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mike, i love what you say about mark - this is the key pivot in the gospel as it divides quite well into two. up until peters confession of jesus as Christ it has been about the fact that the Christ has come - 'the kingdom if God is among you... 1v15'. but now Jesus turns the story and says that the Christ must die. This is something Peter cannot grasp - possibly because like us he hasn't grasped the die-to-live, last-shall-be-first, upside-down nature of the kingdom.

Ironicall the first guy in the gospel to achieve a synthesis of these two halves (incarnated God and dying God) is the centurtion at the cross, who looks at Jesus' corpse and says 'truly this may was the son of god'. as i meditate on this, i am reminded of the cross i need to bear myself.


Leviticus 19:1-20:21

I click on the links to read Bob Deffinbaugh’s commentary on both the 19th and 20th chapter of Leviticus and I like Mike, love his writing and the spirit in which he writes so lovingly and plainly.

I believe Mike has asked the question before in one of his comments but I don’t remember the date or the passage but perhaps it was at the beginning of Leviticus. I know that holiness is not just rituals, clothing and practices; holiness is a lifestyle, a way of thinking and being. For holiness to be achieved one must allow God in to direct your life because without the presence of God all you will have is the appearance of godliness but holiness will be far from you.

In the 20th chapter we find this, 7 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I, the LORD, am your God. 8 Keep all my laws and obey them, for I am the LORD, who makes you holy.

What we have read in these two chapters are for a people to do in setting themselves “apart” from those around them, but it is God who makes us holy. There is nothing in and of ourselves that makes us holy. We are required to prepare ourselves by lifestyle choices, by changing the way we think and redefining our relationships with our neighbors and friends under the guidelines God has set, but then it is God that comes into our lives and imparts holiness.

There is also something in this 20th chapter that has caused me great trouble, not the edicts but the “problem,” and that is “devoting children to the god of Molech as a burnt offering.” What troubles me is we believe we don’t do this to our children because we don’t actually place our children on a sacrificial alter and light the fire, literally; however, we, as a nation, do this to our children figuratively and symbolically. When a child is sacrificed to Molech, it is for the benefit of the adult doing the sacrificing to insure their prosperity for future endeavors.

When children are neglected because parents feel they are a drain on their resources or because it is inconvenient or costly to invest their time, talent and resources into these little ones, who did not ask to be born, we are in effect placing these little ones on Molech’s alter. We sacrifice the children on the alters of our personal pleasures, lust and desires.

A good friend reminded me about a year ago that it was an alter of Molech and an alter of Chemosh that King Solomon built to honor his many foreign wives (1 Kings 11:7). Both were gods of Lot’s descendents conceived from incest. Chemosh required “sex” upon his alter with temple prostitutes, male and female, and Molech required child sacrifices. It seems that indiscriminant sex outside of the bonds of marriage produce a society that will sacrifice its children for the furtherance of its own pleasure and lusts. Placed in this context one can see that God honors the “marriage bed” and requires the two parties that have become one to be responsible for the children sexual intercourse produces unlike the other gods. Placed in this context one can see why Leviticus 19 and 20 are so very important.

Mark 8:11-38

27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"

“Who do people say I am?” That is the most important question. What matters is not what someone else thinks but what you think. I believe one must follow Jesus out of a personal commitment and belief, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) You can’t come on your church’s faith, you can’t come on your mom’s, dads, grandmas or grandpa’s faith, God doesn’t have grand kids.

My desire for everyone who comes to this site that they receive a revelation of who Jesus is, Amen

Psalm 42:1-11

Do I “pant” for God like a deer who has traveled miles to reach the watering hole? Or do I just stick my tongue in just enough to keep my lips from getting chapped? Is my desire for God so strong that I know that I know if I don’t drink deeply I will die from thirst? Am I trying to quench my thirst on the soft drinks of life that contain sugar, caffeine and phosphates but no God? How I want to desire God as that deer desiring the water that will sustain it to live another day.
Proverbs 10:17
Do I have a teachable spirit? Teach-ability is the only way one will be able to receive correction. Am I on that pathway of life or am I leading others into the microwave oven to be zapped?

Grace and peace,

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