John T. Willis

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Biblical Teaching of Disciples--15

Mark 9-16 contains 19 references to disciples, most of which are also in Matthew, and many of which are grouped together in paragraphs. Here we will look at each text in its context.

1-3--Healing of a boy with a spirit--Mark 9:14-29 [parallel to Matthew 17:14-21]. After the transfiguration, Jesus, Peter, James, and John came to the other twelve apostles, where Jewish scribes were arguing with them. Jesus asked them what they were arguing about. A man stepped forward, explaining that he had brought his son who could not speak, and the spirit dashes him down ; he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; this man asked Jesus' disciples to cast out this spirit from his son, but they could not. Jesus brought the man's son and cast the spirit out of him. When Jesus and his disciples went into the house, his disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out the spirit. Jesus explained: "This kind can come out only through prayer." Disciples constantly have much to learn from Jesus. This is always the case.
4--Jesus foretells his death and resurrection--Mark 9:30-32 [parallel to Matthew 17:22-23]. Jesus went through Galilee with his disciples telling him that he would die on the cross and be raised from the dead.
5--After Jesus taught the biblical message about divorce, he and his disciples went into a house, and his disciples asked Jesus about this--Mark 10:2-12 [parallel to Matthew 19:1-9]. Jesus told them: "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
6--Jesus blesses little children--Mark 10:13-16 [parallel to Matthew 19:13-15]. People brought their children to Jesus so that Jesus could touch him, but Jesus' disciples spoke sternly to them. Jesus rebuked his disciples, and told them that to such as these little children that the kingdom of God belongs. Disciples always have much to learn. Disciples are learners from Jesus.
7-8--Jesus and the Rich Man--Mark 10:17-31 [parallel to Matthew 19:16-30]. A rich man came to Jesus asking him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told them to keep the Ten Commandments. He told Jesus that he had kept all these commandments. Does he lack anything else. Jesus said: Sell what you have and give it to the poor. The rich man was grievous because he had many possessions. Jesus told his disciples that it is hard for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus' disciples were perplexed at Jesus' message. Jesus told them that no one can enter the kingdom of God without God's grace. Disciples keep growing in faith by learning from Jesus.
9--Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus--Mark 10:46-52 [parallel to Matthew 20:29-34].When Jesus and his disciple came to Jericho, they met blind Bartimaeus, and Jesus healed him.
10--Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem--Mark 11:1-11 [parallel to Matthew 21:1-11]. When Jesus and his disciples approached the Mount of Olives, Jesus told two of his disciples to Bethany and find a colt that had never been ridden and bring it to Jesus. They did so, and Jesus rode on the colt into Jerusalem.
11--Jesus curses the fig tree--Mark 11:12-14 [Matthew 21:18-19]. Jesus left Betheny and was hungry. He came to a fig tree but it had no figs, so he cursed the fig tree. Jesus' disciples hear this.
12--Jesus praises the poor widow--Mark 12:41-44 [no parallel in Matthew]. Jesus sat beside the Jerusalem treasury and saw a poor widow casting in two small copper coins. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and told him that this poor widow put in more than all the other people who put money into the treasury. This poor widow put in everything she had. Jesus is trying to teach his disciples by her example.
13--Jesus tells one of his disciples that the Jerusalem temple will be destroyed--Mark 13:1-2 [parallel to Matthew 24:1-2.
14-17--Jesus prepares his twelve disciples to initiate the Lord's Supper--Mark 14:12-16 [Matthew 26:17-25]. On the first day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover Lamb is sacrificed, Jesus told his disciples where they were to go in the upper room and prepare for the Lord's Supper.
18--Jesus prays in Gethsemane--Mark 14:32-42. Jesus went with his disciples to go to Gethsemane and told them to sit there while Jesus would go further to pray. Peter, James, and John went along further with Jesus, and then Jesus went on alone to pray. When Jesus returned his disciple were asleep. Jesus was greatly disappointed because they did not realize the importance of this event.
19--Three women tell the disciples that God had raised Jesus from the tomb--Mark 16:1-8 [parallel to Matthew 28:1-10]. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome came to the tomb early Sunday morning and met an angel who told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead, and they must tell the twelve disciples and Peter that Jesus would meet them soon.

All of these texts emphasize that true disciples are constantly learning. They are not rulers or leaders, but disciples, which means they are learners and followers and servants of Jesus. God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord is our only true leader. When we learn this great important message, we will become true disciples of Jesus.

