When you are around someone brilliant who knows a lot about a particular subject, there is one sure fire way to glean answers… ASK QUESTIONS! In today’s passage, that’s exactly what happened. It was just another typical day as the ultimate Answer Man was bombarded once again with an array of questions. In the short three year period of Jesus’ ministry, He sometimes fielded questions from hurting people hoping for healing answers. Many times, pious religious leaders tried to ask Him questions that would force Him to take sides on a controversial issue. Self-proclaimed scholars offered up many penetrating questions with mischievous motives hoping to stump Jesus with the intent of making Him look bad, scheming to look good themselves as they played to the crowd.
Continue reading “Day 18: Forty Day Journey with Jesus” »
Jesus spent a disproportionate amount of time with people who were poor, blind, lame, hungry, sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, persecuted, and little children. He loved the ones who were considered second-class citizens by everyone else. When the disciples asked who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus made it clear that His favor doesn’t depend on financial clout, family connections or intelligence. Jesus chooses to see only our heart.
Jesus cut to the heart of the matter as He sat a child on His knee. He said, “Let the little children come to me…for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” It is important to realize the Jewish attitude toward children in Jesus’ day in order to grasp the full force of His teaching here. In New Testament times, children were considered to be of no importance and to have no status. Jesus loved the unlovable, undesirable people that others wouldn’t associate with. And not only was Jesus drawn to the children, but children were attracted to Jesus like a magnet. That alone tells us so much about Him! It is impossible to picture a stoic, joyless, judgmental Jesus with little children gathering around Him. Kids love to be with dynamic, loving, fun, strong adults, and that’s exactly who Jesus was! Continue reading “Day 17: Forty Day Journey with Jesus” »
Can you think of some fun traditions practiced by your family? We have many wonderful traditions among the members our church family. One family invites their small group and others over on the morning of New Year’s Day for home-made waffles and a breakfast spread that would make Emeril jealous. Another family takes the Christmas cards they receive and has a special time where they pray for the family or person who sent the card. Some traditions are great; but some are not, as we find in our reading today.
In Mark, Chapter 7, Jesus deals with some religious leaders about their traditions. These weren’t wonderful traditions; instead, they were traditions that usurped the authority of Scripture and took the place of what God wanted. Jesus said, “For you ignore God’s specific laws and substitute your own traditions.” Then He said, “You reject God’s laws in order to hold on to your own traditions.” (Mark 7:8-9) Continue reading “Day 16: Forty Day Journey with Jesus” »
As we read yesterday, a key theme throughout the Gospel of Mark is the way Jesus served. Today we observe Christ as a victorious servant and master over everything. Every follower of Christ should be encouraged by these chapters in the Gospel of Mark because they show the victory we can have through Christ.
The last part of Mark 4 assures us that Jesus has power over the storms we face. The disciples learned He was the master over the wind and the waves. This should give us great peace. No matter what type storms we face in life – whether they are related to our work, our family, our health – we should not be afraid because Jesus has authority over them and will see us through them. Continue reading “Day 15: Forty Day Journey with Jesus” »
As we’ve started reading the Gospel of Mark, you’ve probably noticed a difference in his style. His writing is vivid and forceful; he uses a lot of action words and moves quickly to the events in Christ’s life. In some translations you’ll find the word “immediately” used over and over as Mark makes a forceful point about the action that is taking place. Mark gets right to the point, and one key theme throughout his Gospel is the way Jesus served.
Continue reading “Day 14: Forty Day Journey with Jesus” »