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Showing posts from March, 2021

The Passover Mark 14:1-26

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  As we consider the place of the Passover in Jesus’ final week, we will start with Leviticus 23. Leviticus 23:1-4 says: Leviticus 23:1–4 (NLT) 1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. These are the Lord’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as official days for holy assembly. 3“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of complete rest, an official day for holy assembly. It is the Lord’s Sabbath day, and it must be observed wherever you live. 4“In addition to the Sabbath, these are the Lord’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year.  The rest of Leviticus 23 gives the rules to be followed in celebrating seven different feasts. Each feast was designed to teach Israel about God. Three of these feasts were pilgrimage feasts. In other words, three of these feasts required that every male in Israel travel to Jerusal

The Great Tribulation

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Mark 13 Jesus finished His final days of public ministry in the temple, His Father ’ s house. He gave His people, the nation of Israel, one last chance to accept Him as their Messiah. How heavy His heart must have been as He walked away! Matthew gives us a detail that Mark omits. As Jesus walked out of the temple for the last time, He said: Matthew 23:37–39 (NKJV) 37 “ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Even after suffering their rejection, Jesus expressed God ’ s love for the nation of Israel and mourned their coming hardships. As He went out of the temple, His disciples observed how majestic the temple was. Impressive stones and buildings c

Where Your Heart Is . . .

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Mark 12:38 and following (Also Luke 21:1 and following.) Mark 11:27 says as Jesus was walking in the temple, the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Elders came to Him and began to question Him.  These were the nation ’ s leaders and had the authority to take away people ’ s rights to enter the temple. Because of this authority, people feared these leaders. In John 9:22, we see people that were afraid to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah because the leaders had determined to expel anyone who dared to say Jesus was the Messiah. However, Jesus was not intimidated. Mark chapter 12 gives the account of the confrontation between these leaders and Jesus. Although they were the most clever men in Israel, they could not overcome Jesus through argument or trickery. So, while keeping an eye on Him, they did not try to ask Jesus any more questions. This brings us to Mark 12:41, where Jesus sits down opposite the treasury. At the beginning of the confrontation, Jesus was walking in the templ

The Wicked Vinedressers

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  Mark 12:1-40 What is a “ vinedresser?” Vinedressers are farmers who take care of grapevines. Their job requires constant, daily attention to the vines. They must ensure that the grape plants receive enough water and are protected from pests, and do not develop disease. In Mark 12, Jesus speaks of vinedressers, and the profession continues to be practiced to this present day. Without careful, attentive vinedressers, the world would not enjoy a supply of grapes, grape juice, and, of course, wine. One critical task of the vinedresser is pruning. Pruning is where the name “ vinedresser” comes from. As the vinedresser cuts away dead or unnecessary branches, and excess, diseased or stunted fruit, he or she makes room for new growth and a healthier, more abundant harvest. In Mark 12:1-12, Jesus tells a story about a man who planted a vineyard. The man put a lot of time and money into making the vineyard just right. He built a wall, a wine press, a lookout tower and then leased the