“The Temple’s Zeal” – John 2.13-22

Last week we considered Jesus’ first prediction in Mark’s Gospel of his death and resurrection. This is the first of three such predictions in Mark’s Gospel. That was around 8.30. The other ones are around 9.30 and 10.30—to remember it more easily. And what Jesus confronts us with these predictions is the cost of saving others. And what the cost …

“Salvation Economics” – Mark 8.27-9.1

Yesterday was a great day to reflect on Jesus’ call to us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and to follow him. It is important to understand that Scripture is not merely meant to be read and understood in its original setting, but it is vital (i.e., life-giving) to know that Scripture is God’s very words to us in …

Brief Thoughts on Church Membership (altogether incomplete)

I have been reflecting on the subject of church membership for the last few weeks. This stems from planting a church and having folks join who are members of existing churches. This also stems from folks who joined our church plant and have moved their membership–both issues had to do with distance to our new location and a desire to …

“Baptized in Suffering” – 1Peter 3.18-22

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the season of Lent. Epiphany began with Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, Lent begins with Jesus’ baptism in suffering. What kind of solace does the Apostle Peter give to Christians around 64AD who were being persecuted and killed at the hands of the wicked Caesar Nero? 1Peter 3.18-22 For Christ also suffered once …