June 27, 2005

Mark 4:35-41 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

Mark 4:35-41
(June 26, 2005, Sermon Notes)

Jesus said that God’s kingdom would grow from a mustard seed into a tree that shelters the world (Mk. 4:30-32). Now Jesus demonstrates that He has the power to overcome all obstacles to that kingdom’s growth.


On the day Jesus tells the parables, He leaves the crowds on the shore to cross, with His followers, to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Those who don’t have Jesus because they want to use Him lose Him, but those who do have Him get to receive more from Him (see Mk. 4:25).

The lesson begins en route. A great wind arises and the waves batter the boat. But Jesus is asleep on a pillow — like Jonah, yet without sin.

The disciples wake Him up. “Don’t you care that we’re being destroyed?” they ask, sounding a bit like the demons who expect Jesus to destroy them (Mk. 1:24). They want Jesus to help them bail. But Jesus rebukes the wind (like the demon in Mk. 1:25) and commands the sea to be peaceful. The “great wind” becomes a “great calm.”

This story echoes several others. In the beginning, God ruled the waters, separating them and causing dry land to appear. At the Exodus, He parted the Red Sea for Israel to cross through, which Ps. 77 describes as a triumph over the waters. Several psalms describe Yahweh as the one who calms the sea (Ps. 65:7, where the sea = Gentile world; 89:9; and esp. 107:23-32).

The same God who made the world and rescued Israel is backing Jesus’ mission. Jesus has His authority. He is the new Adam with dominion over all things, the new David who rules even the Gentiles, and He has the authority to calm the raging nations and advance His kingdom.


Jesus then asks the disciples why they are so fearful and how it is that they have no faith. The problem wasn’t that they called on Him; the problem was that they did so in unbelieving fear. Jesus has sent them on a mission, but they didn’t trust Him to protect them as they carried it out.

Jesus’ sleep isn’t just a demonstration of His trust in God; it’s also a test which exposes the disciples’ lack of faith. As in the Psalms, where God appears to be sleeping (Ps. 44:23) only later to wake up and rescue His people (Ps. 78:65), Jesus sleeps and then rises to help.

That’s what He’ll do later on. When the wicked rage like the storm, He’ll sleep in death. But when He rises, He’ll calm the storm and conquer the nations. Even after that, storms will arise. But Jesus calls us to trust Him and call on Him in faith. (In mercy, He hears and rescues — as He does here — even when we call in unbelieving fear.)

The disciples don’t respond in faith even after the rebuke. The “great wind” replaced by the “great calm” fills them with “great fear” of Jesus. They’re more afraid of Him than they were of the storm, it seems. They wonder who He can be if even the wind and sea obey Him. And Mark leaves us to answer that question.

[ cialis on sale | cialis for woman | cialis diarrhea | viagra non prescription drug | viagra purchase | usa generic viagra | viagra herb alternative | viagra success stories | cialis testimonial | cialis endurance | how to get viagra no prescription | viagra tablet | canadian viagra 50mg | buy real cialis | over the counter viagra | canada viagra pharmacies scam | viagra sale | viagra purchase by phone | viagra prescription drug | viagra with no prescription | next day viagra delivery | cost of cialis | viagra generic | female viagra | pfizer viagra 50mg | can teens take viagra | adverse side effects of viagra | viagra sales | cialis online without prescription | viagra prescription for woman | cheap pill viagra | safe for females to use viagra | imitation viagra | pfizer viagra cheap | which is better viagra or cialis | viagra femele | buying generic cialis | us discount viagra overnight delivery | cialis 30 mg | best way to take cialis | viagra gay | viagra online store | professional cialis | one day delivery cialis | cialisis in canada | buy viagra in great britain | buy pfizer viagra | viagra purchase | cost of viagra | cialis for women | viagra prescription for woman | canadian healthcare viagra sales | similar cialis | real viagra online ]

Posted by John Barach @ 12:26 pm | Discuss (0)
June 25, 2005

First Anniversary

Category: Family :: Permalink

A year ago today, I married an amazing woman and she has grown in beauty and glory since then. Happy first anniversary, Moriah! Your worth is far above rubies and my heart safely trusts you. Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all (Prov. 31:10, 29).