Share YOUR ideas and concerns and experiences and questions and reversals with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Righteous Will Prevail Against the Wicked--Psalm 58

Psalm 58 contains on of the strongest imprecations [curses] found anywhere in scripture. It falls into four pericopes.

1. The poet begins by addressing "the gods." Verses 1-2.
     Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
          Do you judge people fairly?
     No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
          your hands deal out violence.
     a. It is obvious that the "gods" in verse 1 are invisible superhuman beings created by God and subordinated to God, but allowed to intervene in the world among human beings to cause sin and violence in the lives of human beings. These are wicked beings like those which Jesus described as the devil and his angels in Matthew 25:41. 1 Kings 22:19; Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6; Psalm 82:1 gives descriptions of Yahweh sitting on his heavenly throne surrounded by his created angels, some righteous and some wicked. verse 1.
     b. These "gods" in verse 1 are clearly wicked angels because they devise wrongs in their hearts and lead human beings on earth into sin and bring violence.  verse 2.

2. The poet then moves to a description of wicked human beings motivated by the wicked angels described in verses 1-2. Verses 3-5.
     a. He says the wicked go astray from the womb and err from birth speaking lies. This hrdly means that they inherit original sin from their parents. Rather, this is an idiomatic term declaring they are quick to yield to the temptations of wicked angels mentioned in verse 1. verse 3.
     b. The psalmist compares the wicked with the venom of a serpent and a deaf adder which stops its ear refusing to hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter. In other words, the wicked cannot be turned from wickedness by divine warnings and exhortations, because they are intent on spreading their venom, that is, their sin. verses 4-5.

3. Because of their hardheartedness in being committed to sin, the poet prays fervently that God will utterly destroy these wicked people. His language is very strong (verses 6-9):
     O God, break the teeth in their mouths'
         tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord.
     Let them vanish like water that runs away;
          like grass let them be trodden down and wither.
     Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
          like the untimely birth that shall never see the sun.
     Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
          whether green or ablaze, nay he sweep them away!
These four verses contain six curses levelled against the wicked. The poet uses six figures in his prayer that God will destroy the wicked with quick and irreparable destruction. He prays that they will be like:
     a. young lions who have their teeth torn out--verse 6
     b. water that quickly runs off the land after a downpour--verse 7a
     c. grass that is trodden down and withered--verse 7b
     d. a snail that draws itself up into its shell--verse 8a
     e. a miscarriage--verse 8b
     f. a cooking pot that is quickly heated over a fire of thorns--verse 9

4. In bold contrast to the wicked, the poet concludes by proclaiming that ultimately Yahweh will deliver the righteous. Verses 10-11.
     a. The righteous will rejoice when God wreaks vengeance on the wicked. verse 10
     b. All human beings who are made aware of this situation will extol Yahweh for delivering the righteous and destroy the wicked. verse 11.

It is impossible for human beings in contemporary times  to know the motives and tone of voice of ancient speakers and writers. Therefore, it is quite possible that psalmists like the composer of Psalm 58 uttered curses against their enemies not for selfish motives to gleefully watch their persecutors suffer, but because they are totally convinced that these people were wicked and thus enemies of God.

Share YOUR insights and perceptions and beliefs and concerns and concepts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Heart is Tranquil and Anxious--19

As one continues to study the "heart" in the Hebrew Bible, one encounters passages describing the heart as tranquil or as anxious.

1. There is one Hebrew word in the Hebrew Bible used with "heart" (Hebrew lebh) meaning "tranquility." This is the noun marpe', which means "health, cure, healing." This occurs with "heart" in Proverbs 14:30:
       A tranquil mind [literally heart] gives life to the flesh,
          but passion makes the bones rot. (NRSV)
A "heart of health" (a tranquil heart or mind] is a "mind of peace." The emotion of tranquility cannot be separated from the mental assurance due to proper evaluation of life, God,and human beings.

