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spotlight: the Bible and Brandon

irruption

If you keep track of some of the Christian blogs out there in the wild and wooly worldwide web you will notice a lot of opinionating, theologizing, and less-than-riveting analysis.

I bring this up, not to bash or hate, but to explain why I feel that it is worthwhile to occassionally spotlight certain blog posts, emails, comments, etc. here at the rewilson blog.

There is something about my buddy J sitting down on a hot, dusty, flu-ridden day somewhere in Africa, openning his Bible up and being taught from the Scriptures by God’s Spirit.  There is something about that moment that is joy filled and sacred that just has to be shared, has to be passed on.

In much the same way, when I read my buddy Brandon Roger’s (of bbrogers.com fame, who also writes over at irruption) post about his time reading Mark’s Gospel, I just cannot help but spotlight it.

Read it, you might find yourself reminded that our Sovereign and Savior is no tame or tepid God.  You may be reminded why you love your Bible and love the Jesus who the Bible is written about.  You may find yourself thinking, “that’s not the Jesus I am familiar with” and you may find that it is time for you to meet him again – for the first time:

No One Could Subdue Him

I’ve begun a journey through the Gospel of Mark.

The norm, for me, for studying a book of the Bible is just to plunge in and hit it up verse(s) by verse(s) until I’m done. I did that with Matthew, 1 & 2 Corinthians, John, and Hebrews. I do feel, however, that it may have been the wrong way to start. How can I study something verse by verse without understanding the larger structure and over-arching themes of the book as a whole?

So I’ve begun studying Mark by just reading it through from beginning to end, which I’ll repeat a few times, figuring out what Mark’s structure and big picture is before delving into the minutiae. And this has been absolutely refreshing. It has enabled me to read Mark as literature (though not just any literature), enjoying the narrative and being amazed at the person of Jesus (a la Bret’s post about marveling at the Christ). I really like it when that happens. When I’m realizing the uniqueness, the power, the holiness, the wisdom, and the love of Jesus in a way that baffles me…I know I’m heading down the right path.

One of these instances happened this morning as I read about Jesus and the man with an unclean spirit in Mark 5. The story goes that Jesus steps out of a boat and is immediately (Mark’s favorite word) met by this demon-possessed man. He lived amongst the tombs, yelling and crying out constantly. The word says this guy was so overrun with demonic power that he could break chains and shackles apart. “No one had the strength to subdue him.”

Enter Jesus.

As soon as he steps foot on the beach, the possessed man bows to him as the demons shriek, “What have you to do with me Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”

“What’s your name,” Jesus asks.

“Legion, for we are many.”

And Jesus casts the legion of demons into a herd of two thousand pigs which subsequently rushed down a steep bank into the sea, drowning themselves. The man with demonic power whom no one had the strength to subdue, had been subdued by Jesus.

What else can this be besides a HUGE indicator that Jesus, King of the Universe, has come in power and rules over all? Even a myriad of demons can do nothing but beg for mercy from the one into whose hands all power has been given.

Sure, I may have gone a bit crazy with the spotlights here lately, but I just can’t stand the thought of not sharing a couple of posts that were written by three people who mean a great deal to me and who have seen incredible works of God’s grace through his Word (thanks J & Brandon) and through his people (thanks for sharing Sarah).

I hope these spotlights were for your good and your joy in Jesus Christ.

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