[ female ingestion of viagra | buy online order viagra | link online suggest viagra | viagra contraindications | cialis alternatives | buy viagra in great britain | cialis profesional | cialis 30 mg | viagra substitute | viagra levitra | cialis vs levitra | canada pharmacy viagra pfizer | pfizer viagra 50mg | sildenafil citrate omnigen | sildenafil citrate | viagra 50 mg tablets | viagra online pharmacy usa | buy cheap viagra | cialis | prescription cialis | buy viagra pills | how to buy viagra | buy cialis | alternate to viagra | female viagra response | buying cialis on line | pfizer soft viagra | poker viagra | how much does viagra cost | cialis on line pricing in canada | cheap quality viagra | viagra dosage | veega | 50 mg viagra | cialis without prescription | low cost viagra | 5 mg original brand cialis | viagra tablet weight | viagra money order | cialis buy overnight | cialis headaches | herbal alternative to viagra | viagra online consultation | canada pharmacy viagra pfizer | herbal viagra reviews | next day delivery cialis | generic viagra lowest prices | cheap generic overnight viagra | viagra online kaufen | viagra propranolol | viagra non prescription | free viagra | buy viagra on the internet | buy cialis professional ]

Posted by John Barach @ 11:10 pm | Discuss (0)

Irony: Political Theology and Social Theory

Category: Theology - Political :: Permalink

After several failed attempts and false starts, followed by a long hiatus when I didn’t read anything heavy at all, I’ve started reading John Milbank’s Theology and Social Theory again. My repeated readings of the opening chapters haven’t been wasted, however: each time I read this stuff I get some more out of it.

This time through the Introduction, I was struck (not for the first time) by the ironic shift which Milbank describes in both contemporary political theology and modern social theory.

Contemporary political theologians, in part because they don’t fully subscribe to the faith once delivered anymore but also because they want to be able to cooperate with non-Christians in society, have tended to affirm the “scientific” and “humanistic” approaches of sociology, letting sociology define the problems and suggest the remedies and leaving “religion” to the side.

Meanwhile, modern social theory, under the influence of Nietzsche, has come to believe that there is no neutrality and that every view presupposes a “metanarrative” which is religious or mythical in nature. Indeed, Nietzsche’s own suspicion, Milbank notes, “embodies an ontology of power and conflict which is simply another mythos, a kind of re-invented paganism” (p. 2).

And here’s the irony:

An extraordinary contrast therefore emerges between political theology on the one hand, and postmodern and post-Nietzschean social theory on the other. Theology accepts secularization and the autonomy of secular reason; social theory increasingly finds secularization paradoxical, and implies that the mythic-religious can never be left behind. Political theology is intellectually atheistic; post-Nietzschean social theory suggests the practical inescapability of worship (p. 3).

All of this, by the way, sounds at times as if Milbank is channelling Van Til.

[ where did viagra come from | buy viagra woman | cialis testimonial | buy viagra prescription online | cialis low price | which is better viagra or cialis | statistics on viagra | levitra vs viagra | viagra from india | buy viagra safely | canadian viagra 50mg | viagra in ireland | cialis neutropenia leukopenia | who makes viagra | generic name for viagra | 50 mg cialis dose | viagra price list | canada cheap viagra | viagra china | buy real viagra | viagra discount | discount phentermine viagra | when will viagra be generic | price cialis | buy cialis professional | cialis no rx | buying viagra without perscription | buy real cialis | viagra information | 100mg viagra | buy viagra no prescription | get viagra | viagra jokes | cialis order | effect of cialis on women | real cialis | heart attack viagra | viagra online pharmacy usa | cialis generic | viagra alternative | drink alcohol with viagra | viagra online kaufen | original viagra | viagra doses | generic viagra uk supplies | keeping a hardon | spain female viagra | online doctor viagra | discount priced viagra | mexico pharmacy generic viagra | cheapest prices for viagra | canada viagra generic | alternative to viagra | viagra clone ]

Posted by John Barach @ 1:48 pm | Discuss (0)
June 23, 2005


Category: Uncategorized :: Permalink

I’m pleased to be able to welcome one of my long-time friends, Glenda Mathes to the blogging world. I met Glenda when I was interning at First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa, where she was the church secretary. She is an award-winning Iowa poet and now works as a freelance journalist.