2. The primary concept of anxiety as used with the Hebrew nouns lebh and lebhabh is "restlessness." There are seven Hebrew words connected with lebh which convey some type of restlessness and apply it to the "heart.
    a. nathar--"to spring or start up." This appears in Job 37:1, where Elihu says:
            At this also my heart trembles,
                 and leaps out of its place.
    b. nehamah--"excitement, shrieking, roaring." This appears in Psalm 38:8 [Hebrew 38:9]:
            I am utterly spent and crushed;
                 I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
    c. sachad--"to go around, to travel as a merchant." This appears in Psalm 38:10 [Hebrew 38:11]:
            My heart throbs, my strength fails me;
                as for the light of my eyes--it also has gone from me.
    d. de'aghah--"anxiety, anxious care." This appears in Proverbs 12:25:
           Anxiety weighs down the human heart,
                but a good word cheers it up.
    e. shakhabh--"to have rest." This appears in Ecclesiastes 2:23:
           For all their [mortals'] days are full of pain,
           and their work is a vexation;
           even at night their minds [literally hearts] do not rest.
           This also is vanity. [NRSV]
    f. `ur--"to be stirred up." This appears in Song of Solomon [Canticles] 5:2:
           I slept, but my heart was awake.
           Listen! My beloved is knocking,
               "Open to me, my sister, my love,
                  my dove, my perfect one;
                 for my head is wet with dew,
                  my locks with the drops of the night."
   g. mahar--"to hasten." This verb occurs three times with "heart" connected with anxiety.
       Ecclesiastes 5:2:  Never be rash with your mouth,
                                    nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before God,
                                    for God is in heaven, and you upon earth;
                                    therefore let your words be few.
      Isaiah 32:4: The minds [literally hearts] of the rash will have judgment,
                               and the tongue of stammerers will speak readily and distinctly.
      Isaiah 35:4: Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
                               "Be strong, do not fear!"
                          Here is your God.
                               He will come with vengeance,
                          with terrible recompense.
                               He will come and save you.

In addition to this, there are phrases or similes which communicate the idea of anxiety using the word "heart."
1.When Samuel met Saul when Saul was seeking for the donkeys of his father Kish, Samuel said in
1 Samuel 9:20:
     As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago,
     give no further thought [literally do not set the heart on] of them [that is, do not worry],
     for they have been found.
     And on whom is all Israel's desire fixed, if not on you and on all your ancestral house?

2. Jeremiah 48:41 and 49:22 says respectively:
    The hearts of the warriors of Moab [Edom] on that day
           shall be like the heart of a woman in labor.

Anxiety or restlessness is caused by facts this disturb the thinking of an individual, and even though there is a difference between cause and effect, either could not exist without the other. This indicates the  interdependence of mental and emotional functions of the heart in one's personality.

Share YOUR thoughts and concerns and experiences and reversals and successes with others. Let me hear from YOU.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

God is Above the Heavens--Psalm 57

Psalm 57:7-11 is equivalent to Psalm 108:1-5. The historical setting of Psalm 57 is unknown. The superscription is: "To the Leader: Do not Destroy. Of David. A Miktam, when he fled from Saul, in the cave." All the superscriptions in the Psalms are later additions, and come from different people who want to connect a psalm with some historical event. The superscription of Psalm 57 is somehow related to David and his men hiding in a cave near En-gedi just west of the central part of the Dead Sea. Saul went into this cave to relieve himself, and when Saul was relieving himself, David cut off the hem of Saul's garment. After Saul left, David called out to Saul telling him he could have killed him, but refused to do so because Saul is the Lord's messiah or anointed one. 1 Samuel 24. But if Psalm 57 actually belongs to that event, no one knows with certainty. Read the content of Psalm 57.
Psalm 57 naturally falls into two sections indicated by the recurring refrain or chorus in verses 5 and 11:
      "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
            Let your glory be over all the earth."

1. Psalm 57:1-5 is a confident cry for help in a time of severe trouble.
    a. "Destroying storms" encounter the psalmist. In the center of that difficult situation, the psalmist beseeches Yahweh to be merciful to him. The psalmist takes refuge in Yahweh during the destroying storms; he takes refuge in the shadow of Yahweh's wings. This is a striking figure of an eagle or a hen protecting her young when threats arise. 57:1.
    b. The psalmist cries out to God Most High, confident that God fulfills his purpose for the psalmist. He is sure that God will send his steadfast love and faithfulness from heaven above and save him. God will put to shame his enemies who attempt to trample on him. His enemies are like lions that greedily devour human prey, whose teeth are spear  and arrows and their tongues sharp swords. 57:2-4.
    c. In this first stanza, the psalmist declares: "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth." He envisions Yahweh as the universal God over all creation. 57:5.

