Aug 26, 2014

Those Who Did Not Desert Jesus

Mark 15:1-41
Before Christ died, Peter did the “unthinkable.” He rejected Jesus. He denied any personal association with "this man." Peter was not alone, of course, because all of his disciples deserted him, just as Jesus had predicted (14:27, 50). Well, not quite all. Yes, the twelve who had followed him most...Read more +
Aug 25, 2014

God Forsaking God?

Mark 15:1-34
As Jesus was dying on the cross, he echoed the beginning of Psalm 22, which reads: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every...Read more +
Aug 24, 2014

Trust God

Isaiah 41:10
A few weeks ago, I turned 50. As I was approaching 50, I began thinking a lot about all that has happened since I arrived at an American boarding school as a scared fifteen-year-old from Iran. What would I tell that scared and lonely fifteen year-old version of me? How...Read more +
Aug 23, 2014

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Acts 4:32-37
Growing up in Mexico, the courteous response to a compliment about a physical possession was always to offer to let the person borrow it. It sounds strange now, but “te lo presto cuando quieras” (you can borrow it whenever you want) was a common phrase I used, I heard it...Read more +
Aug 22, 2014

Jesus Takes Up His Cross

Mark 15:20
Jesus had said this would happen. For quite some time, he had predicted his suffering and death. The first time came right after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah. Jesus responded: “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes,...Read more +
Aug 21, 2014

Doing the Unthinkable

Mark 14:66-72
Only a few verses earlier in Mark 14, Jesus told his disciples that they would desert him (14:27). When Peter emphatically denied that he would do this, Jesus told him that “this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” In...Read more +
Aug 20, 2014

Jesus Answered the High Priest

Mark 14:41-65
After Jesus was arrested, he was taken to the home of the high priest in Jerusalem. There, many accused him, but Jesus remained silent. Finally, the high priest asked him directly: “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (14:61). Jesus finally spoke, saying, “I AM. And you...Read more +
Aug 19, 2014

A Time to Be Quiet and a Time to Speak

Mark 14:41-65
After Jesus was arrested, he was taken to the home of the high priest, where he was interrogated by Jewish leaders from Jerusalem. Many witnesses offered testimony against Jesus, but their stories were not sufficient to condemn him. As he was being accused, Jesus remained silent. After a while, the...Read more +
Aug 18, 2014

The Most Unexpected Prayer

Mark 14:27-42
Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is, in my opinion, the most unexpected prayer . . . ever. There is no prayer in Scripture that surprises us more than this one. And no prayer ever prayed startles us more than this one. Throughout the latter half of Mark’s Gospel,...Read more +
Aug 17, 2014

Hospitality Without Labels

Philippians 3:20-21
Recently, I was asked what I like the most about my favorite travel destinations. Without hesitation I replied, “I enjoy visiting these big cities the most because I don’t feel like a tourist.” In my favorite travel destinations, I am comfortable with the public transportation, I can blend in while...Read more +