[ viagra china | natural viagra | viagra side effects | cialis and diarrhea | viagra canada generic | canadian pharmacy viagra | what color is viagra | cialis online canada | discount viagra sales online | cheap viagra | viagra store in canada | counterfeit viagra | generic ogden viagra | buying cialis online | buy cialis once daily | viagra order canada | canada meds viagra | viagra st | cialis sales | viagra 6 free samples | how much is viagra from canada | vega viagra | non prescription viagra canada | viagra overnight | viagra suppliers | viagra injectable | generic cialis soft tabs | cost of cialis | sildenafil citrate voltammetry | can viagra be used by women | viagra best buy | order viagra online | sildenafil oral jelly | viagra available in india | cheepest cialis | viagra cialis cheap | viagra pfizer online | viagra non prescription drug | free consultation viagra | buy cheap viagra | viagra discount | cheap viagra online | free trial viagra | best natural viagra | usa cialis | cialis alternatives no prescription | viagra description | effects alcohol viagra | cialis soft tablets | price cialis | cialis for sale | gerchu.phpbbx.de viagra | where to buy cialis | sildenafil oral jelly ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:31 pm | Discuss (0)
June 13, 2005

It’s A Girl!

Category: Family :: Permalink

Announcing the arrival of our daughter, Aletheia Rose Barach.

She was born on Saturday, June 11, 2005 at 9:28AM, weighing 8lbs 3oz and 20″ long. Aletheia and Mom are both doing well and are happy to be home. Moriah will be posting pictures shortly.

We’re very thankful to the Lord for this great blessing. Rejoice with us!

[ cialis buy overnight | lowest viagra price | viagra order | herbal alternative to viagra | suppliers of viagra in uk | viagra and alcohol | names of herbal viagra | buy pfizer viagra online | generic pack viagra | generic viagra made in india | brand drug generic name viagra | next day delivery of cialis | cheap viagra uk | best price viagra | viagra vs cialis | cialis india pharmacy | viagra through canada | viagra buy in uk online | buy viagra on the internet | cialis blood thinner | cialis canadian | viagra purchase | cialis daily | viagra clones | cialis professional no prescription | cialis alternative | wholesale viagra | alternative viagra drug | popularity of viagra | cheapest viagra in the world | get viagra | viagra soft tabs 100 mg | viagra online pharmacy | does generic viagra work | sildenafil citrate 100mg plus | generic cialis | canada cheap viagra | cheep viagra | ladies viagra | viagra gay | buying cialis soft tabs 100 mg | pharmacie canadian viagra | buy viagra low cost | cheap pill viagra | viagra for woman | viagra generic | indian viagra | viagra tablets | cream female viagra vigorelle | buy and purchase viagra online | generic viagra canadian | buying viagra | indian viagra | viagra label ]

Posted by John Barach @ 6:47 pm | Discuss (0)
June 9, 2005

Mustard Seed (Mark 4:31)

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

In His parable about the mustard seed (Mark 4:31-32), Jesus uses the language of Daniel 4 and Ezekiel 17 (and especially 17:22-23) to describe the amazing growth of the kingdom. It will become so large that the birds will seek shade in its branches.

But in Ezekiel 17, what grows into a huge tree is a cedar branch, whereas in Jesus’ parable, however, what grows is a mustard seed. It appears that Jesus is using slightly different imagery, but I wonder why. He doesn’t change the picture of what the kingdom will look like in the end (a huge plant, sheltering the birds) but He does use a different image for the beginning, an image that emphasizes the smallness and apparent insignificance of the starting point.

I’m not persuaded that Jesus is being ironic by depicting the kingdom, as Donahue and Harrington suggest, “not as a lofty cedar but as a mustard bush.” I certainly don’t think that Jesus’ imagery is meant to replace the imagery of Ezekiel 17, as if that earlier imagery was wrong. But perhaps Jesus is correcting some notions of what the kingdom would be like. If Israel thought that being a cedar tree meant being exactly like Babylon (Dan. 4) or the other nations of the world, then hearing the kingdom compared to a gigantic mustard bush might have been shocking.

