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The power of the resurrection
Apr17

The power of the resurrection

Jesus’ resurrection has changed the world. Nothing has been the same since the disciples discovered the empty tomb and Easter happened. The empty tomb means Jesus has defeated the cosmic powers, the spiritual forces of evil that rule over this present darkness. The empty tomb means that age old barriers between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, rich and poor have been demolished. The empty tomb means that Jesus removed the sting of...

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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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