The Resurrection

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 12:18-27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. (v. 27) What happens after we die has always been a topic of debate throughout human history. Even in Jesus’ time there were a variety of opinions. One opinion held by a group of religious leaders known as the Sadducees was that there is no resurrection of the dead. Although not large in number, they wielded a fair amount of authority in Jewish society. And Jesus’ …

Caesar and God

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 12:13-17 They sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. (v. 13) Once again, the religious leaders think they can outsmart Jesus. If Jesus answers that it’s wrong to pay taxes to Caesar, they can report him to the Romans and have him arrested. But if he says it’s lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, he will be regarded as a traitor to the Jewish cause. Jesus, however, …

Rejected, but Not Defeated

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 12:1-12 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (vv. 10-11) One of the worst feelings that we human beings can have is rejection. We’ve all experienced it. Maybe you were turned down for a job; maybe your grades weren’t high enough and you were rejected by a college or graduate school; maybe you were always the last …

Playing Games

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 11:27-33 As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him. (v. 27) People like to “play games.” The chief priests, scribes, and the elders were especially good at it. They were clever, no doubt about it. In today’s passage, they come to Jesus with a question regarding his authority: “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” It sounds …

Instructions on Prayer from the Master

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 11:22-26 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.” (v. 22) The bedrock of prayer is faith. We pray because we believe in God. And praying means we believe that God cares about us and wants to help us. How different than praying routinely or out of habit. True prayers are sincere and from the heart. And they arise from faith. If we truly believe in God, we naturally turn to him knowing that he has the answer …