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Author Drew Smith

A wild man preaching in the desert about repentance and calling people to be baptized is how we often image John the Baptist. We also visualize John baptizing Jesus – a significant starting point to Jesus’ ministry. But when we think of John, we probably most often recall his death at the hands of King […] Read More

It is often said that Jesus had more to say about money than any other subject. From his statements about wealth and possessions, to his parables about agriculture and land, to his calling his followers to invest in treasures in heaven, Jesus’ teachings are replete with the theme of wealth and possessions. We might say […] Read More

One of the beliefs shared by global religious traditions is the importance of sacred time and space. The Hebrew tradition had sacred days and seasons, like Passover and the Day of Atonement, that recalled and celebrated what God had done in Israel’s life. For the earliest Christians, the first day of the week was a […] Read More

Isaiah 6 is known by biblical scholars as a theophany – an appearance of God. Isaiah, in the presence of God, is confronted with not only who God is, but with who he is in relation to God. The scene defines for us what being in God’s presence might entail and it may be an […] Read More

One of the greatest events in modern history was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989. For almost three decades, this wall stood as a visual reminder of the hostilities that existed between the parties on either side of the wall. The demolishing of this wall brought a new sense of hope to […] Read More

The book of Acts includes two summary passages that describe the character of the first century church: Acts 2:42-45 and 4:32-37. In both references, the early believers gathered for worship, prayer, fellowship and the breaking of bread. These actions remain familiar and normal, as these are still considered the central acts of worship of the […] Read More

A “Markan sandwich” encapsulates two of my favorite gospel healing narratives. This “sandwich” describes a literary device used often in the Gospel of Mark in which the author tells a story that is interrupted by another story. The second story is told in its entirety, and then the first story is finished. In Mark 5:21-24, […] Read More

The biblical stories are replete with calls to believe and people who choose to believe or not to believe in God. Of course, the more familiar expression we use in speaking of this act of believing is to have faith. Whether we read stories of individuals in Israel’s history, ancient Israel’s history as a nation […] Read More

The narrative structure of Mark’s Gospel has fascinated me for years. Unlike Matthew and Luke, the two gospels most similar to Mark, Mark does not begin with Jesus’ birth narrative. Instead, Mark begins with Jesus’ baptism, and then follows Jesus as he proclaims the kingdom of God and offers healing as a sign of God’s […] Read More

Over the years that I have spent reading the Gospels, I have come to the conclusion that Jesus was not simply a teacher of spirituality as some like to make him out to be. Nor was he some divine figure who went about Galilee healing people. He was certainly both of these, but Jesus was […] Read More