Of course, the image that Jesus uses, the mustard seed, emphasizes the smallness of the beginning. Perhaps it was possible that when Israel heard the promise in Ezekiel 17, she prided herself on still being a cedar branch and so Jesus uses a different image to correct that pride. The point in Ezekiel’s parable is the same as that of Jesus: the essential nobility and kingdom-worthiness of Israel (“We’re a cedar tree!”) but the smallness and apparently unpromising character of the beginning.

Furthermore, that mustard seed is thrown down on the ground and then rises again. And that also corrects a false image of the kingdom. Ezekiel’s parable simply speaks of a return from exile, of a branch being transplanted into the soil of the Promised Land again. Jesus’ parable speaks of a seed being put in the ground and rising. The kingdom doesn’t simply start with a world conquest. It grows into a world empire because it starts with death and resurrection.

[ add buy online url viagra | soft gel viagra | buying viagra without perscription | cialis sales | how you get pfizer viagra | generic viagra online | name brand cialis | viagra sale buy | buy viagra on the internet | how you get pfizer viagra | x cite herbal viagra for woman | cialis once daily | herbal risk viagra | mexico pharmacy generic viagra | cialis and ketoconazole | viagra wholesalers | cialis and levitra | cialis and diarrhea | viagra prices | bad side effects of viagra | order cheap viagra | viagra dosage | sildenafil citrate omnigen | original use of viagra | cialis professional 20 mg | drug sample viagra | viagra order canada | viagra online uk | wholesale generic viagra in canada | can young men take viagra | buy viagra now | who makes viagra | get viagra | names of herbal viagra | viagra for woman | cialis soft canada | overseas viagra | viagra tablets | female viagra cream | viagra store in canada | cialis from mexico | levitra versus cialis | cialis buy overnight | levitra viagra | viagra report | discount viagra sales online | viagra oral gel | where can i buy illegal viagra | archive blog buy inurl viagra | sildenafil citrate tablets | cialis without prescription | viagra sale | cheap viagra 50mg | buy viagra on line ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:40 pm | Discuss (0)
June 8, 2005

“Unexplained” Parables

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

At the end of Mark 3, Jesus identifies two categories, insiders and outsiders. Those who are seated around Him are the insiders, the true members of His family. But those who do not come to Him and listen to Him are the outsiders, in spite of their physical relationship to Him. Mary and Jesus’ brothers are left outside while tax gatherers and others are inside.

That distinction is emphasized when Jesus starts telling parables. When His followers, with the twelve disciples, ask about the parables, Jesus tells them that they have been given to know the mystery of God’s kingdom, but “to those who are outside, all things come in parables.” The insiders get the knowledge; the outsiders get everything in parables. Jesus then goes on to explain the parable of the soil to His followers.

At the end of the parable section in Mark 4, Mark tells us again that Jesus did not speak to the crowds without using parables, but that He explained everything to His disciples. That is what we have already seen in this chapter: the outsiders got only the parable of the soil, but the insiders get the explanation, too.

As readers of this Gospel, we get the explanation of the parable of the soils, which suggests that we are being treated as insiders. But what about the other explanations? It sounds as if Jesus also explained His other parables — the parable of the seed’s growth (4:26-29), for instance, and the parable of the mustard seed (4:30-32) — but we don’t get to hear the explanation of those parables.

Why not? My guess is that Mark wants us to grow in wisdom so that we are able to figure these parables out on our own. And my further guess is that Mark wants us to realize that the explanation of these parables depends, not only on our knowledge of God’s previous revelation (which we call the Old Testament) but also on the rest of the story he’s telling, namely, the Gospel of Mark itself.

If we read the Gospel all the way to the end, we should realize, for instance, what it means for the kingdom to start like a seed being thrown down on the ground and then to rise in a new and more glorious form.

We should also realize what it means for the kingdom not to come all at once, for Israel not to be ready for the harvest but to need planting, and for there to be a period of slow growth before the sower sends out the sickle to reap the harvest. In fact, Mark probably assumes that we’ve read Matthew and we know that Jesus taught His disciples to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out reapers (Matt. 9:37-38; cf. Luke 10:2).