2. Psalm 57:6-11 is a song of praise and thanksgiving to God for delivering the psalmist from his troubles. 57:6-11.
    a. The psalmist explains to his audience that his enemies set a net for his steps and he was bowed down. They dug a pit in his path, but Yahweh intervened and they have fall into this pit themselves. 57:6.
    b. Because of Yahweh's presence and protection, the psalmist says confidently: "My heart is steadfast." He will sing and make melody. Singing is vocal singing, and making melody is music intoned by musical instruments of various kinds. This is exactly the same language as that in Ephesians 5:19, where Paul instructs Christians to sing with their voices and to make melody with instrumental music by means of psalms, hymns, and spiritual song all with the heart, since vocal music and instrumental music are useless unless the worshippers express their thoughts from the heart (see Amos 5:21-24). Speaking to himself, the psalmist continues: "Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn." 57:7-8.
    c. The psalmist declares he will give thanks to Yahweh among the peoples and sing praises to Yahweh among the nations. He will do this because Yahweh's steadfast love is as high as the heavens and his faithfulness extends to the clouds. 57:9-10.
    d. Finally, the psalmist concludes by repeated 57:5: "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth." True worship always exalts Yahweh. 57:11.

Share YOUR experiences and worship services and expressions of faith and love and compassion with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Biblical Teaching of Disciples--14

Mark 5-8 contain 17 references to disciples. Most of these also appear in Matthew. Thus, in this blog, we will deal only briefly with the repetitions.

1. Mark 5:24-34 relates the account of the woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years [parallel to Matthew 9:18-26]. Mark contains this detail not in Matthew in Mark 5:31: "And his DISCIPLES said to him, 'You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, "Who touched me?"'" Mark does not relate how Jesus responded to his disciples, but he did heal this woman.
2. Mark 6:1 relates the detail not in Matthew 13:54 that Jesus left the house of the leader of the synagogue and came to his hometown [Nazareth] and HIS DISCIPLES followed him.
3. Mark 6:29 is like Matthew 14:12, relating that the DISCIPLES of John the Baptist heard about the beheading of John the Baptist, and they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
4. Mark 6:35 is like Matthew 14:15, stating that Jesus' DISCIPLES came to Jesus and suggested that they go into the villages nearby to buy some food.
5. Mark 6:41 is like Matthew 14:19, telling that Jesus' DISCIPLES told them to set before the crowd the loaves of bread and the fish.
6. Mark 6:45 is like Matthew 14:22, relating that Jesus made his DISCIPLES to get into the boat and go ahead to Bethsaida.
7. and 8. Mark 7:2, 5 is like Matthew 15:2 when the Pharisees criticize Jesus' DISCIPLES for not live according to the Law of Moses by eating with defiled or unwashed hands.
9. Mark 7:15-17 reports that Jesus told the parable: "There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile," his DISCIPLES asked him what this meant. Jesus told them simply that what defiles people is a corrupted heart: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly.
10-13. Mark 8:1-10 is like Matthew 15:32-39: (1) Jesus told his DISCIPLES that he has compassion on the great crowd; (2) Jesus' DISCIPLES responded by asking Jesus how they could feed such a great crowd; (3) Jesus fed the crowd with seven loaves of bread and a few fish and gave them to his DISCIPLES to distribute to the crowd; (4) After Jesus fed the 4,000, he got into the boat with his DISCIPLES and left.
14-15. Mark 8:27 is like Matthew 16:13, relating that Jesus traveled with his DISCIPLES to the villages of Caesarea and asked them, "Who do people say that I am?"
16-17. Mark 8:33-34 is like Matthew 16:21, 24, according to which Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that he would be arrested and killed in Jerusalem, when Jesus turned and looked and his DISCIPLES and rebuked Peter: "Get behind me, Satan!" Then Jesus told the crowd with his DISCIPLES, "If anyone wants to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." This is another biblical text which emphasizes that DISCIPLES are FOLLOWERS, not leaders!!!

Share YOUR beliefs and concerns and questions and interactions and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


Monday, January 16, 2017

The Heart Fears--Part 3

[continued from previous blog]

12. The Hebrew noun donag, "wax," appears once with heart in Psalm 22:14 [Heb. 22:15]:
       "I am poured out like water,
              all my bones are out of joint;
Obviously, this is a simile indicating fear.

