Maps of the nations around the world clearly depict the borders between them. Where is the border of the Kingdom of God? In a few places in the New Testament, God's messengers set standards for discipline of troublesome church members. These cases teach us how Jesus' defines the boundary of his own community.
Too often, the Father's children assert themselves to divide against one another. To reject the legitimacy of one another. Instead, we should look around those gathered around the Father's table to see whom the Lord has gathered there.
We are all a work in progress--God's work! This concluding section in the Gospel of Mark challenges disciples of Jesus to obey to the best of their understanding; to trust Lord Jesus (who loved them with his very life) to correct them and to help them grow in his way.
Mark's story about Jesus' resurrection ends with the primary witnesses of his death, burial, and resurrection scared speechless. Yet, when we think about it, Mark's story calls each of us to live fearlessly in the light of Jesus' authority over all things.
Jesus gave his life on the cross as the sacrifice that we needed to free us from the curse of sin and death. Thank God!
Human intuition often suspects that if we only had the right leader we could finally be secure in our hope for peace and well-being. That intuition is answered in this passage by Mark who sets a scene that says, "Behold, the King!"
Jesus was arrested and given an initial "trial" at the house of the high priest. It was a kangaroo court. They had a verdict and were searching for evidence to back it up. There was no evidence available until Jesus provided it for them with his confession: "I am" the Christ, the Son of God.
That would not be the last time that the ungodly world system would condemn a Christian for the good confession of the Christian faith. Today, we can feel the pulse of a new time of trouble for Christians in America. Marxism has suddenly emerged in a variety of forms, all with a common spirit: the destruction of American society, traditions, and values--especially the destruction of Christianity.
On trial for his life, because of his faithful service to the Father, Jesus provides an example of how we--his disciples--should respond in our own approaching crisis. He teaches us how to fight like The Lamb.
Jesus teaches all disciples a lesson about Christian devotion in light of the example of a poor widow who gave all she had to God.
A Pharisee scribe receives a favorable response from Jesus, that he is "not far from the kingdom of God." What the scribe lacks instructs all disciples in the all-important truth of the lordship of Jesus.
The crowds in Judea celebrate the coming of King Jesus, as they should. The story challenges disciples of Jesus in America to remember that Jesus is our King. He has promised - and proven - that he will provide everything we need. He is worthy of our celebration every time we gather to worship in his name.