The parables appear to be left unexplained, but Mark hasn’t left us in the position of outsiders who receive only parables. He also hasn’t simply handed everything to us so that we no longer need to struggle and grow. Rather, he treats us as insiders and gives us an explanation, but the explanation he gives is the rest of the story.

[ viagra effects on women | lowest viagra price | viagra samples | buy online order viagra | viagra online pharmacy | buy viagra prescription online | viagra sale | cialisis in canada | mexican viagra | recreational viagra | buy href lvivhost.com viagra | cheapest cialis overnight delivery | canada online pharmacy viagra | cialis compare levitra viagra | uk pharmacies cheap viagra | buy real viagra online | how to buy cialis in canada | performance anxiety viagra | discount generic viagra | how to make viagra | viagra from india | alternative to viagra | viagra gay | viagra tablets | buy viagra uk | real cialis online | sildenafil citrate voltammetry | viagra substitute | canadian generic cialis | viagra testimonials | viagra in philippines | directions for viagra use | buying viagra in the us | homemade viagra | how much is viagra from canada | generic drug for viagra | buying generic cialis mexico rx | uk deals cheap viagra | discount generic viagra | cialis | types of viagra | buy levitra viagra | viagra selling points in pakistan | what is viagra made of | female version of viagra | adverse side effects of viagra | cheap viagra order online | viagra capsules | buy viagra cheap | age of viagra users | purchase viagra | price check 50mg viagra | homemade viagra | cialis endurance ]

Posted by John Barach @ 3:44 pm | Discuss (0)
June 7, 2005

The Lamp on the Lampstand

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

In Mark 4:21, Jesus tells the parable of the lamp: “The lamp does not come to be put under a basket or under a bed, does it? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? Because something is not hidden which will not be revealed nor does anything become hidden except that it might be manifest.”

Jesus appears to be talking about His own ministry: His coming is the coming of “the lamp,” which reveals the things that have been hidden and kept secret. Some things are hidden and secret now, Jesus is saying, and I take Him to be using what is sometimes called the divine passive: God hid these things and kept them secret. But they are hidden and secret for a time only so that later on they might be revealed. And Jesus is the light through whom these things are brought to light.

But when Jesus identifies Himself as “the lamp,” I wonder if He isn’t alluding to the menorah, the lampstand in the Holy Place, which is spoken of as “the lamp” frequently (cf. the LXX of Ex. 25:37 [2x]; 27:20; 30:8 [2x]; 37:19, 23; 39:37; 40:4, 25; Lev. 24:2, 4; Num. 4:9; 8:2 [2x], 3; 1 Sam. 3:3; 1 K 7:49; 1 Chr. 28:15; 2 Chr. 20, 21; 13:11; 2 Chr. 29:7; Zech. 4:2 [2x]).

In the Old Covenant, as Peter Leithart points out, the lamp was under a basket, namely, the tabernacle or the Temple itself. The light shone only on the Holy Place; it didn’t shine out into Israel and the rest of the world. God had hidden that light, but Jesus comes as the light. In and through Him, the light which once was hidden will shine out to the world, revealing what God had always purposed the mystery that was hidden and kept secret in the Old Covenant.

Jesus is also, I think, speaking about His own ministry. Jesus is the light, but He’s keeping His light under a basket for a while. He isn’t allowing demons to speak about Him. He is using parables instead of teaching in an open and straightforward way. For now, He’s David hiding from Saul and that necessitates some degree of secrecy. But He assures His disciples that one day all that was kept secret will be made plain. And so for now, they’re going to have to pay careful attention to what He says.

