Is there any way to prove that we are God's children?
In this passage of Romans, Paul brings to mind the elaborate, safe, and secure method of
adoption used by Rome. Adoption was very detailed and difficult. When a son was
adopted, he had to pass out of the possession and control of one man, and the other
became the owner. Three times the symbolism of sale, constituting the adoption was
carried out. The first two times, the father would buy him back, then the third time he
became the property of the adopting father. The adopted person then gained all the rights
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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.