Author Archives: joshkilsch

Mark 10:1-16

Tomorrow 10 AM… Verse by verse we go through the Gospel According to Mark.

Not necessarily an easy text to walk through. Mark 10:1-16. (Warning: DIVORCE TALK)

Once again CONTEXT is crucial!

Some key thoughts we must take into this text are:

1. Mark 3:6 (Jesus has a target on his back).

2. Mark 10:2 (Jesus is being tested by those who want to test/trick Him). This isn’t a married couple who came to ask Jesus for marriage advice!

3. Ideas and views of Marriage/Divorce are different in different periods (Especially in Modernity).

4. The reoccurring point we must also make is that Jesus’ teaching methods include hyperbole and parable. And “to those on the outside Jesus spoke in parables (Mark 4:10-12).

We saw what happened to JTB (John the Baptizer) in Mark 6 (decapitated at Herod’s political/most-likely-sensual-shindig) when JTB called out Herod’s marriage situation (6:18).

Interesting comments for the interested by NT scholar Craig Evans:

“the question of divorce had become a politically hot topic. Not only did Herodias desert and (presumably) divorce her husband (probably through the Roman courts), but Herod Antipas divorced his wife, the daughter of Aretas the king of the Nabateans, in order to marry Herodias. (Josephus tells us that when the daughter of Aretas caught wind of Herod’s plan, she fled to her father.) This marital affair created a political crisis, which finally resulted in war between Galilee and the Nabatea. Had it not been for Roman intervention, Antipas likely would have lost his kingdom. In such a dangerous situation as this, it is understandable why the Galilean tetrach could not tolerate John’s criticism and his popularity with the masses. Ultimately John’s criticism of Herod Antipas’s divorce and remarriage cost the baptizer his life”

To just get topical on a Christian hot topic like divorce from this passage runs some risks of hurting people who have been the victims of marital relationship gone bad in the 20th and 21st Century.

This text in context is what we will attempt.

Too much you say????!!!! Hahahahaha

Nope… just important if one wants to engage the text ok ok…✌️

First Christian Salina @ 2727 E Crawford 10am

Church/Mark Update

The season of Thanksgiving and Christmas is here. I am excited that we are going to be having the light display up for our church and community to enjoy. The good news is that God is not done with First Christian of Salina! New faces are joining us each week, and some are returning to probably become a regular part of our weekly worship gathering!

Much to be thankful to God for in this season of the year and in this season of our church journey. Our study in Mark’s Gospel has taken a turn toward the second half of the book. As mentioned on Sunday morning, Jesus and his disciples are “on the way” toward Jerusalem. We continue to see that Jesus is more than a prophet and more than just the promised Messiah. The disciples seem to have break through moments of clarity and insight into Jesus, but they struggle of Jesus’ plain language of His soon to be crucifixion and resurrection. We as the reader learn that Jerusalem is where the unthinkable will take place by crucifying Jesus-the-Godman. The disciples are still learning their own future is “on the way” too. This was case for John the Baptist and will be the case for those who decide to follow Jesus. They have been instructed that they will have to pick up their cross. We as the reader/disciples do not get a pass on the cross journey either. 

Our study reminds us that we must have total dependance on God for our lives. Through prayer and faithful trusting we follow the One who not only leads the way but also is the Way. May Christ be fully formed in each of us this season. May we each be reminded the love that God gave us in Jesus Christ. May we be agents of this love and mercy to each person we come in contact with.

It might seem strange to talk about scandalous events of Jerusalem in the season we celebrate the miraculous events of Bethlehem, but this is where each of the Gospels move. 

The good news that a savior is born is the same good news that a savior died for sin and that same good news is that savior Jesus raised back to life!

By way of analogy: Maybe some kids will get presents this year that they didn’t deserve…

In Christ we sure did!

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

 –Romans 5:8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Merry Christmas

-Pastor Josh

Mark Update

I hope everyone is enjoying the Fall season. I am not a fan of the cold weather, but I do like the colorful trees. It is also the season for hot coco, apple cider, and pumpkin spice! See… there is always something to be thankful for!

Anyways, I am happy to report that we are almost halfway through the Gospel according to Mark. We are continuing to see the Jesus that Mark presents. The God who stepped into time and space, lived in a human body and moved in and among real people like you and I. We are encountering a God who stepped into a particular point in time, into a specific culture, and with a radical mission to turn people’s hearts and religious understandings toward the truth that God wants to save broken humanity.

