Character in Context
Episode 96: Mark Part 36— The Leaven of the Leadership

Episode 96: Mark Part 36— The Leaven of the Leadership

January 29, 2021

Things are heating up and Yeshua/Jesus tries to teach the disciples an important lesson—but they miss it entirely because they have their mind on temporal concerns. What exactly is the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of the Herodians and what does it mean in our own lives?

Episode 95: Mark Part 35—The Feeding of the Four Thousand…Gentiles?

Episode 95: Mark Part 35—The Feeding of the Four Thousand…Gentiles?

January 22, 2021

In a miraculous and frustrating turn of events, the Pharisees from the district of Dalmanutha demand a sign from Heaven shortly after Yeshua/Jesus feeds a mixed multitude, leaving four thousand satisfied. But can the Pharisees be satisfied?

Episode 94: Mark Part 34—Ephphrata! Psalm 135 and the Decapolis Pagans.

Episode 94: Mark Part 34—Ephphrata! Psalm 135 and the Decapolis Pagans.

January 15, 2021

There is so much more to this short little blurb than meets the eye. We’ll be talking about Psalm 135, my book Image-bearing, Idolatry and the New Creation, and two of my all-time favorite books—G K Beale’s We Become What We Worship and Richard Lints’ Identity and Idolatry. This event is enormously symbolic for the future ministry of the disciples but it is easy to miss it.

Episode 93: Mark Part 33—He Called Her Daughter a What? The Syrophonecian Dilemma.

Episode 93: Mark Part 33—He Called Her Daughter a What? The Syrophonecian Dilemma.

January 8, 2021

I don’t think anyone really enjoys reading this account. No matter who you want Yeshua/Jesus to be and what you want Him to conform to—you can’t read this without wincing and realizing that He is what He is and we can’t always predict Him. We’re going to explore history and the pseudepigraphic book of Jubilees in order to explore what I think was really going on here. If only our Savior would stay in a more comfortable box…

Episode 92: Mark Part 32—What Defiles a Man?

Episode 92: Mark Part 32—What Defiles a Man?

January 1, 2021

This is the second part of last week’s teaching, where Yeshua/Jesus lays down the difference between impurity that can and cannot be washed away. This parable is brutal and takes no prisoners.

Episode 91: Mark Part 31—All Foods Clean? Missing the Point of this Vital Teaching.

Episode 91: Mark Part 31—All Foods Clean? Missing the Point of this Vital Teaching.

December 25, 2020

It is so unfortunate that so many people on both sides have boiled this brilliant teaching down to a debate about foods being clean, and what counts as food, or even as being about food at all. It isn’t about food! This teaching begins a new phase in the ministry of the Messiah, as He is about to venture out into Gentile lands and must confront the over the top purity standards that would make it impossible for the Gospel to go forth out of Zion to the ends of the world.

Episode 90: Dismantling Jubilees/Removing the Roadblocks to the Gospel

Episode 90: Dismantling Jubilees/Removing the Roadblocks to the Gospel

December 18, 2020

Although popular in some circles, the Book of Jubilees is both a mathematical nightmare and what would amount to a comedy of errors if it was funny. That being said, it opens a vitally important window into the ways that Jews in the early years of Hasmonean rule were looking at the Gentiles and allows us a glimpse of what mindsets led to the later development of the differing sects within Judaism. Without this understanding, it is easy to make Mark 7:1-13 to be entirely about food instead of what it was really about--the ability of the Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus to take the Gospel into the Gentile world in fulfillment of the words of the Psalmists and the Prophets.

Episode 89: Hannukah 2020—The Zadokite and Miracle of the Light Controversies

Episode 89: Hannukah 2020—The Zadokite and Miracle of the Light Controversies

December 11, 2020

Last year for Hannukah, we talked about the oppressive “traditions of men” vs ordinary traditions that Yeshua/Jesus spoke of in light of the Feast of Dedication mentioned in John 10. This year I am delving deep into the scholarly materials to explore the Zadokite controversy—which purports that the Hasmoneans were illegitimate priests and which has been used to discredit Hannukah. I will also go into the works of Josephus and Megillat Ta'anit to try and figure out where the legend of the “miracle of the oil” came from.

Episode 88: Mark Part 30—Echoes of Exodus II: Walking on Water

Episode 88: Mark Part 30—Echoes of Exodus II: Walking on Water

December 4, 2020

People often claim that Yeshua/Jesus never claimed to be Messiah, or Divine. People are wrong. What can’t be had from a casual reading of some of Scripture is evident from an in-depth knowledge of the whole of Scripture and the claims that Yahweh makes about Himself through His prophets. Last week and this week especially, we cover blatant claims and proof that Yeshua is the one unique Son of God with authority that is not explicable in any other way.

Episode 87: Mark Part 29–Echoes of Exodus: The Ultimate 5K

Episode 87: Mark Part 29–Echoes of Exodus: The Ultimate 5K

November 27, 2020

How appropriate is it that this is airing during the week of Thanksgiving in America?

This week's Scripture passage on the feeding of the five thousand is just HUGE for Exodus references and is very heavy on the eschatological wording that we see throughout the Prophets. This is the only miracle account shared in all four Gospel accounts and so we know it must be central to the identity of Yeshua/Jesus being revealed by each of the four authors. So much is happening this week--we will be discussing the importance of the wilderness, of green grass, of shepherds and sheep, of hundreds and fifties. We will go back and talk about Exodus and Numbers and the prophets Isaiah, Zechariah, Ezekiel, Elijah, and Elisha. This account is set in stark contrast with last week's Scripture passage and thus compares the banquet of Herod with the banquet of the Messiah.

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