So sorry for the sudden disappearance. I have had just had a minor mishap with my computer hardware or software that has prevented me from drawing my comics! I am still in the midst of trying to deal with it. I hope you will be patient with me.
Crossing fingers the issue is resolved this weekend. If not within the next couple of weeks.
We end these 40 days on a similar note to how we started. We need to look at the resurrection through Jewish eyes not Graeco-Roman ones.
Lots of gods, deities, and prophets have died for causes. Some even for the sake of saving humanity. Even the Romans and the Greeks had Mithras who had died for them. And in Egypt, Ra himself had died and came back to life to save humanity. Why should Jesus be any greater than those? Continue reading →
Today we reach the climax of Mark’s tale. Why would we call Jesus a King?
Let us go back to the start. The message of Jesus was; Repent (rethink) for the Kingdom of God is near! (If any reader still thinks that Heaven is talking about a cloud-filled afterlife, I urge you to read yesterday’s post.)
The Jews were not waiting for Armageddon with the coming of the Messiah. They were literally waiting for a new country to be founded upon the earth with the people of Israel as its inhabitants. Continue reading →
The Heaven we speak of today is very different from what Jesus was talking about when he spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven, to a first century Jew was not some afterlife disembodied dimension – that is a Grecian/Egyptian/Viking viewpoint of a spiritual afterlife.
Here try this and apply it into all the different parables he gives us about the Kingdom of Heaven and see just how much more sense they make: Continue reading →
There is a story I read once of a city whose duty was to inter the dead. When a god of sorts died and her body brought to the city by her siblings, they found the city inhospitable, only interested in making money and achieving fame, all customs and respect for the passing of the dead forgotten. The entities angered by their treatment by the citizens of the necropolis revoked the city’s charter and the city crumbled to dust and the duty of caring for the dead was passed to a smaller village elsewhere.
The idea of resurrection is an interesting one. In fact, from what I understand it is the resolution, the answer, the solution, to the riddle that Israel had to struggle with for practically its entire existence.
While this video is aimed at road safety, I find it equally applicable for those of us who claim to be following Christ. Are we truly seeking the Kingdom of God?
Or is our attention caught up in our own affairs?
We have moved just past the beginning of Mark and while the power of Jesus is evident; healing of disease, exorcism of demons, and raising people from the dead, they are not really the focus of Mark.
Two themes are constantly at play, both which cause the anger of politcal-religious groups. Those themes are the Sabbath and which party does Jesus belong to. This is how it plays out: Continue reading →
Let us not look down on Israel when Jesus came. We (the church) are working with the gigantic benefit of hindsight and have been very blind to our current day situation.
Israel was waiting for salvation. And some of you might be tired of me saying this, but I am going to hammer this point again and again – they were not looking for salvation to “Heaven” from “Hell”. Their concepts of heaven and hell were not our Grecian concepts today. No, Israel had always understood salvation as salvation from the powers of the world that sought to dominate them and defy God. Babel Towers and Pharaoh-led systems. Systems that attempted to achieve immortality, but only caused a wasting and twisting of human life. Systems that would try make one man like a God by trampling upon the lives of hundreds of thousands. Systems that had chewed on Israel with iron teeth and fangs, enslaving their men, raping their women, stealing their livelihood, and desecrating everything they held dear.
Then there were their freedom fighters fighting the good fight, but ultimately abandoned by God into the hands of the Romans. Nailed naked upon pieces of wood and hung outside their towns, any Israelite would have to ask “Where is your God now?” Continue reading →
The Book of Mark begins with John the Baptist. He is the signal that a great change is about to take place. And he comes bringing the message of repentance from sin.
The root word of repent is pent. Pent is the same root word for pensive. It means to think. To re-pent therefore is to re-think. Repent is not, as it popularly gets confused with, the notion of feeling guilty about what you have done.
And so people come confessing their sins to John and then to be baptised in the waters of the Jordan. Continue reading →
Down-trodden Israel, clung on to a handful of promises God had given them. There are a few ways to view the Old Testament stories. A common dichotomy is what is known as a pre-exilic and post-exilic view points. That means the stories were written and told either to Israelites before their exile to Babylon or after.
This context can colour the stories quite strongly in the messages that they are trying to convey.
Since Jesus is certainly in post-exilic times, it would not be too far off the mark perhaps to interpret the Old Testament in post-exilic language (whether they were originally intended for a post exilic audience or not) since the environment and times would have coloured them that way anyway. Continue reading →