Jesus’ disciples are on a faith journey that they do not fully grasp (which they won’t till after Jesus’ resurrection… and even then, it is foggy for them!). The main take away as we walk through Mark’s material is that God has shown up in Jesus. Jesus is revealed as the One who calms the storms, walks on water (many Old Testament images of God’s control over nature), miraculously feeds 5000 Jewish men with a low inventory of bread (representing Moses and the manna God provided the Israelites in Exodus), Jesus crosses assumed purity lines by not making His disciples wash their hands according to manmade rules/traditions (since the disciples would have been possibly defiled by being in the market place with Gentiles!?!). Jesus further crosses customs by talking to a Gentile woman who boldly makes the case for God’s grace to flow through Jesus to heal her daughter. Things are not as they seem with Jesus, and therefore, things are not always as they seem with God from our limited/sometimes skewed/ human vantage point.

God cares about our internal world. What comes out of the sinful human heart (or what can come out) is selfishness, greed, and violence. This was not the creation intention. God-shown-up-Jesus in a real time and culture shows us that we need a God/Human Savior. The disciples are literally being trained in Christ-likeness, but they do not seem to grasp who their rabbi/teacher is. We must stay on this journey with Mark to unfold the rest of who Mark is presenting to us. We are encountering the revelation of God to humanity in Jesus Christ. We are constantly confronted with a Jesus… with a God that makes us think twice about our long-held beliefs and our long-held unbelief(s). The Gospel begs the reader/hearer to respond to the person and message of Jesus. Will we rejoice or reject the One we encounter along the way? I encourage you to continue to read Mark in your Bibles and try to make it to our Sunday Morning gatherings. May you encounter this God of mercy as we journey together through the Biblical text.

Peace to each of you,

Pastor Josh.

Update On Mark

Wow! It has been a great several weeks of our study through the Gospel of Mark. A couple of highlights/thoughts have been that God has shown up! God is on the loose in creation in the person of Jesus. Jesus is Israel’s long-awaited Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament. The interesting thing is that Jesus is not the kind of Messiah that many (including the religious establishment) had been waiting on. Rather than conquering through an “iron fist” or with armies and war horses, God-shown-up-in-Jesus displays power in a different way.

We see through Jesus’ launch of His ministry that evil forces are subdued, the sick are made well, sins are forgiven, and the natural realm obeys Jesus’ commands. We have met the 12 disciples along the way and seen the religious “police” (scribes and Pharisees) get rebuked by Jesus. Those who are outcasts from “normal” society are being invited and included. Most know that when we talk about the “good news” of our faith we are referring to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Well that is exactly what the Greek word “gospel” means. It is good news (not good advice). It is good news that God has shown up on the scene and that it doesn’t look like any had imagined (or deserved). Mark’s good-news-story reveals who Jesus is by what Jesus does. We see God full of grace, truth, and compassion. We will further see the suffering side of God/Messiah as we move toward the cross event in Mark’s Gospel. We as the readers are called to respond to the Jesus we encounter. We have so much more to see (and hear) as we move through this account of the Jesus we together proclaim Lord! I hope everyone reading this can join us for the journey.

In Christ,

Josh.

The Gospel of Mark

I’m currently attempting to preach through Mark’s Gospel at our church on Sundays. I say “attempting” because that is how I see the preaching/teaching endeavor. I do believe God speaks through this act of communication, but I (at the same time) realize the depth and humility needed to approach this task.

I’m following David Garland’s outline in his user friendly NIV Application Commentary.

I will update the other sources I’m using throughout the study. I hope I can provide through this blog summaries to each week and reflections on the journey. My thoughts will also reflect the time I spent two years ago taking Dr. Andy Johnson’s “Mark” course at Nazarene Theological Seminary.

I encourage readers here to go and read the first 3 chapters of Mark to start.

Peace, Grace, and Truth

-josh

Sabbath (My Poem/Reflection on Mark 2:23-3:6 and Genesis 1.)

Sabbath isn’t about rule keeping…

Sabbath is about keeping

the One who Rules

Ruling…

A Ruler of Absurd Mercy?

Yes!

Sabbath wasn’t for just some Sabbath thing…

Although it was rough for the Pharisee

Jesus kept perspective on life flourishing

Sabbath wasn’t for just some Sabbath thing…

Sabbath is the King’s gift to Humanity

A Day To Remember the Creator’s Creating.

God’s Inauguration

Humanity’s Source for Satiation

Rest for Creation

Humanity’s Image Reflection

Shalom the Intention

Even After Sin’s Manipulation Destruction

Torah’s Instruction

Prophet’s Correction

Then

God’s Participation, Cross Presentation

Resurrection Celebration…

Led to Our Redemption Salvation!

And His Maranatha Anticipation!

My AMEN Realization

-Josh Kilsch

deactivate Facebook

de·ac·ti·vate

[dēˈaktəvāt]

VERB

1.      make (something, typically technical equipment or a virus) inactive by disconnecting or destroying it.