[ is viagra dangerous | 50 mg cialis | viagra free trial pack | online viagra | viagra soft tabs | viagra mail order uk | buy cheap online viagra viagra | viagra good morning | buying viagra in canada | viagra how it works | viagra cost | cialis and ketoconazole | viagra buy in uk online | viagra canadian scam | viagra on line order | viagra wholesalers | what is viagra used for | viagra cost | viagra canadian | pfizer viagra canada | viagra use | viagra en gel | cialis okay for women | cialis iop | female male viagra | buy real viagra online | adverse side effects of viagra | buy kazazz shopping viagra | mexico pharmacy cialis | young men taking viagra | adviser finance order viagra | cost of viagra | buying cialis | h h order script viagra | uk pharmacies cheap viagra | viagra discount | generic viagra soft tabs | generic pack viagra | womens viagra | canadian viagra | cialis sales | free viagra | viagra | viagra alternative and woman | generic viagra in canada | statistics on viagra | viagra testimonials | viagra suppliers in the uk | cialis canadian | cheap link suggest viagra | viagra retail discount | female viagra pills | viagra alternative and woman | book buy guest sign viagra ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:46 pm | Discuss (0)
June 6, 2005

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

Category: Movies :: Permalink

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

The other night, Moriah and I watched Thirteen Conversations About One Thing. It’s a thoughtful film, well written, nicely directed, and well worth your time. Moriah and I found ourselves discussing it several times over the next few days.

[ viagra prescriptions | price of cialis in canada | real viagra without prescription | discount viagra online | herbal alternative viagra | viagra usage | viagra online kaufen | herbal alternative to cialis | buying viagra online cheap us | viagra scotland | super viagra | original viagra | how much is cialis in canada | cialis for sale | what is cialis professional | is pfizer viagra available in india | cialis professional no prescription | us discount viagra overnight delivery | buy online pharmacy viagra | cialis soft pills | discount viagra | cheap cialis levitracom viagra | viagra young men | alternative viagra external | spain female viagra | cialis usa | viagra dosage | buy cheap viagra in uk | viagra wholesalers | cialis next day delivery | canadian pharmacy viagra | can i get viagra in mexico | h h order script viagra | original use of viagra | online doctor viagra | viagra generic | generic drug for viagra | cialis for less 20 mg | cialis at real low prices | how to get cialis in canada | viagra history | viagra plant | archive blog buy inurl viagra | viagra by online | adverse side effects of viagra | viagra prescription for woman | generic viagra canada | imitation viagra | online pharmacy cialis | viagra for women | sildenafil plant | mexico pharmacy cialis | price cialis | sildenafil oral jelly ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:49 pm | Discuss (0)
June 5, 2005

Mark 4:21-34 Sermon Notes

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

Mark 4:21-34
(June 5, 2005, Sermon Notes)

Jesus preached that God’s kingdom was near and that Israel had to repent and trust Him. When opposition arose, Jesus began to teach in parables, stories that often subverted Israel’s expectations of the kingdom.


In the parables of the light and the baskets, Jesus may still be speaking privately to His followers (4:21, 24: “to them”).

Jesus says that “the lamp comes” to be put, not under a basket or bed, but on the lampstand because “nothing has been hidden that won’t be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret except that it might be manifest. Some things are hidden for a while, but only so that later they may be revealed. So the lamp too can’t stay hidden but must be put on the stand.

This parable might apply to the whole Old Covenant. Things were hidden — the lamp itself was under a basket (the tabernacle) — but now, in Jesus, the light is shining and God’s hidden plans are being revealed.

It also applies to Jesus’ ministry. Jesus acts and speaks in a mysterious way, because for now He’s like David hiding from Saul, but one day everything will be plain. And then the disciples will have to make sure that Jesus’ light shines out and isn’t hidden any longer.

To do that, we must listen. Jesus’ next parable is about baskets: the basket you use is the basket that God will use in giving to you. Those who listen to Jesus in faith will keep receiving more and more. Those who listen superficially get little and will eventually lose all the blessings they do have.


In the next two parables, Jesus talks to the crowd about seed again. A sower (probably Jesus) scatters seed and while he sleeps and rises the seed does, too, growing up mysteriously “by itself” until the harvest.

The kingdom doesn’t come all at once. Israel herself isn’t ready for harvest. But seed is being planted and is growing up. Jesus will sleep and rise and so will His followers before the harvest comes. But it’s coming!

Jesus then invites the crowd to join Him in adopting the right image of the kingdom: “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God?” The proper image is this: the kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed thrown on the ground and then growing into a huge bush that gives shade to birds.

