for many reasons. First of all, it gave the people something tangible in their relationship with God. Secondly, it was a place where God could interact with his people bringing mercy and forgiveness. Third, it sets up the life and ministry of Jesus. Jesus referred to himself as a temple that would be destroyed and build again in three days. Jesus himself came down to be a physical representation of Yahweh on earth. In John 1:14 we read, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The word we translate at “made his dwelling” literally means that Jesus “tabernacled” among us. When Jesus came to earth he becomes another tabernacle, this one wrapped in flesh and poised to be the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of the sins of the world. Now the tabernacle had its own purpose in the days of the Israelites, and the temple as well for that matter, but they both point to a greater tabernacle and temple in the person of Jesus Christ.

One other thing I want to do this week is give you an introduction on the many different offerings that are mentioned in Exodus and especially in Leviticus.

Burnt Offering: Leviticus 1; 6: 8-13; 8: 18-21; 16: 24 The burnt offering was for unintentional sin. This was a blanket sacrifice for wrongdoing in general. The price was a male bull, lamb or goat. It had to be a perfect animal, without defect. The poor could offer a pigeon or dove. The penitent would present the animal at the entrance to the tent, which housed the altar and the tabernacle. After presenting the animal, the sinner would place his two hands on the animal and thus, it was accepted as an offering for sin. Probably this act transferred the sin from the human to the animal, which paid the penalty and was sacrificed. They would kill their own offering and then the priests took over.The priests bled the animal and cut it up ceremonially. The priests sprinkled the blood on the altar. Some of the internal organs and legs were washed. They then burned it whole on the altar. The aroma was said to be pleasing to God. The fire had to be continually burning and was never extinguished.

Grain Offering: Leviticus 2; 6: 14-23 Voluntary worship and thanks: A grain offering is just what it says. The grain had to ground into flour and could be put into loaves or cakes. Olive oil and incense were added to make a pleasing aroma when it burned. Yeast was forbidden for this offering. The cakes had to be salted. The offering was presented to the priests who burned a small portion of it on the altar. The rest was food for them and the Levites.

Fellowship Offering: Leviticus 3: 7: 11-34A voluntary act of worship, thanks and fellowship: This is called a fellowship offering because the sacrifice is eaten communally instead of burned. Any clean animal, male or female could be offered. Bread, both with and without yeast, was also part of the offering. These were presented at the gate of the tent. The priests would sprinkle the blood on the four corners of the altar. The internal organs, the fat on them and the best part of the liver were burned as a food offering. The rest had to be eaten within two days or else it was burned also.

Sin Offering: Leviticus 4: 1-5: 13; 6: 24-30; 8: 14-17; 16: 3-22 Mandatory for specific sins: All of these offerings for sins are for unintentional transgressions. If you were guilty of premeditated infraction, these offerings didn’t help you. Your stature in the community determined the kind of sacrifice that you were required to offer. A young bull was required for the sin of a high priest or for a community sin. Leaders had to present a male goat. The common people could bring a female goat or a lamb. The poor were permitted to offer a dove or pigeon and the very poor could get away with a tenth of an ephah of fine flour. The bull’s fat was burned inside the camp but the rest was burned outside. Leviticus 5 records the sins for which a sin offering was required. These include unintentionally touching an animal that is ritually unclean, touching something unclean of human origin or making a careless promise.

Guilt Offering: (Repayment Offering) Leviticus 5:14 – 6:7; 7: 1-6 Mandatory for unintentional sin requiring restitution: This is a repayment offering for a sin committed against God, like holding back your tithe. A ram or lamb was brought to the tent to be sacrificed. The debt would have to be paid plus an additional twenty percent. These were the offerings outlined in the first seven chapters of Leviticus. God could forgive mistakes but intentional sins were another matter.

The New Testament
This week we saw the familiar words of institution as Jesus gives his disciples communion for the first time. Remember that meals were very important for the Jews and the connection that this new meal of remembrance first occurred during Passover is by no means a coincidence. Remember that Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience and this new covenant made in blood would ring a bell with all his readers. This would cut to the heart of any Jew, hearing about this because blood equals life. It is not in our culture to think of that. In fact when people outside of the Christian faith hear about being washed in the blood of the lamb, they get turned off from Christianity. I guess my point here is we need to watch how we word some things. To a Jewish audience, Matthew does the culturally relevant thing; when we share the message of Jesus we need to be careful not to offend or even gross out someone when talking about blood.

I want to say a few words about the Great commission that we will read later this week, and I hope not to loose you when I start talking about Greek grammar. First of all every time we translate the Bible from its original languages we loose something. The phrase “Lost in translation” is really true. At times when we translate into English we then, without thinking place certain rules and meaning based on sentence structure and word order. Unfortunately many people, myself included, have misinterpreted portions of scripture because of our cultural bias toward English. In reading the Great Commission in English it seems to be that Jesus is giving us a command (called an imperative) in the word “go”, but in the Greek this word is an adverbial participle, not an imperative. What is an adverbial participle? The action described by an adverbial participle is primarily directed toward the verb. This kind of participle is usually translated with an adverbial phrase. “While studying for his Greek final...” or “While going through the world...”. So we see in Matthew 28 an interesting grammatical sentence that if translated properly is very poor English. A very literal interpretation would be, “As you are going, disciple all the nations, by baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things...” The only imperative in the Great Commission is to disciple others—literally to make them learners. How do we do it? Well, Jesus tells us, we are to baptize and teach. Again these words are not imperatives but the natural flow of what will occur by “discipling” others. Don’t even get me started on the NIVs use of the word “obey”. What a poor translation that is. We are to observe the things of Jesus through his word and actions and they serve as a guide. They are descriptive on how we are to live not prescriptive. I could go on about this one but we don’t have time here.

One quick thing about the book of Mark. As you read look for the extensive use of the word “immediately” (or similar phrases such as “at once”, they are usually the same word in the Greek). This is a book of action. It hits the ground running and never stops. It is a good book to read as we slug through Leviticus. It will give us some balance to our readings for the next couple of weeks.

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