The Character of God: Entry 5

Entry 5:

I am quite glad that I decided to upload all my journal entries for class onto wordpress.  My hard drive crashed at work.  All my work has been lost.  This means all my pictures, documents, and spreadsheets were gone.  I had been working on organizing my budget since January using Excel.  Every item was color coded to the expenditure.  Each tab was a month, from January until present.  Needless to say, I was devastated that countless time had just been erased.  My disdain for technology increased.  Thankfully, God prompted, through the Holy Spirit I am sure, me to upload all my journal class work to here.  Since we don’t have to submit this until the end of the course, I would have cried and wailed had all this work been lost.  Anyways, proceeding on.  This story was probably unnecessary.

 

100% Read (All of Mark, Matt. 1:18-2:15; 5-7; 24-25; 28, Lk. 1:1-56; 2:1-38; 4:14-44; 15; 17:20-21; 22:1-30; 24, Jn. 1; 3:1-21; 4:1-42; 14-15; 18:28-19:42)

The twelve apostles were dedicated men that followed Jesus.  It is frequently taught that the apostles were unwed men fully devoted to God.  However, Mk. 1:30 reads “Now, Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever…”(NRSV).  In chronicling his relationships, Scripture tells readers that the apostles were men with families, wives and possibly children.  This was a stark revelation considering church doesn’t often remark on the apostles actually having families.

Jesus heals Simon’s mother-in-law.  This healing is one of several.  Jesus often didn’t want news of himself spread and prayed in solitary places.  Why would Jesus not want his miracles talked about?  How are we to treat miracles today?  How are we to observe festivals and the Sabbath?  Pharisees rebuked Jesus and his disciples for plucking heads of grain.  Jesus responded, “‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions'” (Mk. 2:25-26 NRSV).  Reading this, what are modern Christians to make of festival and rest observances?

It is difficult to know sometimes. “With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples” (Mk. 4:33-34 NRSV).  Since Jesus only spoke in parables then, is that what he does today?  How are we to understand Christ’s guidance from this?  

Is it important to even understand the guidance or simply to know who can be saved and how?  Scripture seems to be clear in that regard.  “They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible'” (Mk. 10:26-27 NRSV).  It is only through God that we are saved.  Are our debates over details all for naught then?  How should we address problems today if it is impossible for man to do anything which might actually please God and permit us to heaven?  We know Christ saves though, not we ourselves.  

God has the power to save and to curse.  He cursed a fig tree. Why?  What purpose did rebuking the tree serve?  Was it Christ’s frustration and anger?  Is that emotion allowed and not considered sin?

Jesus died to atone for sin.  “While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God'” (Mk. 14:22-25 NRSV).  For congregations that believe the elements of communion are the blood and body of Jesus, what would it mean when Jesus says he won’t drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.  Does he drink of himself?  Are we to understand this in light of Deuteronomy which says not to drink the blood of the animal for that is where the life is?  

Matthew:

 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus” (Matt. 1:25 NRSV).  Does this mean that Joseph and Mary did, at one point, have relations?  What would this mean for Mary’s perpetual virginity in Catholicism?  What about her being regarded as conceived without sin?

The wise men gifted Jesus with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Is this a foreshadowing of the crucifixion?  Would this have been prophecy?  Does prophecy exist today?

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fled to Egypt while Herod was ruling and then came out, reflective of when the Jews made the Exodus with Moses.  God alone frees his people from bondage.

Matthew uses the term kingdom of heaven because he was speaking to a Jewish audience.  The other synoptic gospels had Gentile audiences so kingdom of God was used.

Jesus did say that in the way the prophets were persecuted, followers of Christ would be persecuted.  What are we to make of suffering?  Jesus fulfills the law and prophets.  What does this mean?  How is it to be applied?  What does adherence to the ten commandments look like since Jesus has fulfilled the law?

In Matt. 24:3, Jesus discusses the present age and the age to come.  When will we know that the age to come has actually arrived.  Are we to know? Jesus assures us that he is with us to the end of the age in Matt. 28:20.  What is the end of the age?  Don’t we live with him in eternity?  Can there be an end of the age then?

Luke:

I never noticed that the book was written to a particular individual, Theophilus.

What does the spirit and power of Elijah mean?  Why did many think that John the Baptist or Jesus would have been Elijah?  Elijah wasn’t the Messiah, correct?  Why such an emphasis on him and his potential resurrection then?

Mary is referred to as the favored one in Luke’s gospel.  What are the implications of such a remark.

One of Jesus’ names is Son of the Most High.  Recounting the names of Jesus provides peace and assurance that is weathers all storms with his people.

History: Governor of Syria and Emperor Augustus.  With historical facts we know have come to pass included in the stories, why is Scripture still denied by skeptics?  Isn’t there archaeological evidence for faith?  That is unique to Christianity, no?

Joseph was from the family line of David as stated in Lk. 2:4.  Genealogy frequently passed from mother in Jewish tradition.  What is the significance that it was Joseph in Luke’s gospel?

Jesus was circumcised.  However, the apostles teach that the condition of the heart matters more than physical appearance.  What does this mean for Christians today?  Are the men to be circumcised?  Why would we do such a thing to boys and not to girls?

Anna was a prophet from the tribe of Asher who praised God and spoke of the Christ child.  “There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,  then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk. 2: 36-38 NRSV).  Here is an example of a woman with authority and revelation from God.  This helps to denounce church practices that limit women’s authority, no?

Demons acknowledged Christ’s authority.  Why do humans reject him still then?  Why would Christ want reports of his identity silenced if demons already know who he is and more people are to come to saving faith in Jesus?

Luke also tells of Jesus not eating the Passover until all is fulfilled in kingdom of God coming.   “…for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Lk. 22: 18 NRSV).  Was the kingdom of God inaugurated with Christ’s death or did it start before then?  Is he speaking of the age to come?

John:

Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.  Upon his baptism, heaven opened and angels ascended and descended on the Son of Man.  What would this have looked like?

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him” (Jn. 4:23 NRSV).  What is truth? Pilate asked Jesus this question in Jn. 18:38.

“After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews…” (Jn. 19:38 NRSV).  Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple.  Is this permitted?  What does this mean for the evangelist?  How are we to obey the great commission if secrecy is allowed?

 

These entries are more fragmented than my previous posts.  I found out that we could write the entries in incomplete sentences.  I turned more to a stream of thought composition piece.  Hopefully the meaning and clarity are not lost in this alteration.

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One Reply to “The Character of God: Entry 5”

  1. I think you’re still writing as clear as before. And here’s a tip for saving your work: I have been writing off of Google Drive. That’s where I have my book. If you have a Google account, you can create a Google doc and it saves as you go (without you having to remember or do it 20 times while you’re writing). It’s hard to lose changes that way, which has been such a great way for me to write. Plus, you can access it from any device with an internet connection.

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