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Bible Q&A: Spilled blood & falling towers
Nov25

Bible Q&A: Spilled blood & falling towers

I can’t think of any saying of Jesus that seems more relevant than His words in Luke 13:1-9, a somewhat forgotten parable about tragedy and its connection to sin. On His way to Jerusalem, it was reported to Jesus that some Jews from Galilee were murdered at the temple in Jerusalem while trying to worship. The image of the spilled blood of worshippers seems so today’s newspaper. We remember the nine murdered during a prayer service at...

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Bible Q&A: Is there a sin that cannot be forgiven? (Mark 3:28-29)
Oct28

Bible Q&A: Is there a sin that cannot be forgiven? (Mark 3:28-29)

One of the most difficult statements that Jesus utters is found in Mark 3:28-29 and involves Jesus warning against blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (see also the parallel in Matt. 12:31-32). Mark narrates a series of conflict stories between Jesus and the Pharisees. The conflict began when Jesus pronounced the paralytic’s sins forgiven. The Pharisees thought to themselves, “Why does He (Jesus) speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who...

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Bible Q&A: Why Such Praise? (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)
Sep02

Bible Q&A: Why Such Praise? (Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9)

The anointing On Tuesday of Passion Week, an unnamed woman poured out a vase of very expensive ointment/perfume on Jesus’ head (see Matt. 26:6-9; Mark 14:3-5). While the anointing of someone’s head could be done with cheaper olive oil, it was a common mark of courtesy to a guest. The value of the anointment indicates this is more than a simple courtesy. In fact, the text indicates that the perfume was worth 300 denarii, nearly a...

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Bible Q&A: Render to Caesar? (Mark 12:13-17)
Jul29

Bible Q&A: Render to Caesar? (Mark 12:13-17)

The question (Mark 12:13-14) On Tuesday of the week Jesus was crucified, tensions between Jesus and the religious authorities were at an all-time high. Some Pharisees and Herodians, typically Jewish sects that could not work together, joined forces to try to trap Jesus and hopefully bring about his arrest. Taxation provided an area of inquiry that leads easily to inflamed rhetoric and enraged tempers in almost any culture. And so, in...

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Bible Q&A: Could Jesus appear in the clouds at any moment?
Apr15

Bible Q&A: Could Jesus appear in the clouds at any moment?

We sometimes want to have our cake and eat it too. On the one hand, we want to proclaim that Jesus could come again at any moment. On the other hand, we like to point to predictions/prophecy that must be fulfilled before Jesus can return. So, which is it? The place to begin is the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13:5-13). Having left the temple after a combative exchange with the religious leaders, Jesus looked back on the temple mount in all...

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