November 17, 2009

A Portrait of Jesus in the gospel of Mark, part 5

This is the 5th part in a series of short chapter summaries from the Gospel According to Mark.
Here are chapters 9 & 10:

9. About six days later, Jesus took three of his chosen students up to a mountain, and there they saw him transfigured so that his clothes shone bright with whiteness. They were terrified, and a cloud overshadowed them with a voice in it that said, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him." (Mark 9:7). After the vision, he charged them not to tell anyone, not until after he had risen from the dead. They came to a man who was in distress over his boy who was oppressed by a spirit, so that the boy was mute and convulsed. The man asked Jesus, "if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus answered, "If you can! All things are possible for one who believes." Immediately the father cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:22-24). Then Jesus healed the boy and commanded the spirit to never come back. Later, Jesus told his disciples again that he would be delivered into the hands of men and killed, and after three days he would rise from the dead. But they still did not understand him.

10. When questioned about divorce, Jesus reminded them of what God said in the beginning of creation, when He made a man and a woman for unity in marriage, so they should not be separated. He also welcomed little children, took them in his arms and blessed them. He taught that the kingdom of God must be received as a little child in order for anyone to enter in (since it is only by faith one is saved). A young man came to Jesus asking him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17). Jesus told the man that God alone is good, and he quoted the last five of the Ten Commandments. The man claimed to have kept them all, so Jesus looked at him with love and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." But since he was very wealthy, he left Jesus disheartened. Then Jesus taught how hard it is for rich people to be saved, so his followers asked if anyone could be saved. He told them it is impossible with men, but all things are possible with God, and promised a great reward for any who leave things they cherish to follow him. After this, he travelled toward Jerusalem, where he said he would be condemned to death, mocked, spit on, flogged and killed, but after 3 days would rise again. Jesus also corrected his students about those who desire to be great in his kingdom, teaching them to be the least and servants of all. He taught that he had come to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. Then he healed a blind man who called for mercy, and blessed him for his faith in Jesus as the "Son of David" (the one prophesied to be the Messiah or Christ).


Peter Davidson said...

Hello Penn, You have a very nice blog here. You may also appreciate the many testimonies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at God bless!

Penn Tomassetti said...

Hello Peter,
Thanks for your comment. I will say for the benefit of my readers that the blog you referenced is from an LDS (Mormon) source.

I am posting a long comment for your benefit Peter [as well as for anyone else reading this post], if you want to interact over this here it is okay, I simply would like if you read what I've said in regard to some issues with LDS beliefs. Thanks.

This is from an email correspondence with a Mormon whom I shall label as "B".

Me: You are telling me, if I'm correct, that you believe Jesus is the only God, along with the Father and Holy Spirit who together make up the Trinity.

B: We refer to them as the Godhead. Three separate beings who are one. One in purpose and unity, perfectly united and of the same will, and mind.

Me: "Three separate beings who are one." You deny that God is one, and that He is three persons not three separate beings, yet One God. What you believe concerning God in this matter comes from a serious distortion of what the Bible actually says. Every major cult in the world denies the truth about who Jesus Christ is, One with the Father and Spirit, One God united in three Divine Persons, not three separate beings.

B: Yes, Jesus in the pre-Earth Jehovah, or rather Jehovah came to Earth and was born as Jesus the Son of Mary.

Me: Does the name Jehovah refer to the Father and Spirit, as well as to the Son? "I will declare the decree: the LORD [Jehovah as Father] hath said unto me, Thou art my Son [Jesus Christ]; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalm 2:7).

B: [Referring to ex-mormon literature] I think those are poor sources to go to. I understand some reason why you would think that. Yes, we do obviously believe differently about many things. You are absolutely right! Even our view of Jesus is not exactly the same as a lot of others, but it is a lot closer than most Christians want to admit.

Me: Close does not suffice. God's Word says, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9). He is the Son of God, our Lord as it teaches in the Bible. Unless He is the Son of God, the *only* God, then it is not what the Bible teaches.

Me: You did not say He is the God and Creator of all that exists.

B: I believe that he created much more than just this Earth, much more than just this galaxy. I believe that his atonement included more than just those that live on this Earth as well.

Me: You still did not say that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Son of the Father, created every single thing that has ever, or ever will come into existence. "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3).

Penn Tomassetti said...

B: We believe that Jesus/Jehovah is the first born spirit of our Father in Heaven and that we are also his spirit offspring, in that way we would be brothers in that we have the same Father of our spirit.As far as Satan and Jesus being brothers, that is not taught in the church, but the same thing would apply in the since that Lucifer who became Satan, was also begotten by the same father in the Pre-Earth life.

Me: This is just one of those strange LDS beliefs that is not supported at all by the Holy Bible, which contains the only books of revelation from God (Rev. 22:18-19).

B: We do believe that we are saved by grace, but we also believe the works we do are important in our saved condition, it just that it is not our works that saves us, it is Jesus payment in our behalf.

Me: What would you say if I found some authentic LDS historic records that claim otherwise? Unless the LDS churches have openly declared this to be the new teaching, that works do not save, but only Christ's atonement?

Me: I must be bold on these issues, since knowing the truth is absolutely essential to being free from sin, and therefore saved for eternity (John 8:32,36).

Penn - a poor sinner
saved, sealed and satisfied by Christ

Penn Tomassetti said...

The above quoted email exchange lasted over a period of days or weeks. I posted it to show you my answers to some LDS beliefs. I would say the last statement (which I answered in another email) gets at the heart of the Mormon issue. Which is that Mormons do not have a Biblical understanding of salvation by grace. It sounds good, but is sorrowfully mistaken Biblically.

I hope any who read this will take the care to consider what Mormons actually believe and examen it with the Bible.