Jul 31, 2014

Our Den of Thieves?

Mark 11:12-19
Yesterday I began reflecting on Jesus’ so-called “cleansing” of the Temple in Mark 11. I noted how Jesus explained his unexpected and unwelcome behavior by quoting two Old Testament prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah. From Jeremiah, Jesus borrowed the description of the Temple as a “den of thieves” (see Jer. 7:11)...Read more +
Jul 30, 2014

The Unexpected Jesus

Mark 11:12-19
When Jesus entered the Temple on the day after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, those who had welcomed him the day before no doubt expected something big to happen. Perhaps Jesus was going to announce the beginning of his kingship. Perhaps he was going to raise up an army to...Read more +
Jul 29, 2014


Mark 11:1-11
Throughout his ministry, Jesus had proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of God. For first-century Jews, this implied that a divinely anointed royal figure would soon expel the Romans from Judea and reestablish the independent nation of Israel. As Jesus entered Jerusalem prior to the Passover, crowds of people gathered...Read more +
Jul 28, 2014

The Jesus Prayer

Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus and his disciples journeyed near Jericho, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was about to pass his way. So he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (10:47). When people tried to get Bartimaeus to be quiet, he shouted even louder, “Jesus,...Read more +
Jul 27, 2014

From the Beginning

Genesis 2:15
The first job in human history was that of groundskeeper. It was a role many would see today as dirty and inglorious. Yet, God filled it with meaning and worth. It isn’t a huge jump to apply the truth of Adam’s Lawn Service to our spreadsheets, stressful meetings, and sleepless...Read more +
Jul 26, 2014

More Than Eighteen Months

Galatians 3:25-29
My husband once attended a work-sponsored workshop about money. “Guess what the presenter told us?” my husband asked me at home that evening. “He said, when people receive a large sum of money—an inheritance, for example—they usually spend it in eighteen months.” “Eighteen months?” I asked. “Wow. That’s crazy!” All...Read more +
Jul 25, 2014

The Serving Son of Man

Mark 10:35-45
In the verses prior to Mark 10:45, James and John had approached Jesus in order to be guaranteed positions of influence and honor in his kingdom. When the other disciples heard what the two brothers had asked, they were angry. In response, Jesus instructed them about the countercultural nature of...Read more +
Jul 24, 2014

Servant Leadership

Mark 10:35-45
James and John had come to Jesus asking to share in his glory by sitting on his right and left hand (10:37). In such positions, they would receive both honor and exceptional authority. After Jesus explained to the brothers that they really had no idea what they were asking, the...Read more +
Jul 23, 2014

Speaking Freely with Jesus

Mark 10:35-45
In the closing verses of Mark 10, James and John, two brothers who followed Jesus, don’t look so good. In Mark 10:33-34, Jesus had predicted that he, as the Son of Man, would be tortured and killed and then rise again. In the next verse, James and John approached Jesus...Read more +
Jul 22, 2014

A Surprising Return on Your Investment

Mark 10:28-34
In Mark 10:25, Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. This distressed his disciples, who wondered who could be saved. When Jesus said that everything is possible with God,...Read more +