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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I Never Understood

Why so pissy Jesus? Over the years I remember hearing the story of Jesus cleansing the temple by violently overturning the market that had cropped up. Friday I read again that chapter from Mark and, as if reading it for the first time, was befuddled. Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? Sure he was hungry and the tree bore leaves and no fruit. But Jesus knew that it was not the season for the tree to bear fruit.

I asked two people, whose opinions I respect a great deal. One said the verse was an illustration of Jesus’ dual nature prior to his crucifixion and resurrection. Indeed, Jesus was both God and human. As human he was subject to wrath and vindictiveness. OK. I can see that very valid point.

My other guide pointed me to another verse in that chapter.

“Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him.”

Mark 11:11-26

It is an early iteration of Oscar Wilde’s quotation:

“When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.”

Jesus was showing the apostles that faith and belief in the Word of God was so powerful that it could move mountains. And because prayer was so powerful, Jesus cautioned them to be thoughtful and aware of the consequences of their prayers.

What is it that we pray for? Or, more along the lines above, would we truly benefit if all our prayers were answered?

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