13. The Hebrew verb yare', "to fear," occurs once with heart in Psalm 27:3:
       "Though an army encamp against me,
               MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR;
         though war rise up against me,
               yet I will be confident."
This context show that "my heart" means "I."

14. The Hebrew verb nua`, "to shake, move, be tender," appears once with heart in Isaiah 7:2:
       "When the house [dynasty] of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim
                                                                              [North Israel],   
For the heart to shake means that the heart fears.

15. The Hebrew verb ta`ah, "to flutter, reel," occurs with heart once in Isaiah 21:4. The prophet says:
      "MY HEART REELS, horror has appalled me;
           the twilight I longed for
           has been turned for me into trembling."

16. The Hebrew verb mug, "to melt, faint," appears once in Ezekiel 21:15:
      "Therefore HEARTS MELT and many stumble.
            At all their gates I have set the point of the sword.
        Ah! It is made for flashing,
             it is polished for slaughter."

17. The concept of standing in awe of Yahweh, reverential fear occurs with heart connected with two Hebrew words.
      a. The Hebrew verb pachadh, "to fear, breathe, pant," appears twice with heart.
           1. Psalm 119:161 says:
               "Princes persecute me without cause,
In this context, "my heart" is equivalent to "I."
           2. Assuring Yahweh's people when they are in Babylonian exile, the prophet says:
               "Then you [Yahweh's people] shall see and be radiant;
                  because the abundance of the sea shall be brought to you,
                      the wealth of the nations shall come to you." Isaiah 60:5.
      b. The Hebrew noun yir'ah, "fear," appears twice with heart.
           1. The  prophet says in Isaiah 63:17:
                "Why, O Lord, do you make us stray from your ways
                   Turn back for the sake of your servants,
                        for the sake of the tribes that are your heritage?"
           2. Yahweh contains this promise to his people through the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 32:40:
                "I will make an everlasting covenant with them,
                  never to draw back from doing good to them;
                  so that they may not turn from me."

Cowardice is that fear which comes from a lack of courage and determination, and suggests an improper mental exercise of evaluation and consideration. On the other hand, reverence  is fear that is motivated by an appreciation for that which is superior to the individual, and suggests contemplation, meditation, and submission. In all these texts the "heart" is the seat of intelligence and sensitive emotions.

Share YOUR fears and thoughts and reversals and concerns and ideas with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


I am not Afraid; What can Mortals do to Me?--Psalm 56

The superscription attempts to connect Psalm 56 with the Philistines seizing David at Gath. But elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible there is no reference to such an event. Apparently, the closest to this is 1 Samuel 21:10-15, according to which some of the soldiers of Achish king of Gath accused David as a traitor against the Philistines; David pretended that he was a madman, and Achish released him. The recurring theme of Psalm 56 is:
             "In God, whose word I praise,
                     in God I trust, I am not afraid;
               what can flesh [mortals] do to me?" (56:4, 10-11).
Psalm 56 falls into three brief stanzas.

1. The composer of Psalm begins by pleading to Yahweh, "O Most High," to be gracious to him.
     a. The reason for this is that people have trampled on him, foes oppress him, his enemies trample on him all day long, many fight against him.  56:1-2.
     b. The psalmist declares that when he is afraid, he puts his trust in Yahweh. He praises Yahweh's word. He declares he is not afraid, what can flesh do to him? 56:3-4.

2. The psalmist describes his enemies. 56:5-11.
     a. The psalmist explains that his enemies seek to injure his cause all day long. All their thoughts are against him for evil. They stir up strife, they lurk, they watch the psalmist's steps, they hoped to have his life. 56:5-6.
    b. The poet beseeches Yahweh to repay his enemies for their crime; cast down the peoples in wrath. 56:7.
    c. The composer declares that Yahweh has kept count of his tossings. Metaphorically, he asks Yahweh to put his tears in Yahweh's bottle to be a record. I f Yahweh does this, his enemies will retreat in the day when the psalmist calls, assured that Yahweh is FOR him. 56:8-9.
   d. The psalmist intones the recurring refrain or chorus in 56:4: the psalmist praises Yahweh's word; he trusts in Yahweh; he is not afraid; What can a MERE MORTAL do to me? 56:10-11.

3. The psalmist promises:
     a. He will perform his vows. 56:12a.
     b. Render thank offerings to Yahweh. 56:12b.
     c. Joyfully, the psalmist proclaims that Yahweh has delivered him from death and his feet from falling so that the psalmist may walk before God in the light of life. 56:13.

