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Grace Means

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1 Peter 1:1-2 This short book is a letter written by the Apostle Peter to the Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor. I want to start by giving some of Peter’s personal history. When I began to do this, I liked what Jamieson-Fausset-Brown had already done. So, I want to clarify that I am indebted to their commentary for the outline of Peter’s life. Peter’s given name was Simon. The name Peter was a nickname given to Him by Jesus, and we will cover the meaning of that name as we go.  Peter was born and raised in a town called Bethsaida on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. His father’s name was “Jonas,” “Jonah,” or “John.” Jonas was a fisherman, and Peter and his brother Andrew helped their father in the family fishing business. The business seems to have been in Capernaum. Peter was married and lived in Capernaum. Tradition says that his wife’s name was “Concordia” or “Perpetua.” Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us that Peter’s wife’s mother, his mother-in-law, was healed of a

Ascended to Heaven

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Mark 16:19-20 Mark 16:19 starts out with the words “ So then.” Some translations say “ Then” or “ Therefore.” The term used in Greek is “ men,” which is an untranslatable particle. In other words, it is a part of speech that the Greeks used that we do not have a word for. The significance of this word is that it indicates that two things are going to be contrasted. Usually, it is accompanied by the word “ de,” which is often translated “ and” or “ but.” In Mark 16, verse 19 begins with “ men,” and verse 20 begins with “ de.” This means that these two verses are intended to be contrasted with each other. Verse 19 tells us what Jesus did (and is doing) after the resurrection. Verse 20 tells us what His disciples did (and are doing) after the resurrection. These two verses define the Church age, which started on that day and continues to this. First, verse 19 tells us what Jesus did after the resurrection. Mark 16:19 says, “ After the Lord had spoken to them.” The Lord Jesus gave

Trembling and Bewildered

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  Read Mark 16:10 Mark 16:2 says: Mark 16:2 (NLT) Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. To get to the tomb before sunrise, Mary, Mary, and Salome left their houses while it was still dark. The time of year was Passover. Since the Jewish calendar is a Lunar calendar, Passover always occurs on a full moon. If we assume it was a cloudless night, the moon would have lit the way for them.  The women had two burdens. They carried a load of spices. Mark does not tell us how heavy their load was, only that they were carrying them. The second burden was an emotional one. They were loaded down with grief and sorrow. Most of us are familiar with these two burdens.  These three women were brave. They were facing their grief and loss and were doing what they could. However, they knew they faced an obstacle in the form of a large rock. Their plan was to ask someone to move the stone because they knew they could not. They were discussing this problem on the

The King of the Jews (Good Friday)

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Mark 15:26-34 The final week of Jesus’ ministry among us came to a close with his arrest and trial. While Jesus prayed, His closest friends fell asleep. He confronted them with these words: Mark 14:41–42 (NKJV) 41 Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand. As He was still speaking, Judas approached with an armed crowd and made sure they found Jesus. His signal was the one he kissed. Why a kiss? Judas does not tell us, but Jeremiah 17:9 says: Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?  The examination and trial that followed continued to demonstrate the truth of this Scripture. However, an underlying truth also comes to light. Jeremiah 17:10 says: Jeremiah 17:10 (NKJV) I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, A

I Will Strike the Shepherd

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Mark 14:27-52 Over 2,000 years ago, on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the shouts of praise the crowd. This bolstered the disciples’ confidence and perhaps gave rise to pride in being a follower of Jesus. This confidence continued building-up as Jesus spent the next few days teaching and showing His integrity in a striking difference from the nation’s leaders. But at the Passover meal, He had made a troubling pronouncement. He said: Mark 14:18 (NKJV) Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me. The disciples were shocked and troubled by this statement. They were sure Jesus was going to set up His kingdom and claim the throne over the nation. He would put the Romans and the Gentiles who trampled their nation in their place. However, for some time, he had been telling them that He was going to die at the hands of the nation’s leaders and the Romans. A short while after Jesus shocked them by saying one of them would betray Him, they finishe