Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 18, 2011

Doing a study on the book of Mark, and I'm just coming up with too clear of understanding to not document.
Today's progress:

Mark 10:46-52
Jesus's choice of words in verse 52 interests me. Not "I have healed you," (although this would be a true statement), but "Your faith has healed you." Jesus seemed to have a way of making his ability known without directly demanding praise for himself. Jesus gives Bartimaeus sight not because of his own mercy or grace, but because of Bartimaeus's faith. What I gain from this is that our spiritual lives reflect a self-fulfilling prophecy. Jesus performs to the same degree we expect of him. Later on, in Mark 11:24, Jesus says, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
This leads me to: Why would the God-man share his glory with us? Why give us credit for faith when the true work being done is on his end? My best response is that he loves us and wants to encourages our faith. What could be more encouraging than to see results credited to your effort? I'll liken it to parenting- when Carson asks politely for a drink, I do not hand it to him and tell him, "I, O mighty mother, have provided this drink for you from self-sacrifice and love, and it is right that you ask politely because you are eternally indebted to me." I simply hand it over and say, "Thank you for asking nicely." Reinforcing good behavior never fails to elicit more good behavior.

Mark 12:13-17
Jesus is clarifying for the legalistic ones whether or not to pay taxes. After all, Jesus is a rebel who challenges the norms of culture. Jesus answers the question by looking at a coin of the day. It is stamped (engraved? chiseled? etched?) with the image of Caesar. Mark 12:17 "Then Jesus said to them, 'Give to Caeasar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." The coin bore the image of Caesar, but man bears the image of God.
Background info on the image of God:
God Himself is a trinity - Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
Man is a trinity - spirit, Soul, Body
No other living creation is a trinity. Dogs have bodies, and you could argue that dogs have souls (who hasn't seen a dog "cry" or pout?). But there is no question that dogs do not have spirits. The spirit (little s) is the vessel within a man that is capable of receiving the Holy Spirit (big S), should the man accept. Dogs do not know Jesus, and are not capable of carrying his Spirit within them.
Man alone bears God's image, because man alone is a trinity capable of carrying the Holy Spirit. (FYI, I believe angels are not trinities. They have spirit and soul, but no body.)
Back to Mark 12:17. The coin bears the image of Caesar, and thus belongs to Caesar. We bear the image of God, and thus belong to God.
Send the money away, Jesus says. Let Caesar collect the metal currency he so favors, this currency has no bearing in the Kingdom of God. Keep yourself reserved for the Lord, as this is the treasure He most seeks.