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Showing items filed under “Marlon Simpkins”


Matthew 21: 12-17 

Jesus angers leaders by throwing vendors out of the temple

At question in this passage of scripture is the emotion of anger. We see two forms of anger juxtaposed to one another.

First, we find Jesus coming to the defense of his father’s house. He is filled with anger when he finds merchants in the temple court selling items to make a profit. In turn, he flips over tables and kicks out the merchants who are apparently serving a different master. At first glance, it may be surprising that Jesus loss his cool. After all, we know that Jesus was sinless and all about his father’s business. Why was he so angry?

Secondly, the high priests and the religious teachers become indignant when Jesus healed the blind and the lame people who showed up to the temple court seeking God’s hand of healing. The children were singing God’s praise, “Hosanna to the Son of David”, which further enraged them. Comparing these two responses, what do you think the gospel author is teaching us about anger? Was one form of anger more appropriate than the other? What have you experienced in your spiritual journey that has caused you to have a reverent anger in defense of God’s house?

Finally, we witness Jesus’s dependence on God’s word. He pulls together the Old and New Testament by making two references to other passages in the Bible. Isaiah 56:7 is referenced in Matthew 21:13 “It is written, ‘my house shall be call a house of prayer’, but you are making it a robber’s den.” Additionally, Psalm 8 is referenced in Matthew 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,” ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” Please read the scriptures Jesus referenced in Matthew 21. What insights do you gain about Jesus’s mindset in the temple courts? If Jesus, who is perfectly man and perfectly God, is dependent on the scriptures to conduct his ministry, how much more should we hold reverence for the Bible?

in Care

The Power of Silence

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Can silence be comforting?

I can recount multiple times in my life that I have faced hardships that caused me to wonder where God was in my suffering? I prayed, I read my Bible, I meditated; But, all I could hear was silence. While I am not sure if God chose to be silent in those instances, or whether my grief rendered me spiritually deaf, either way I was overcome with pain and helplessness.
There is much we can learn from the suffering Job encountered when he faced calamity in his life. Initially, Job heard nothing from God either. Fortunately, three of his good friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite) came to comfort him in his time of need.

Job 2: 12-13:
12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

What’s striking about this passage is that his friends remained silent for entire first week because they could sense the depth of his pain. They didn’t offer empty platitudes such as, “God is preparing you for something greater” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Nor did they over identify. “I know exactly what you are going through”.

I believe that one of the best things we can do to care for someone in deep distress is to offer a non-judgmental presence. A willingness to show up and BE present can be more valuable for the afflicted than hearing clumsy assumptions and anxious projections. Job’s friends were doing great until they opened their mouths. They should have remained silent.

What do you think?