An English farmer told a companion that he had been saved by his good looks.
The friend answered, "Oh, no way, it may be just the opposite, thinking about your good
looks may pull you away from God."
"Oh, but this is how it is taken directly from the Bible. Isaiah 45:22 says, 'Look unto me
and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is no one else.' Then I
found another verse. Hebrews 12:2 says, 'Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising
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Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.
The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.
"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.