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God Takes Care of Fiery Ordeals

Updated on April 15, 2020
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Gary studies the Word of God and shares what he learns freely. He has a Ph.D. from the Bible University of Canada.

Mark and Peter


Why It’s Okay To Suffer Grief In Trials!

I have stated this before. Mark was an amanuensis for Peter. Here is some of what he took down from the elder statesman:

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4.12-13)

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5.10)

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1.6-7)

Really timely and soothing verses from Peter written down for him by John Mark. I thought with the sign of the times it would be good to hear some good news from the Word, and Peter being one who we can identify with, certainly had the words of the day.

Paradoxical - The Two Shall Become One


A Paradoxical Introduction

The use of a paradox here defined is a statement that contradicts itself and embraces a valid truth or principle. (2 Corinthians 12.10; cf 2 Corinthians 6.8-10)

The Scriptures are full of figures of speech and rhetorical devices:

  • symbols
  • types
  • parables
  • proverbs
  • paradoxes

There are only 200 different types of rhetorical devices in the Word which we may hit on from time to time and point out.

There are five very succinct moronically paradoxical declarations which we will look at and learn from individually.

  1. Two Shall Become One - Mark 10.1 - "Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again."
  2. Adults Shall Be As Children - Mark 10.13 - "And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them."
  3. The First Shall Be Last - Mark 10.17 - "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and knelled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
  4. Servants on This Earth Shall Be Rulers on The Next - Mark 10.32 - "And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,"
  5. The Poor Become Rich - Mark 10.46 - "And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimæus, the son of Timæus, sat by the highway side begging."

Two Shall Become One


Two Equals One - Paradoxical One for Your Enjoyment

We live in a culture of "self-fulfillment." "self-realization," and "self-actualization," that is worship of self. This section is painfully relevant.

  • More important than "self-fulfillment" or even our own happiness is our obedience to God's Word. Just look at John, Paul, and James lives.

Important: God desires obedience more than worship. (1 Samuel 15.22)

"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams."

The Proverbs are a favorite of mine and one of those I am sure you are familiar with states in part "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." (Proverb 14.12; Proverb 16.25)

Mark 10: 1-12, "Getting up, He *went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; crowds *gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.

Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again. And He *said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

Jesus was caught in more than politics here. Divorce was an extremely hot topic based on two views based on the interpretation of uncleanness in Deuteronomy 24.1-4.

Just to let you know, before I made a total commitment to the Lord I had two divorces and am remarried for the third time. If you are divorced, committed to Christ, do everything you can to stay in Christ and committed in the marriage you are in when you became totally committed to Christ. That is all you can do.

Note: In Verse 1 with one short statement Mark summarizes about six months of Jesus Christ ministry.

  • His mention of Judea covers the later Judean period, recorded largely in John 7.10-19.39; and Luke 10.1-13.21.
  • The reference to "the other side of Jordan" has to do with the Perean Ministry, the greater part recorded in Luke 13.22-19.28. You are now three months until He would make a final Passover entrance into Jerusalem.
  • The events recorded by Mark in Mark 10.52 are in all reality the closing events of the Perean period of Luke 18.15-19.28.

Final Comment Paradox One: The breakdown of commitments in our society, in business, government, and in families, is a core cancer of present moral bankruptcy and actively promoted by so-called liberals.

Adults Must Be Like Children - Paradoxical Two


How Do We Become Children? A Fascinating Question

We are now at Mark 10.13-16 "And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

I have always been fascinated by these Scriptures. People have told me that I have always enjoyed my job because I had a good time doing them. I smiled and joked around on the plane and people laughed, interacted with each other and me, relaxed, and during the evening flights - went to sleep until we landed making my job rather easy.

Obviously, I worked in the airline industry for years. I also worked in radio - mostly in FM and won many awards for excellence from the trade papers in that industry as well. It was my attitude they liked and it came across on the air as well. I did that for fourteen years as well.

So, you know a little about me. The disciples were more than likely trying to protect the Lord in what they did in both His time and strength. But they failed to attach sufficient importance to the children in His lap.

This is somewhat surprising since He had already taught them to receive the children in His Name and make sure that not one of them would stumble. (Mark 9.36-37)

It indicates the Jesus was "much displeased" is understood. The Lord became kind of indagate and openly rebuked His disciples.

  • It goes without saying - Children are a blessing, not a burden; a treasure, not a liability. (cf. Psalms 127 and Psalms 128
  • Did you realize the the commitment of "Guardian Angel" is Biblical? (Matthew 18.10)
  • The children were better kingdom examples than were the adults. we tell the children to behave like adults at times. But Jesus tells the adults to model themselves after the children. You want to know how?

The Attributes of Children That Adults Need to Devlop

A Humble Dependennce
Jesus diidn't baptize them
Upon Others (ex. the Lord)
They Accepted Themselves
And Their Position In Life
Children Live by Faith
Enjoy Much, Explain Little
Enter Goo's Kingdom by Faith
Helpless Like Little Children

Paradox Three


The First Shall Be Last - Paradoxical Three

In Mark 10.17 this is the only person who ever came to the feet of Jesus Christ and ever went away worse than when he came, and what a shame.

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

  • He asked the right question. Superficial was his views about spirituality for sure.
  • His presumption that there was "something he could do "to earn eternal life is the underlying fallacy behind every false cult or religion.
  • Behind this "good works" view is a superficial view of sin, man, the Bible, Jesus Christ, and salvation.



Final Thoughts

Well, Here is another one with this one about John Mark and it will have to be continued as well due to the length of the study. Thank you for reading my essays and I again ask for feedback on the writing at the link above the article or at

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Gary E Hill


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