Christ Encounter #5: Who am I Really?

This is from a Bible Study series I wrote called Christ Encounters exploring some of the most well-known encounters with Christ in the Gospels.  Each study provides (1) initial observations/questions, (2) interpretation & exegesis, and (3) practical life application questions. 27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked…

Hope for Moody Pastors (Mark 3:3-6)

One reason I resisted being a “pastor” for so long was all the stereotypes I had in my head for what pastors are supposed to be like. My image always looked something like Mr. Rogers in a sweater and khakis. Warm, personable, emotionally steady, gentle and never, EVER moody. I don’t know where I picked…

A Puzzling Path to Glory 4 (Mark 10:45)

FROM ‘WORD STUDIES’ TO ‘THE STUDY OF THE WORD’: WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? It is often said that it is impossible to find a needle in a haystack. Yet it also could be said that if, once found, one focuses too narrowly upon the small needle so as not to lose it again, they may…

A Puzzling Path to Glory 3 (Mark 10:45)

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ISAIAH: MARK’S STRUCTURE AND JESUS’ IDENTITY Joel Marcus has shed considerable light on the OT background to Mark’s gospel, noting especially the Isaianic influences in the words and actions of Jesus. Mark uses strategic Isaianic passages to show the reader that God is finally initiating the new exodus and ushering in…

A Puzzling Path to Glory 2 (Mark 10:45)

“EITHER-OR” vs. “BOTH-AND”: HARMONIZING OLD TESTAMENT EXPECTATIONS Mark’s narrative paints a Jesus who is intentionally identifying himself with two OT figures—the Danielic Son of Man and the Isaianic Servant of YHWH; and describes his mission as the fulfillment of their drastically different destinies—the glorious triumph of the Son of Man over Israel’s enemy (“the fourth…

A Puzzling Path to Glory 1 (Mark 10:45)

Warning: This is a dry, dusty old seminary term paper…but grappling with some foundational, mind-blowing stuff worth revisiting and sharing. –JB In the introduction to his massive commentary on the second gospel, R.H. Gundry contends that “the Gospel of Mark contains…no riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma…Mark’s meaning lies on the surface. He…

God’s Economy: Give Him What You Have (Mk 6:35-44)

I recently was invited to attend another church’s leadership council meeting to present the needs of MainStreet as we move into the next phase of launching this new church. These dear “mission friends”  have embraced our little MainStreet team with a big bear hug, reaching into their pockets to support us, letting us use their…

Chained In or Out? (Mark 5:1-5)

“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained…