Category: Memory Verse

Memory Verse

DOES IT REALLY TAKE A VILLAGE?

“Do not even go into the village.” –Mark 8:26 The village in today’s passage was Bethsaida, a place Jesus elsewhere condemned for its advanced hardened and unrepentant attitude (see Mt 11:21-24). This is the only incident in the Gospels in which Jesus had to heal a person in two stages. Possibly the extreme hardness of the village made it more difficult for a healing to take permanent root. First, Jesus “led [the blind man] outside the village” (Mk 8:23). Healing often occurs best away from the skeptical crowd, by either getting away from the crowd or putting the crowd out...

HEART TO HEART

“His heart was grieved.” –Genesis 6:6 God’s “heart was grieved” because man’s heart desired nothing but evil (Gn 6:5-6). God’s heart was broken because man’s heart is hardened, disobedient, and rebellious. Jesus revealed the condition of His heart through the image of the Sacred Heart, bleeding and surrounded with a crown of thorns. God said His heart was grieved, but no one ever suspected that this would be literally true when God became a man and thereby actually had a human heart. Likewise, no one suspected that our hearts would be so perverse that we would murder God by our...

WHAT ABOUT JESUS?

“Blest shall you be when men hate you, when they ostracize you and insult you and proscribe your name as evil because of the Son of Man.” –Luke 6:22 Jesus is a Sign that is contradicted (Lk 2:34). He says: “Blest are you poor” (Lk 6:20) and “Woe to you rich” (Lk 6:24). By contrast, most of us say the opposite. The rich don’t like to hear their lives may be wasted (see Eccl 1:2), and the poor don’t like the idea that God may never want them to be rich. Jesus can get both ends of the economic spectrum...

NO SWEAT

“By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat.” –Genesis 3:19 God had told man that he would get bread to eat by the sweat of his face (Gn 3:19), by working hard to plant, till, harvest, grind, and prepare grain for bread. Nevertheless, God then mercifully sent His only Son to feed us bread, and heavenly bread at that (Jn 6:32-33ff). In Jesus, the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35), God has reversed the heavy consequences of the fall of man. Whoever eats the bread Jesus gives will never be hungry (Jn 6:35) and will have eternal...

OPEN ARMS?

Jesus “said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (that is, ‘Be opened!’)” –Mark 7:34 When Adam and Eve sinned, they were expelled from Paradise, and the door to Paradise was closed (Gn 3:23-24). Human beings then began to be closed off to God and to one another (see Gn 3:8ff). After the first sin, death entered the world and closed us off from the happiness of everlasting life. During the centuries following the first sin, more and more lives were closed down by sin’s escalating effects, such as war, sickness, starvation, racism, and violence. Then God became Man and walked into a closed...

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