As far as the Sanhedrin was concerned, they had arrested Jesus and put him on trial. Since Rome had long since taken away their right to carry out a death sentence, they had to take him to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate for another trial. In fact, however, Jesus never was and never can be on trial. Whoever encounters Jesus for whatever reason is on trial. The stakes are higher than life or death of the body. The outcome of the trial determines eternal destiny.
The Jewish leadership dragged Jesus to Pilate’s palace and accused Jesus of sedition against Rome.… Read the rest
Blind man of Bethsaida
In Mark 8:22-26, Jesus performed his only two-part healing. In an earlier post, I pointed out the significance to Mark’s structure of the fact that Jesus had to lay his hands on a blind man twice before his sight was fully restored.
That is not the only odd thing about this miracle. Notice that Jesus and his disciples entered the village of Bethsaida, where some people asked him to lay hands on a blind man. He did not do so immediately. Instead, he took the man by the hand and led him out of the village.… Read the rest
In recent centuries, philosophers have doubted miracle stories. Some of them have asserted that only uneducated people who don’t know much about science could believe them, so the stories must have some time after Jesus’ live passed into the realm of legend.
Others have claimed that the biblical authors deliberately made up stories that couldn’t be true in order to gain a mass following among the unsophisticated and credulous.
One question, then: if someone made up a bunch of tall tales to make Jesus seem like more than just another teacher, why would they make up a story about a miracle that seemed not to work?… Read the rest