(A simple Google Search of the “deactivate definition”)…

 

If you are reading this, dang that is probably a miracle of some sorts since I wasn’t able to post this to my Facebook page. That is a reality I had to choose to face.

So… I deactivated my facebook. Well first I “deleted” it. Which really isn’t deleting it since they make you wait 30 days to shut the thing down and “erase” your data (if they actually do that). You know there has to be some psychological studies backing the 30 day wait period. People who have been stimulating their minds with dopamine alerts, and “likes” might grow weary and need to login for one last time to satiate the identity seeking desire. Of course, once you “pop, you can’t stop” or something like that and if you decide to try and quit you will again face another 30 day barrier between you and freedom from endless and mostly mindless scrolling…

I deleted it last night after my four month of resurrecting my attention and participation with the social media beast. This morning I remembered that I might actually want to connect again with some of the “friends” on there in the future and wouldn’t want to spend the vast time it takes to start over. There is also the reality that many people get concerned when they thought you were their Facebook friend in the past and now you randomly pop up as a friend request (thinking you are a scammer or something).

After reading an incredible book by Charles Duhigg called “The Power of Habit” and having an experience of a friend (who I have a lot of respect for) called me out about my Facebook usage I chose to delete my Facebook profile around 2014. Around 2015 I started getting tattoos on my arm and my tattoo guy was not yet my friend would only communicate through Facebook. So… Like an addict who had been sober for some time I justified the need for Facebook and opened a new profile.

Since opening the account, I maintained my discipline by never clicking on the app, I also didn’t think about things/thoughts to share with my friends, and I felt empowered and a little better than peers when I could say that “I am not on Facebook”. Being Holier-than-thou takes many forms even beyond organized religion! Yes, I must admit that I was a Facebook abstaining Pharisee.

From 2015 to this last October (2018) I did not wake up thinking about people outside of my day to day activities very much. My real social network was… well… pretty much real social interactions. Something changed in October, like a need to reconnect with some people I hadn’t talked to in a while. So much continues to change in my life and so much has changed in my journey over the past 15 years.

For four months I have been getting on Facebook daily, adding friends, looking at all the stuff that people share. There was a point where I thought that I should see if I can grow my friend list as fast a possible just to see how wide my network of “influence” is or could be. The reality, however, is that I capped out at about 220 friends.. Haha! I feel somewhat accomplished j/k. Some of my friends who do incredible artwork or produce music etc… have 500 to 2000 “friends”. It is incredible to think that many built those networking connections over a decade. It is impressive to be able to say something in a couple of sentences and impact so many people at once. Truly fascinating to me.

The dark side to Facebook to me is that it is time bandit. One week my phone told me that I had spend an average of 51 minutes per day on there. I thought to myself… there is no possible way that could be true. But sadly, it was.

I have seen so many issues arise from misunderstandings with Facebook between friends, spouses, and co-workers. I have seen good people not regulate (which is pretty hard when it is a click away on your phone and so easy to grab when there is “down” time). I decided last night that I was done with my “experiment”. I was ready to get back to not thinking about clicking on that app daily. The scary reality is, however, that I know that Facebook is not done with me. One of the most powerful companies in the world with over a billion people addicted to feeding their stories, identities, and egos with a taste of connecting, meaning, and activism. Facebook is good for a lot of those things. It is a business must in our world. Every product I come in contact with has a picture of the logo and the message “like us on Facebook”. I recently have been reading the Epistle of James in the New Testament and the poetic wisdom literature book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament (Many see James as a sort of New Testament wisdom book).

Two brief observations that contributed to my deactivating Facebook. In James chapter four there is a warning about boasting about tomorrow’s plans without qualifying the potential reality that there is a Creator involved with one’s life. Life is short. It is a vapor. Ecclesiastes also reminds that life is Heble (Hebrew word meaning vanity, meaningless, or better breath). The picture is that human life is a bunch of breathing from the beginning to end. That is all you get. What are you going to do with that breath is the haunting question I am asking myself. Other ones pop into my mind stemming from that question is, did I pray to the God I believe in and for the people I care about as much as I looked at non consequential stuff via my Facebook life investment.

So… More to come on my Ecclesiastes reflections.

For now, I have taken action to de-activate wasting (for me) time that is precious.

What will I do with an extra 51 minutes added back to my life (13 days per year!)

What do you need to evaluate and deactivate?

It is worth noting that virus was a part of the Google definition mentioned above…

Don’t let anything overcome you.

Watch this video of me talking with my friend Payte on his show Discern Daily

https://themajestysmen.com/podcast/discerndaily-episode-12-wasting-your-life-on-social-media-josh-kilsch-wordstream/

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