Archive for January, 2013

Yeast

Posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2013 by Ken

Something so small that can permeate an entire loaf of bread. Beware the ungodly idea that can infect our lives or our church.

“Beware of the yeast of the Pharisee and the yeast of Herod.”

Jesus Does Everything Well

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2013 by Ken

I thought this was an interesting heading in the version of the Bible I read for Mark 7:31-37 since my older Bible calls this section “The Healing of a Deaf and Mute Man”. But then I got to 7:37 where the people said “He has done everything well! He even makes deaf people hear, and people unable to speak, talk!”

Once again, Jesus goes traveling and people find out He is around and bring their sick.

So they bring to Him a deaf man who had a speech difficulty. Since the man could not hear that Jesus was around his friends took him to Jesus. I am sure they communicated with him some way so he would come with them. Also, since he could not speak his friends spoke for him. This is another example where friends helped someone who was sick. I can’t help but think the friends were blessed too.

The friends begged Jesus to lay His hand on their friend. Instead of just healing him on the spot, Jesus took the deaf man away from the crowd privately. Why? Why not just heal the man there for everyone to see? He healed others in crowds, but this was to be done in private.

And not just healing with words or laying of hands, but a very personal healing with Jesus putting His fingers on the man’s eyes and spitting and then touching the man’s tongue. The spitting part seems gross but there may have been something culturally. Like how folks would spit in their hands before shaking to seal a deal. My bible notes that while “Jesus was capable of healing by a mere word, He presumably used his method to make clear to the deaf-mute what He was about to do.”

So touching the man’s eyes and tongue makes it clear that Jesus was going to heal the man’s hearing and speech. It could also be the personal touch of Jesus and how God wants to personal relationship with us. It isn’t from the distance but up close. It isn’t just words in a book, but Holy Spirit in us.

This isn’t the first time that Jesus healed in private.

Private means personal.
Private means focused.
Private means face to face.
Private means no one else can be credited with the miracle.

And it isn’t the first time he told them to tell no one. And each time He said tell no one, they went out and told anyone who would listen. Reverse psychology? Tell some one not to say because you knew they will say? If you told them to tell everyone, they would tell no one? Could it be that by saying don’t speak Jesus was helping folks to speak?

Crumbs for the dog

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2013 by Ken

In Mark 7:24-30, a woman who was Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, fell at Jesus’ feet and asked Him to drive out the demon in her daughter.

She kept asking Him.  Seems like when she first asked, Jesus ignored her.  So she tried again.  It doesn’t say how many times she asked, but due to her persistence Jesus finally answered.

But he didn’t answer her with a miracle.  He instead He told her to wait since she wasn’t a Jew.  He said let “the children be satisfied first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

Ouch.  Her she was, at Jesus feet asking for no more than what other’s received.  She heard of the healing and demons being driven out and here she had Jesus live and in person, but He basically rebuked her.

But she would not give up.  “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Jesus then told her because of her answer, to go for her daughter is now healed.

Seems rather harsh for Jesus to say no.  He came to heal the sick, not the well and here was a sick woman.

The prophecies were about a seed of Abraham that would be for the whole world.  Yes, God chose the Jew to be his people, but only to pass on the legacy and word to the world.  Jesus came for the whole world.  So why was he holding back from this woman?

My bible commentary suggests Jesus invited this woman to express the faith that would eventually come  to be expected of the Gentiles while reminding her that his present ministry is directed to Israel.  If Jesus was testing this woman’s faith, why not the Jews He was healing?  Could it be that Jews being Jews already demonstrated a faith so Jesus healed them?

Since Jesus is God and knows the hearts of people. He knew the Greek woman had faith.  He wanted her to express it since she was a Greek.  It could be that there were other’s around to see and Jesus wanted others to see and hear about the Gentiles.

Reboot 2.0

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2013 by Ken

Not that it was so long ago that I started this blog.

Here are thoughts about what I will be writing.
Sometimes random.
Sometimes deliberate.
Sometimes from what I read.
Sometimes from what I think.
Sometimes from what I hear.
Sometimes from what I pray is God inspired.

But they are mine. I am the one to be held accountable. My words, my actions, my thoughts.

I also want to work through some of the books of the Bible from a layman/engineer’s point of view. Some of what I have read and heard and some from some research. Having experts give their thoughts is great, but how is it read by a layman first.