Share YOUR experiences and concerns and anxieties and cares and fears with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Heart Fears [Part 2]

[Continued from previous blog]

8. The Hebrew adjective charedh, "trembling," appears once with "heart" in 1 Samuel 4:13. When news came from the battlefield at Aphek, a message came back to Shiloh telling Eli that his two sons had been killed, the Israelites had been defeated, and the ark of the covenant was captured by the Philistines. "When he arrived, Eli was sitting upon his seat by the road watching, FOR HIS HEART TREMBLED FOR THE ARK OF GOD. When the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out."

9. The Hebrew verb naphal, "to fall, lie," appears once with "heart" in 1 Samuel 17:32. When Saul and the Israelites were afraid of Goliath the Philistine, "David said to Saul, 'LET NO ONE'S HEART FAIL BECAUSE OF HIM [Goliath]; your servant [David] will go and fight against this Philistine."

10. The Hebrew verb muth, "to die," occurs once with "heart" in 1 Samuel 25:37. When Abigail told her husband Nabal that David was successful, "HIS HEART DIED WITHIN HIM; he became like a stone."

 11. The Hebrew verb masas, "to faint, grow fearful," appears six times with 'heart."
       a. Hushai the Archite warned Absalom that David is a dangerous warrior, saying: "Then even the valiant warrior, WHOSE HEART IS LIKE THE HEART OF A LION, WILL UTTERLY MELT WITH FEAR; for all Israel knows that your father [David] is a warrior, and that those who are with him are valiant warrior."
      b. The poet in Psalm 22:14 says:
           "I am poured out like water
                 and all my bones are out of joint;
             MY HEART IS LIKE WAX;
                 IT IS MELTED WITHIN MY BREAST."
      c. Ezekiel gave this message to his people in Babylon in Ezekiel 21:7:
          "And when they say to you, 'Why do you moan?'
            you shall say, 'Because of the news that has come.
            EVERY HEART WILL MELT and all hands will be feeble,
            every spirit will faint and all knees with turn to water.
            See, it comes and it will be fulfilled,' says the Lord God."
      d. Nahum 2:10 says:
          "Devastation, desolation, and destruction!
                 HEARTS FAINT and knees tremble,
            all loins quake,
                 all faces grow pale."
     e. In the oracle concerning Babylon, Isaiah 13:7 says:
         "Therefore all hands will be feeble,
     f. In an oracle concerning Egypt, Isaiah 19:1 says:
         "See, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
                 and comes to Egypt;
          the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
[To be continued]

Share YOUR fears and anxieties and problems and frustrations and concerns with others. Let me hear from You.

John Willis 


The Biblical Teaching of Disciples--16

There are several passages in the Gospel of Mark referring to disciples. Many of these appear also in Matthew and Luke. Here, I will only mention these passages and not repeat what we have already discussed.

1. At Levi's [Matthew's] house, Jesus ate with many tax collectors and sinners. The Jewish scribes and Pharisees approached JESUS' DISCIPLES and challenged them to allow Jesus to eat with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus replied that he came to call sinners and not the righteous. Mark 2:13-17. See Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 5:27-32.
2. One sabbath, some of JESUS' DISCIPLES plucked grain in the field on the sabbath day. The Jewish Pharisees rebuked Jesus for allowing his disciples to do this on the sabbath day. Jesus responded: "The sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath." Mark 2:23-28. See Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5.
3.Jesus departed with HIS DISCIPLES to the Mediterranean Sea and a great multitude from Galilee followed him. Jesus told HIS DISCIPLES to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. Mark 3:7-9. See Matthew 12:15-21.
4. After presenting several parables, Jesus did not speak to the crowds except in parables, but he explained everything in private to HIS DISCIPLES. Mark 4:30-34. See Matthew 13:31-32; Luke 13:18-19.
5. In the middle of a large crowd, a woman suffering from hemorrhages for 12 years touched Jesus' cloak. Jesus said, "Who touched me?" HIS DISCIPLES told him that many people were pressing in on Jesus and surely many people touched him. The woman with the hemorrhages fell before Jesus, and Jesus healed her. Mark 5:24-34. See Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56.

All these stories appear in Matthew and some in Luke. It is unnecessary to repeat all the details.
[To be continued about Mark].

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John Willis