The Missing Ingredient

One would think the disciples would have understood, but alas, they seemed clueless. The scene was familiar: thousands of people, hungry bellies, a few loaves of bread and fish, and the Lord eager to transform. The ingredients were all there for something remarkable to unfold. All the ingredients but one. Read the story carefully and see if you can find […]

Values for the Disciple

Mark 7:31-37 offers a striking moment in which to grapple with some important values for every disciple of Jesus. To begin with, consider the story, as told from Mark’s perspective: Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man […]

The Gentile Puppies

We have to remember that Mark wrote his gospel to quell the deep and understandable anxiety of the Christians being persecuted by Nero in the slums of Rome. This mostly Gentile audience had to know that following Jesus was worthwhile, even in the face of the atrocities with which they were dealing. They had to know that they were important […]

The Anointed King

Just as Genesis 1 sets the tone for all of the Old Testament, so Matthew 1 sets the tone for the entire new covenant given to mankind. In Matthew 1:1 our Lord Jesus is introduced to us as the God who Saves (that is what “Jesus” means), God’s anointed one (that is what “Christ” means), the promised King (that is […]

“Out of the Heart”

Mark 7:1-23 serves as a powerful hinge between the captivating miracles embedded in Mark 6 and the outreach Jesus puts forward to the Gentiles in Mark 7:24 and following. With the miracles, one finds Jesus offering hope to people who are like sheep without shepherds. With the outreach, one finds Jesus embodying the missionary spirit of Israel for the world. […]