The last half of that image is a familiar description of world empires and emperors (Dan. 4:10ff.; Ezek. 17:1-10, 22-24), but the first part was shocking. The kingdom would start as a tiny seed thrown on the ground. It would start, that is, with Jesus, like David hiding from Saul, and then dying. But from that seed comes a kingdom that gives shelter to the world.

The parables demand a choice. Only those inside hear the explanation and only those who submit to the king come inside. But all who measure with big baskets receive the kingdom and grow into a rich harvest.

[ viagra price | is viagra legal | viagra free trial pack | female viagra alternative | counterfeit viagra | zip viagra | free sample offers in canada | buy viagra uk | cialis tablets foreign | cialis levitra viagra vs | who invented viagra | cheap viagra | buy real viagra online | viagra online stores | veega | viagra china | cialis 20 mg | generic cialis next day delivery | cialis philippines | viagra cialis | cheapest viagra online | cheapest online viagra | ingredients of viagra | cialis no rx | cheapest prices for viagra | canada generic viagra | koluba.up2.co.il order viagra | what if i take too much viagra | 50 mg viagra | map of france with cialis | cialis low price | cheap inurl viagra viagra | cialis and levitra | buy viagra now online | buy generic cialis | get cialis online | viagra dosages | professional cialis | soft gel viagra tablets | viagra tablets sale | viagra prescription | what is cialis | viagra women | brand viagra over the net | get online viagra | stores that sell viagra | brand drug generic name viagra | wholesale viagra | derph generic tablet viagra | female ingestion viagra | viagra in canada | cialis strenght mg | cialis prices | generic name for viagra ]

Posted by John Barach @ 9:45 am | Discuss (0)
June 2, 2005

“Cares of This Age” (Mark 4:19)

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

In Mark 4:19, Jesus identifies the thorns that can choke the seed as “the concerns of this age, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things.” That first phrase is often translated “the cares of this world” (e.g,. NKJV), and is then understood to refer to various earthly concerns.

And it’s true that our various concerns as we live in this world can become thorns that choke the word. A passion for sports can keep you out of church on Sunday. Love for a family member can prompt you to leave the church when that ungodly family member is put under church discipline. Work can take over your life so that your big concern is getting ahead and not serving the Lord.

All of those things are true and I believe they are valid applications of Jesus’ warning in Mark 4. But I wonder if those things are the primary things Jesus has in mind. Jesus doesn’t speak here about the concerns of “earthly life” but of the cares or concerns of “this age.”

I suspect that phrase refers to the age of the Old Covenant. Old Covenant concerns can become a thorn that chokes the word, that keeps Jesus’ message from bearing fruit.

What are some of those Old Covenant concerns?

The land, for one. Israel is now back in the Promised Land and is passionately concerned about the land. But following Jesus will lead to a situation in which the land doesn’t matter anymore. Jesus even tells a rich man to sell his possessions, which, I suspect, would include the land that had been in his family for centuries. But in the New Covenant there would be no “Holy Land,” no inherited lots which had to remain in the family. And those who wanted to cling to the land — and especially those who resented the Roman presence in Israel as a threat to their Old Covenant inheritance — could allow that concern to keep them from following Jesus. The good news that the kingdom is here sounds great until one realizes that it doesn’t mean the elimination of the Roman threat and the restoration of your piece of turf.

The temple is another Old Covenant concern. In the Old Covenant, it was a valid concern. But zeal for the temple could lead to rejection of Jesus. If Jesus is seen as a threat to the temple, then away with Jesus! Concern for the temple can be a thorn that chokes the word.

In fact, all of the riches that Israel was enjoying in the Promised Land at this particular time could be thorns. If Israel began to believe that those riches were a sign that God was blessing her and that therefore she had no need to repent, then those riches become “deceitful.” They are misleading people, keeping them from doing what God wants them to do. Those who listen to the lies these riches tell let them choke the word.

What about “desires for other things”? I’m not sure. Perhaps it could refer to the desires for the things that the Gentiles have. Perhaps it’s just a more general phrase, to indicate that Jesus’ warning doesn’t concern only the “cares of this age” or “the deceitfulness of riches,” but encompasses any of our desires for things other than the word. Thus, it would lead to the ordinary applications mentioned above: Jesus and His Word must take precedence over all the other concerns of our lives.

