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Articles posted by Thomas Rickard

Following the anti-climactic entry of Jesus, who arrived at the Temple, no one was there. The Temple is one of the important themes in the following chapters. Jesus has finally arrived in Jerusalem, and the conflict continues to rise between the Pharisees and chief priests. The disciples have been told three times what will happen to Jesus (Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:33-34). The conflict has continued throughout the Gospel of Mark. We, as readers, have known the plan of the Pharisees

Right at the very beginning of the study of the Gospel of Mark, I explained that the outline of the Gospel of Mark is based upon geographical sections. The first half deals with Jesus' ministry and conflict in Galilee, while the second half (following Peter's confession) deals with Jesus' ministry and conflict in Jerusalem. Following Peter's confession, Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem. Chapter 11 begins Jesus' ministry and conflict in Jerusalem. Possibly a more correct statement would be

The contrast within these passages is quite striking. Jesus finished his teaching after meeting with the rich young ruler and said, "But many who are first will be last, and the last first" (Mark 10:31). Then Jesus tells his disciples why the Son of Man came to earth (Mark 10:32-34). Yet we are reminded, again, that the disciples just still do not get it. This passage shows the contrast to who the disciples thought they were following. Jesus talks about

The third time the charm. This is the third and final time that Jesus tells his disciples plainly what the Son of Man came to do (Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:33-34). We have made a few comments about this as we have gone through this study, but it is worth pausing in this passage to reflect more on this amazing passage. Out of the three times in Mark, Jesus tells the disciples what the Son of Man came to do. This

Cut to the heart. A few times in my life, someone has said something utterly true that then rings through my ears and feels like a dagger has been rammed through my heart.  I can think of several times when someone has said a small sentence that has significantly impacted my life. The words ring still to this day. Some have had positive effects that remind me of my hope in Christ and the delight of heaven. While others show

Children have an interesting role in society. They do not bring much value (financial) to the community. They can be seen as a burden. They need full-time care; they need to be instructed and trained. They do not pay taxes. They cannot vote or run for office. Yet, we all see the need for children because they become society at some point. Children are sometimes seen as a blessing but often seen more as a burden. This passage shows this

Divorce is not something we talk about within our culture. You can ask questions about someone's wedding, but the conversation can become awkward when you begin to ask questions about divorce. Today's passage can bring up tough questions. To some people, these questions are personal. We all know someone who has had a divorce. The United States of America has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. The divorce rate in the USA is declining but so is

Topsy Turvey means to turn something from its top to make the top the bottom and the bottom the top. The Christian worldview has this idea that flows throughout its thought. This is understandable because if what the world calls good, we call evil, or what we call evil the world calls good, then we will come to a world view of the opposite understanding. What we value is what they despise. In the next section in Mark, we see

Hijacked word: a word that once had previous means but takes on a new meaning over time because of the regular use by a particular group. Take, for example, “Pentecostal,” all Bible-believing Christians believe in the Pentecost (Acts 2). However, over time it begins to be used by those who believe in the continuation of supernatural spiritual gifts. One of these words that have been hijacked is ‘catholic.’ People assume that you belong to the Roman Catholic church when you

It has been said the three most challenging things to say are, “I am sorry,” “I need help,” and “Worcestershire Sauce.” The third one is difficult because of the syllables and pronunciation. However, the first two are not difficult due to pronunciation but because we rarely want to verbalize our weaknesses. We might speak of our weakness humorously, making light of the situation. However, to confront our weaknesses in the face is quite a daunting task. To see our failures,

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