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I recently finished a quick read of the Gospel of Mark and was struck by Jesus' careful awareness of bystanders. In Mark 10:17-22, for example, Jesus is approached by an individual and has a short, intense conversation with him about wealth. The next thing Jesus does is "look around" to see who was watching. Later in the chapter (10:39-42), he says something that upsets the people who overheard his conversation, so he calls them over to straighten it out.

It happens often enough in sports: you are so tired you can't go on - but somehow, you do go on. Your "faith" in your own strength is gone, but you find a way to persist. 

Now imagine that it is not your physical strength that has failed you but your heart, your emotion, your will itself. 

I think this is what Paul has in mind in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. 

It shouldn't surprised me any more, but it still does. Every time I plunge into some passage of the Bible that isn't making sense to me, I get nervous, especially when it is some well know passage that gets quoted often. But when I do, wow! What treasure! Here are two I've dug into recently.

With Jesus, “and” is almost better than “or.” He spoke the truth and spoke gently to the guilty. He rebuked the Pharisees and quietly explained things to them.

At the end, Jesus knew his time was coming near. The last few chapters of John are filled with goodbyes: goodbye to friends, a last meal…and a visit to a favorite spot.