Drinking His cup, being baptized with His baptism

Our sermon for the beginning of Passiontide was Mark 10:32-45, the passage about James and John asking Jesus if they could sit on His right hand and His left when He comes into His kingdom.  I had studied this text extensively for what it teaches about authority and vocation (how authority is not to be used to “lord it over” others, but to serve those whom you have authority over).  But somehow I never noticed that the passage is also about baptism and Holy Communion.  Read the connection after the jump.  And see whom God prepared to be on His right hand and on His left.

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“We loathe this worthless food”

Last Sunday one of our Scripture readings was about the children of Israel complaining in the wilderness, whereupon they were attacked by fiery serpents until Moses healed them by lifting up a bronze serpent on a pole, which Jesus would later apply to Himself (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21).

I was struck by one of the Israelite’s whines:  “We loathe this worthless food” (Numbers 21:5).  They were talking about Manna!  The miraculous food that God supplied them day by day without their effort!  It was delicious!  “It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16: 31).  And yet, even though this was an astounding miracle from a loving God, the people got tired of it.  They thought it was boring.  It became something to complain about.  “We loathe this worthless food.”

How often we–or, I should say, I–take our blessings for granted, to the point of thinking them worthless.  The only remedy, I suppose, is for fiery serpents to awake us to our need.  And for the Bronze Serpent to show us how that very sinfulness has been crucified and for the one who bore that sin in His body to heal us. [Read more...]

Childhood home of Jesus found?

An archaeologist may have discovered the house in Nazareth in which Jesus grew up.  He found a first-century house, upon which had been built a church, corresponding to ancient records about the Church of the Nutrition that was reportedly erected over the place where young Jesus and his family lived. [Read more...]

Luther’s favorite Bible verses

You know those 76 red volumes of the collected works of Luther in English?  Well, there are a lot more writings by the Reformer that have not been translated into English.  Concordia Publishing House is adding more translations to the series, including this Volume 77 of the Church Postils (a series of sermons meant to be read in other churches–a genre in which Luther developed and promulgated the doctrine of vocation).

As we’ve posted, Dr. Benjamin Mayes  has been working on this project for CPH, going over untranslated writings of Luther.  Dr. Mayes came across a simple list of Bible verses that Luther said gave him comfort and that he used to console himself.   See the Bible verses after the jump.  Then look them up. [Read more...]

Writings of Jews in the Babylonian exile

Archaeologists have discovered and translated a trove of tablets from Iraq that were written by Jews exiled in Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon.  [Read more...]

Gospel of Mark fragment from before 90 A.D.?

Researchers studying the paper used in the masks of Egyptian mummies have apparently discovered what may be the oldest manuscript of the New Testament:  a fragment from the Gospel of Mark, which most scholars believe is the earliest Gospel, that dates from before 90 A.D.   That would be around 60 years after the Crucifixion of Christ. [Read more...]


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