Jesus, Mark Insane, Oscar Schindler discussed on Lutheran Hour
It's the Gospel of Mark Chapter five through six first 13. First impressions form quickly. But they don't need to become lasting impressions. Authors Thomas Mann and Melissa Ferguson offer this example. Say you learn about a man who was a card carrying member of the Nazi party. In Germany. In the late 19 thirties, he devised a plan to make a fortune by capitalizing on the Nazi party's persecution of Jews in Germany. He took over several Jewish owned businesses since the Jews couldn't legally owned them anymore, and they were forced to agree to his terms. Then he made loads of money. Using those businesses to produce war resource is for Germany while employing Jews as cheap labor, knowing that he didn't have to pay them a fair wage. So what's your initial impression of that guy? Let's say that you learned that this man was Oscar Schindler. And that he used all of his money and all of his connections to keep his Jewish workers from being killed. While deliberately producing essentially zero materials for the war effort. And as a consequence of all of this, Schindler ended up dead broke, broken by the sacrifice that he made to save the lives of his people. You see? First impressions don't need to become lasting impressions because a larger story can cast a first impression in a new light and Jesus has come to give you Ah, larger story. That's part of what it means to have faith in Jesus sent to follow Jesus. It means seeing yourself as a character, a developing character in his story. No. Some people are laboring under the false impression that Jesus is a distant, irrelevant historical figure. Some people are under the false impression that Jesus is just a spiritually being that they'll get around to dealing with in the after life when they die. Some people. Know him to be The living present son of God. The Messiah. What are laboring under the false impression that he doesn't care to notice them. But if Jesus Story includes new chapters for seemingly minor characters if a demon possessed man becomes a preacher of God's mercy, It's an invisible old woman becomes a daughter of the king. If a 12 year old girl gone too soon is raised to life. Then Jesus has new chapters for you. There is a new story for you because you have left an impression on Jesus. I don't mean that you've impressed him. Business consultants have advice on how to make a great first impression. But that's not what I'm talking about. Jesus sees right through all that posturing. He sees you. He sees Even the things that you don't want anyone else to see. He sees it all. As an author sees a beloved character. An author who wrote himself into the story. An author who wrote himself into the tragic story of humanity and then Fresh down and nailed to a cross. He suffered the consequences of our short sighted, self centered false impressions. We can't impress Jesus. We have left an impression on him. Nail scars on his hands and his feet. Impress upon us the truth. At our first impressions. Lead to dead ends. His resurrection re casts everything in new light. Would you pray with me? Lord Jesus. You see us as we are. You love us as we are. But you don't leave us the way you found us. Remind us that we don't have to try to impress you. And make us mindful of our impressions of others. Have I cashed someone into an idol that I fear or worship? Let me see them as a struggling sinner just like me. Have I written? Someone off is not worth the effort. Then let me care for them as a beloved child of God, for whom you died. Impress your love on our hearts and recast all our impressions in the light of your life and death. Your resurrection and your promised return to raise the dead and renew all things. Because you live and you reign with the father and the Holy Spirit. One God, now and forever. Amen. You're listening to the Lutheran hour. For free online resource is archived Audio are mobile app and mortgage. Oh, to Lutheran, our dot work now back to our speaker, Dr Michael Ziegler. Once again. I'm visiting with Professor Daniel Pavalock. He's a professor at Concordia University, Wisconsin. He teaches courses about the Bible folk scene on New Testament and ministry that flows out of God's word. Welcome back to the program. Dr Pavel to thank you for letting me come back and thank you listeners. It's a pleasure to be with you and Dr Pavel, You've written a commentary on the gospel of Mark If someone wasn't familiar with what that means, a biblical commentary on a book of the Bible. How would you describe it to them? Well, we'd love to have mark sitting with us and explaining and such. But how about if as best we can We have a companion with us, and that companion could be the commentary. Yet hopefully gives you some answer. Bit by bit page by page of the What is this text trying to say? And then some application off that text also, how will this change my life? How can I use this in my Service. My prayers, my worship. That's a good goal of a commentary. As you wrote this commentary some years ago. How are you hoping to help people answer that question. What does this mean and understand Mark's gospel? Well, I think we're really fortunate that Mark wrote to people. Somewhat like ourselves. He's writing the story of Jesus. But most commentators will agree. He's probably reflecting the preaching of Peter, which was done in Rome and writing to probably people who are not right there in the center of Jerusalem or Galilee, but rather more likely. Those who are learning the story of Jesus at a distance from Jerusalem, Judea, Galilee, and so a commentary wants to be the partner with Mark Insane, too. Distant readers and we're really distant now, 2000 years later here. Let me tell you this story. It's set in a particular time in place. You're gonna want to know who these people are here it you're gonna want to know their nature and cruelty heritage, for instance, and his cruelty towards John the Baptist. You're gonna want to know why this was such an important issue. Should we wash our hands in a ritual manner before we eat or not? Why is that a question while commentary hopefully gives that context. So people and say, Oh, I got it. And maybe even Possibly AH, connection to today. In this format, you've provided a short devotion at the end of each passage, which allows the reader to remember that this isn't just about Acquiring information about the past. But walking with the living Lord along the way. Well, absolutely. I tell my students in the New Testament class I teach the survey of the New Testament. And repeated sections every semester. Why are we doing this? When they have wonderful answers were reading the New Testament were reading it to understand that's good. I'm all for that. But it better change your life. Its intention at least change your life. If after we read the New Testament and spent all these hours together if there's no Greater peace if there's no greater Sense of forgiveness. There's no purpose in life. Then it really didn't do its job. And so a commentary has to have that same purpose. It can't just be information on hair it and his long line or what that particular Greek word means. It's got also speak to our needs off. I need to be forgiven. I need peace with God. I need to know how I can face an uncertain future. And that would be exactly what Mark is writing us well, and all the gospel writers So it's six toe change lives as well as informed you have many quotations from teachers of the past who have come out of the Reformation tradition. So teachers like Martin Luther Teachers like John Calvin and John Wesley and many, many others. Why is that helpful to listen to voices from the past, as we Meditate on God's word like this. Well, there's certainly richer than any one of us by ourselves..