[ viagra propranolol | name brand cialis | pfizer viagra 50 mg online | viagra chinese medicine | one day delivery cialis | age of viagra users | viagra from canada | cialis brand name | online order url viagra | levitra vs viagra | buy viagra low cost | viagra overnite | viagra uit india | get viagra fast | purchase cialis | how long does viagra last | cialis fast delivery usa | viagra porn | viagra young men | canadian pharmacy viagra legal | buy inurl viagra viagra | getting cialis from canada | price of cialis in canada | cialis for sale | viagra without prescription | viagra for woman | is viagra legal | viagra alternative and woman | female herbal viagra | how to buy viagra | viagra online sales | buy cheap generic viagra | generic viagra uk supplies | how to get viagra | recreational viagra use | viagra online 50mgs | viagra buy viagra | effect of cialis on women | what does viagra look like | counterfeit viagra | viagra aus usa | cialis profesional | viagra premature | viagra young men | viagra 100 mg | viagra available in india | cheapest viagra | cheap viagra online | cialis alternatives no prescription | counterfeit viagra | viagra 6 free samples | buy generic cialis | canadian generic viagra online | brand viagra over the net ]

Posted by John Barach @ 12:25 pm | Discuss (0)
June 1, 2005

Non-Static Soil (Mark 4)

Category: Bible - NT - Mark :: Permalink

In his lectures on the theology of Mark’s Gospel, Jeff Meyers points out that the parable of the soils does not indicate that a person can be only one sort of soil his whole life long. Rather, you can be one sort of soil at one time and another at another.

The evidence is found in the text of Mark’s Gospel. As I mentioned in my sermon notes a couple of days ago, Peter has been receiving Jesus’ word but when Jesus begins to talk about His suffering and death Peter suddenly acts as if he’s the path. The word doesn’t sink in. Satan snatches it away. In fact, Jesus even refers to Peter as “Satan,” perhaps because Peter, like Satan, is trying to snatch the seed away from others as well.

Or consider what happens with all the disciples in the end. Though they all received Jesus’ word gladly in many ways, when persecution arose — when Jesus was arrested and they all feared for their lives — they all abandoned Jesus. Jesus knew they would. In Mark 14:27, He said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me this night.” That word “stumble” is the same word Jesus uses when He explains the parable in Mark 4: those who are rocky soil “stumble” when persecution arises (4:17). That’s what all the disciples did, which implies that at this point all the disciples were behaving as rocky soil.

But Jesus then restored His disciples (though not Judas, whose growth was choked out by the thorns in his life, 4:18-19) so that they bore fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred. And every believer can be confident that, even though he falls in various ways and responds sometimes as a wrong sort of soil, God will make him and preserve him as good soil so that he bears a rich crop for God.

But because the parable is not describing four unchangeable situations, four static soils, but rather describes four responses of which we, as believers, are still capable, it ought to warn all of us to receive the word properly, to keep responding in faith, to hang on to the word, to be good soil so that we do bear fruit.

[ cialis express delivery | counterfeit viagra | buy viagra line | cheap viagra online | viagra through canada | cost of viagra | uses of viagra | long term effects of viagra | low price cialis | mexican viagra | cost of viagra | viagra for women | cialis no prescription | sildenafil citrate soft tabs | soft viagra | prescription viagra | generic viagra | viagra mail order uk | viagra stories | no prescription viagra | viagra order canada | when did viagra come out | how much is viagra | cialis canadian | buy viagra line | buy discount viagra | viagra by online | cheapest cialis overnight delivery | female pharmaceutical viagra | brand viagra without prescription buy | viagra dosage | cialis low price | herbal viagra cartridge | order viagra 1 | brand viagra | purchase viagra online | generic drug for viagra | viagra wholesalers | free viagra in the uk | directions for viagra use | viagra next day | brand viagra | how can i make homemade viagra | buy inurl viagra viagra | gnc viagra | internet viagra pharmacy | best price viagra | buy viagra pills | viagra line | cialis pharmacy generic | buy cialis fedex shipping | buy viagra low cost | viagra premature | herbal viagra uk ]

Posted by John Barach @ 12:21 pm | Discuss (0)