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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

“Jesus and Marginalized Women” by Stuart Love -Book Review by Josh Kilsch

This was a book I read for my Gospel of Matthew Course. Interesting for the Interested.

Key take away: MERCY

Love’s book provides perspective to the context of the material in Matthew’s Gospel concerning those that are marginalized, particularly women. He argues with detail, as he explores this topic through social theories/models. Love explains “marginalized” through the social scientific definition by Gino Germani. In this definition, the “lack of participation” in a social sphere is key. The idea of marginalized individuals has many facets (7). His exegesis is an addition to gender studies in Matthew due to his multiple model exploration (22-23).

He contrasts the ancient social norms with our assumed social norms. Love argues that there are major differences in our current social dynamics that do not simply translate to the past (and vice versa)[i]. It is not simple enough to argue that Matthew’s gospel only promotes egalitarianism (50, 57, 65, 239). It is most surprising and educational to realize that Matthew’s text (and the rest of the NT) does not necessarily defend current liberal or conservative perspectives of justice and mercy. The answers from the NT to our current social questions are multi-layered and not simplistic. Love explores four women who are deemed marginalized in some way in Matthew.

Matthew writes through an advanced agrarian worldview (30). The agrarian societies of the past provided challenging structures to those dependent on bodily strength. The industrialized societies of recent times have created opportunities for the marginalized (35-41). Matthew is at home in this world (why wouldn’t he be? [62]) and Jesus illustrates truth through the household model (41-49). Love highlights the deviation from the expected structures through Jesus elevation of children, servanthood, and women (49-51, 61). The focus on women is where Love takes his study. Women are brought out as “symbolically significant” to challenge and reflect God’s intentions and transformative mission in the world (61-63, 66, 96)[ii].

Chapter three lays the further groundwork for Love’s study of the four women in Matthew. It is apparent that women had many excluded functions (especially in public) in the agrarian society both in Roman and Jewish contexts. (64-76). The religious leaders are very at home in the agrarian world of male dominated structures (92). Love argues that Matthew’s reference to “disciples” refers to males (responsible to teach) but does not degrade women or exclude them from being defined as responding followers of Jesus (77-82).

Another social group in Matthew’s Gospel which included women are the mentioning of crowds (87, 93). It was noted that Matthew alone is the one to mention that the tax collectors and prostitutes also known as sinners would be included in the Kingdom of God (82-83, 154). The evidence that Jesus gives dignity to women is provided in His defense of them and the constructive criticism he has of some excepted male behavior (87).

Chapter five explores the bleeding woman and the resurrection of the leader’s daughter. Love explains that both of these stories dealing with healing in public and private settings speak to Matthew’s community (115, 128). In both stories we find Jesus restoration of bodily function, removal of shame, and full life to a girl on the opposite social spectrum of the hemorrhaging woman (127-129, 132-136). These stories speak to those experiencing Jesus’ miracles and also Matthew’s community faced with how to think about heaven come on earth.

Chapter five dives into the healing of the Canaanite’s daughter. Love again rethinks the historicity of the event and concludes that it was constructed for early missionary purposes… which I am not sure that I agree (138, 158). The woman is one that is deemed culturally marginalized, and Love concludes that there is still a mission to non-Israelites (Matt. 28:18-20 [146-148]). Jesus’ “mission has been complicated” by this event/woman… and “he has extended the core value of mercy and crossed over his own defined limit to “go nowhere among the Gentiles” (10:5) [157].

In chapter six Love reflects on the woman who anoints Jesus’ feet and who “crashes” the meal while providing prophetic symbolism of Jesus’ passion (182, 185, 197). The three references to the women who stand by Jesus in his passion, burial, and after the resurrection attest to the gap they fill in the absence of the male disciples (195-196, 199).

Technology (and modern machinery) in the modern periods has drastically changed the “playing field” that once was considered impenetrable by women (230-232). The NT does not pretend to understand and speak to all future societies that could exist. It does, however, argue the norms of the Spirit of the Kingdom of God… Inclusion, Mercy, Restoration.

The take away from Love’s book is that the Kingdom of God that Jesus’ proclaimed and built his community of followers into is tethered into obedience, justice, mercy, and love that is not self-serving. Matthew’s God is a God of mercy (16,239-240). “Mercy” could possibly be the defining word for Matthew and Love’s study. He writes with depth and balanced ideas to approach a hot topic. I recommend this to all those who are students of the Gospels and want more conversation with an important conversation.

I like what Love says when he writes:

No longer is gender, family status, ethnic background, religious patronage, or socio/economic circumstance the basis for religious standing before Israel’s God. The Evangelist’s community is not an egalitarian group, but neither is it to correspond to the “agrarian mould”-and therein is the rub, the give-and-take between these two social actualities” (96).

Matthew’s community and audience must reflect on what this means for each period in which humanity attempts to do life with a bent toward dominance and selfish striving (165). Jesus’ disciples can change the world as they actually follow Jesus.

[i] i.e. Honor and Shame societies, healing in non-Western societies, purity issues covered in chapter four (102-112; and 169).

[ii] Love, quoting Anderson, writes, “Women of the Gospel fulfill extraordinary roles… while remaining in subordinate and auxiliary positions to men”. One further sees the both/and approach of God’s communication and action in the world through the settings in which Jesus came and Matthew wrote (23).

WORK CITED:

Love, Stuart L. Jesus and Marginal Women: The Gospel of Matthew in Social-Scientific Perspective: Eugene, OR. 2009. Print

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