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Jesus and the Centurion

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In Mark’s gospel, only at his death did a Roman centurion who was present at his execution recognize who Jesus was  –  Mark 10:45 .  In  Mark , all men prove incapable of recognizing who Jesus is, even his closest disciples. The only exceptions are John the Baptist and the Roman centurion at Golgotha, the very man in charge of the execution squad. Mark has threaded this theme throughout his gospel to make the point – The Messiah cannot be understood apart from his death on a Roman cross - [ Calvary - Photo by Sangia on Unsplash ] .

Season of Tribulation

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A “tribulation” was coming upon the saints, the “indignation,” such as the people of God had never experienced   -   Daniel 12:1-13 .  The final vision concludes with a description of the terrible “ tribulation ” that would befall the Jewish nation, one more severe than any preceding trial in the history of Israel. When interpreting the passage, we must remember that there were no chapter divisions in the original document penned by Daniel. Contextually, chapter 12 is the continuation of the vision from chapters 10 and 11 - [ Photo by  Torsten Dederichs  on Unsplash ].

Standing Fast

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Believers prepare for the “apostasy” and the “man of lawlessness” by “standing firm” in the Apostolic traditions – 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 .  Having presented the information on the “ apostasy ” and the “ man of lawlessness ,” Paul provides instructions on how the Thessalonians are to avoid the coming deception, and thereby, find themselves standing “ blameless ” before Jesus when he “ arrives with all his holy ones .” Above all, they must “ stand fast ” in the teachings received from the Apostle - [ Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash ].

Arrogant King of the North

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The war between the kings of the “North” and “South” culminates in the rise of an arrogant ruler who persecutes the saints  -  Daniel 11:5-45 .  Beginning with the fourfold division of the Greek kingdom, the interpreting angel outlined the coming conflicts between two of the subsequent realms that culminated in the rise of a “ contemptible ” ruler. Previously, the rise and division of the Greek empire was portrayed in the  vision  of the “ Ram and the Goat ,” representing the kingdoms of the “ Medes and Persians ” and of “ Greece .” - [ Photo by  FERNANDO TRIVIÑO  on Unsplash ].

THAT Son of Man

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The “one like a Son of Man” from Daniel is the source of Christ’s self-designation, the “Son of Man” – Daniel 7:13-14 .  In the gospel accounts, the “ Son of Man ” is the most frequent self-designation heard on the lips of Jesus, a term derived from Daniel’s vision of the figure “ like a Son of Man ,” who approached the “ Ancient of Days ” to receive “ dominion .” For example, at the end of the age, “ all the tribes of the earth ” will mourn when “ they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven .” Jesus was “ that Son of Man .” -[ Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash ].

Paradigm of Calvary

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“ Christ crucified ” is the pattern for, and the test of, genuine discipleship. THAT is the Christ believers are called to emulate .  In the New Testament, the death of Jesus on a Roman cross is the paradigm for discipleship, the benchmark against which Christian conduct is measured, and the criterion for identifying true disciples from unfaithful ones. Whether examining spirituality, wisdom or the miraculous, Calvary is the line that separates the genuine from the counterfeit, and God cannot be known apart from the crucified Messiah - [ Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash ].