Posts by Mark Medley

Posts by Mark Medley

Mark 7 | Jesus and Political Allegiances

Jesus’ ministry took place during a time of great socio-political turmoil. Rome occupied Palestine and the local rulers were proud, self-aggrandizing, rash and conflicted people. Other local rulers were completely misled, thinking they could force changes on a nation from the outside, without altering the hearts of the people. Some things never change. Chapters six and seven of the gospel of Mark reveal powerful truths to us. In the midst of the social and political madness of his day, common…

Mark 3 | Sabbath Seriously

The Gospel of Mark is like an action movie. It records the events of Jesus’ ministry in scene after scene using words like “immediately” or “at once, without delay.” It can be a challenge to keep up with all that is happening. For example, in this chapter, we have five scenes involving Jesus interacting with hundreds (or thousands) of people. We see a man, a group of religious leaders, a large crowd, the twelve, another large crowd, and Jesus’ own…

Philemon | Everyone Needs A Second Chance

The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes everything! The book of Philemon tells a powerful story of how the gospel restores those relationships torn apart by sin. Philemon is a short but beautiful letter from the Apostle Paul (who was in prison for the gospel) to Philemon, a Gentile believer in Colosse (Col. 4:19), in whose house a church meets. Paul writes on behalf of Onesimus, a run away slave who had recently been converted under Paul’s ministry. He had been serving…

1 Timothy 1 | Grace to Our Sons and Daughters

As we make the switch from Revelation to First Timothy, we really have to switch our brains and our way of understanding these books. Revelation was written in an apocalyptic style with its strange references, visions and symbolism. The epistles are simply letters, written from real people to other real people – friends to friends, you could say.  They are generally much more down to earth, relational and instructional. That is exactly what we find as Paul writes to his spiritual son, Timothy.…

Revelation 22 | Three Trees And The Restoration Of All Things

There is no more hopeful chapter in the Bible than the last. Here is God’s great answer to our human fallen nature and here is the culmination of the truly awesome work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is the chapter that gives us the answer to all the questions that have haunted mankind through the ages. Where did we come from? What went wrong? How can it be made right? How will this all end? The center of…

Revelation 15 | Boy, Do They Sing in Heaven!

As we read Revelation this week, we see another song popping up in the midst of the apocalyptic activity that John experienced (Chapter 15). This made me think about worship throughout book of Revelation. As we have seen, this book is not really about things yet to come as much as it is an unveiling of the person and work of Jesus Christ. My short definition of worship is this: worship is a revelation (God reveals himself to us) and a response…

Revelation 7 | Who Gets to Sing in the Choir?

There are many interpretations and much hype about the 144,000 “sealed” persons mentioned in Revelation chapter seven. This same group is also mentioned in Revelation chapter 14, where they sing a song no one else gets to sing. Who are these people? The numbers 12,000 and 144,000 have variously interpreted meanings throughout church history. Some, taking the numbers in Revelation to be symbolic, believe it represents all of God’s people throughout history of the Church (since the number 12 is a…

Revelation 5 | Idols and Honor

A trip to India will cause you to reassess things in your life. The spiritual, cultural, and literal climate are all very difficult for anyone to become acclimated. But undoubtedly, the most unexpected thing about the culture is the blatant and literal idolatry which is a part of everyday life. People actually purchase stone idols and pray to them. They set up shrines to their billions of gods. This grieved me to the core of my spirit to see this…

Revelation 3 | What Would Jesus Say?

What would Jesus have to say about our church? I am visualizing one of the ordinary weekly staff meetings where we are going through the “connection cards” that visitors fill out. Suddenly we realize that Jesus himself had visited our church that week and filled out a card, leaving his comments on the state of our church. Just thinking about it, my palms are get sweaty and my throat swells. What would the Son of God say to us if…

1 John 1 | Love Is A Fuzzy Word

Is there a more ill-defined word than love? We use it to describe our feelings for God and for pizza, for our spouses and for sports. We use it so much that it has lost its meaning, its depth, its cost in our lives. Within the past year, the words of 1 John have been messing with me. The Apostle John is not ashamed to use the word “love” – and he knows exactly what it means. Love changes our lives, our motives and…