Missional Mandate: Fill the Earth, Subdue the Powers, and Shepherd the Creation

April 26, 2023

Texts: Acts 6:7; 4:23-31; 12:24; Revelation 5:9-13 Days 65-67 in Around the Bible in Eighty Days. When God created the cosmos, God invested in humanity a particular vocation:  fill the earth, subdue the chaos, and shepherd (rule) the creation (Genesis 1:28). As participants in the new creation, the people of God extend this human vocation […]

A New Commandment: Love One Another (John 13:31-35)

December 12, 2022

This sermon, which begins at the 30 minute mark, provides an exposition of John 13:31-35 in the context of Jesus’s “table talk” (farewell discourse) with his disciples.

1 Peter 2:21-25: Jesus as Model for Submission

July 17, 2015

Imperial residents, submit to the empire. Slaves, submit to your masters. This submission, Peter tells us, is grounded in our vocation or calling. We are called into a life of submission because Jesus is our model (pattern, example). Our vocational mission as the people of God is grounded in the life of Jesus as the […]

Mark 14:27-52 — From Table to Trial

July 16, 2012

Leaving the upper room of the Last Supper, Jesus leads his disciples across the Kidron Valley onto the Mount of Olives to a place called Gethsemane. Here Jesus will pray and then suffer betrayal and arrest. That is an answer to prayer none would relish. Several trajectories are at play in this narrative that take […]

“Miraculous Movements”: Muslims Coming to Jesus

May 9, 2012

My longtime good friend, John King, is engaged in training people around the world in Discovery Bible Studies as part of the CityTeam Ministries’ Disciple Making Movement or the Church Planting Movement (specifically the work of David Watson). I love what he is doing with the support of his wife Debra. John recommended that I read Miraculous Movements: How […]

Tolbert Fanning–Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part VII)

March 27, 2012

With Tennessee now a Confederate state and at war with the Union, Fanning published an article entitled “Taking up the Cross,” in the August issue of the Gospel Advocate 7.8 (1861), 244-245. What did it mean to “take up the cross” in August 1861 for Tennesseans, Confederates or Unionists? On the one hand, it meant abandoning […]

Mark 10:17-31 – Can the “Rich” Become “Last”?

March 19, 2012

Mark’s travelogue describes the journey of Jesus from Galilee (9:33) to Perea (10:1) to Jericho (10:46) to Bethany (11:1) and finally to Jerusalem (11:11). But this movement is more than geographical. The theme that runs through this journey to death is servanthood (9:35; 10:44-45) and the call to assume the role of the “last” rather than […]

Mark 9:33-50 — Wanna Be Great? Don’t Scandalize My “Little Ones”

March 5, 2012

While many have treated this section of Mark as a series of isolated sayings that follow a passion prediction, the thread that runs through it carries a powerful punch if we hear it as one continuous exchange between Jesus and his disciples. This thread directly connects with the prediction. Just as Jesus would serve others by suffering, […]

Passion Predictions in the Gospel of Mark

February 16, 2012

The Gospel of Mark identifies three separate occasions when Jesus foretold his passion, death and resurrection to his disciples. Each prediction was limited to the twelve. His future was part of the Messianic secret. They were told to tell no one. The first occasion was Mark 8:31-32. This immediately followed Peter’s confession that Jesus is […]

Mark 8:27-9:1 — Confession, Cross and Crown

February 6, 2012

This text is the hinge on which Mark’s Gospel swings. Previous to this text Mark narrates the kingdom ministry of Jesus as Jesus heralds its coming and enacts its reality through healing, compassion and feedings. Subsequent to this text Mark narrates the passion of Jesus and the events that lead up to his death. In the first half of […]