Archives: Mark 9:30-37

Arguing the Way

One of the courses I’ve put together in my teaching ministry is called “Questions of Jesus.”

In the gospels, Jesus asks 307 questions and only answers 3.

He clearly has a lot to ask of us, not only in terms of what he’s calling us to do, but in terms of what is going on in our hearts and minds—he wants to know.

What I do in the “Questions of Jesus” course is present Jesus’ questions with no context at all, no indication of the story, the situation, and the surrounding verses.

Then I let folks wrestle with them, individually, in small groups, and as a large group.  It’s always a fascinating process.

Jesus’ questions, taken apart from their familiar contexts, have a way of cutting right through our customary b.s. and assumptions, like a laser to the heart.

And the question he asks today is one of my favorites.

“What were you arguing about on the way?”

It’s a heck of a relevant question to us right here and now. Continue reading

Bad 70s Pop Psychology in the Gospel

I have something I try to remind myself of on a regular basis.

And that something is that everyone can see through me.

Everyone can see through my posturing and my careful cultivation of a holy priestly persona and a polite and cheerful mask. I’m not fooling anyone.

And when I remember that it brings me back down to earth. I get this kind of mixed set of feelings in myself that is somehow a blend of chagrin, wry humor, and relief.

Why do we try to fool the world into thinking specific things about us?

Why do we act as though the false self of virtue or power is who we really are?

It’s because we are afraid.

We don’t believe that people would love us if they knew the truth about us. Continue reading