Reading the book of Ezra seems so remote from what we live today but what we do see is that nothing really changes. Yea, technology changes and we have representative democracies, but humans are the same with same problems and concerns and fights and wins.

I am always after the truth. Not my opinion but the truth. I know I filter things through my experiences and thoughts and beliefs, but I always want it to be of the truth.

What defiles a person?

Posted in Christianity, Journal on January 28, 2013 by Ken

In Mark 7:15, Jesus tells everyone that “nothing that goes into a person from the outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person ware what defile him.”

Jesus made it very clear that a person is defiled by what they say and act and not based on what they eat. So many times the Jews used the Mosaic laws and traditions to point out defilement (outside appearances) while ignoring the true defilement (inside)

It doesn’t matter when in history I write this, we all are guilty of presenting to the world our clean and sinless persona all the while living in sin and hypocrisy.

I try to live my life consistently 24 x 7 whether at home, work, or church. And yet i fail.

Unwashed Hands

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2013 by Ken

Honoring God with their lips, but their hearts are far from God.

So easy to see outward appearances and the actions people take, but so much harder to see what is in people’s hearts. God sees it all.

When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about His followers and why they didn’t wash their hands before eating as per the Jewish custom, Jesus pointed to them as hypocrites. Complaining about not washing hands while invalidating God’s commands.

Jesus pointed to the commandment to honor your father and mother. The Pharisees said that whatever benefit you might have received from the child is now a gift or offering committed to the temple. Did the pharisees turn God’s commandment around to a monetary gift?

Breaking God’s commandment into a quick and easy monetary gift. Instead of the intent of God’s commandment, the pharisees devalued the commandment to something that lines the pockets of the priests. No wonder Jesus made a point of this when they complained about the disciples not washing their hands.

From Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

Corban
a Hebrew word adopted into the Greek of the New Testament and left untranslated. It occurs only once (Mark 7:11). It means a gift or offering consecrated to God. Anything over which this word was once pronounced was irrevocably dedicated to the temple. Land, however, so dedicated might be redeemed before the year of jubilee (Lev. 27:16-24). Our Lord condemns the Pharisees for their false doctrine, inasmuch as by their traditions they had destroyed the commandment which requires children to honour their father and mother, teaching them to find excuse from helping their parents by the device of pronouncing “Corban” over their goods, thus reserving them to their own selfish use.

From Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary:

Corban
an offering to God of any sort, bloody or bloodless, but particularly in fulfillment of a vow. The law laid down rules for vows, (1) affirmative; (2) negative. (Leviticus 27:1; Numbers 30:1) … Upon these rules the traditionists enlarged, and laid down that a man might interdict himself by vow, not only from using for himself, bur from giving to another or receiving from him, some particular object, whether of food or any other kind whatsoever. The thing thus interdicted was considered as corban . A person might thus exempt himself from any inconvenient obligation under plea of corban. It was practices of this sort that our Lord reprehended, (Matthew 15:5; Mark 7:11) as annulling the spirit of the law.

He wanted to pass by them

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2013 by Ken

Mark 6:47-52 is about the disciples getting in a boat without Jesus, rowing into a strong wind that battered the boat, seeing Jesus walk on water toward them, get into the boat, and the wind stops.

Mark 6:48 says “He came toward them walking on the sea and wanted to pass by them.”

Why did Jesus want to pass by them?

He told them earlier to go on ahead without Him so He could dismiss the crowd and I assume they had a meeting place already selected. Since they were planning to meet at the spot, Jesus wasn’t intending to get in the boat but pass by them?

And not just pass by them. He “wanted” to pass by them.

Did you notice that Jesus walking was faster than the boat? The boat was being battered by winds while they were rowing. So could it be that the boat was basically stalled out and not moving? How long would it take Jesus to walk to the other side?

Was Jesus besides walking on water, walking very fast?

CSB translation says “He wanted to pass by them”

NIV translation says “He was about to pass by them”

RSV translation says “He meant to pass them by”

How much is this symbolism? One blog suggested that since the feeding of the 5,000 mirrors the manna in the desert and that God passed before Moses, that Jesus was passing by the disciples to help bring home the meaning of the bread since they had not understood about the loaves.

Another blog suggests that Jesus wanted them to catch a glimpse of Him and be encouraged.