Mark

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“And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations” (Mark 13:10 ESV)

March 6, 2013

This is one of the eschatological signs that Jesus gave the disciples in response to their question about the end times. It is both sign and instruction. Are you involved in helping proclaim the gospel to all nations? Those who are obedient are either involved in sending or going.

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31 NLT)

March 5, 2013

This was Jesus’ response to the question concerning what is the greatest commandment. His answer to love God and love others summarizes the 10 Commandments. For if we love God, we will keep the first 4 commandments. And if we love our neighbor, we will keep the last 6. The problem is that we cannot love God and our neighbor with all our being. We are conflicted and selfish at heart. We are sinners. Yet, to those who receive Jesus, the love of God is poured out. Jesus gives us His love for God and others. When we abide in Christ, we have the kind of whole love that follows God’s commands, not as rule-keepers, but from the heart.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?'” (Mark 12:24 ESV)

March 5, 2013

This was a devastating critique of the Sadducees’ theology by Jesus. They affirmed only the Torah and denied the resurrection of the dead. Jesus declared them wrong on both. There are many today who claim to be teachers and theologians that Jesus would stand against because they dismiss the Bible and deny the resurrection. Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe in the resurrection? What does Jesus think of your theology?

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God'” (Mark 10:27 ESV)

March 1, 2013

This was Jesus’ response to the question “Who then can be saved?” The truth is that we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is beyond humanity’s reach. No amount of counseling, religion, self-help courses, New Year’s resolutions… can change the heart of man. We are drowning in our own sin and unable to reach the shore. But God has made a way for us through Christ. What impossible thing is defeating you today? Bring it to God. He specializes in accomplishing impossible things.

“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!'” (Mark 9:24 ESV)

February 27, 2013

This is the confession of a man who desperately wanted to believe, but still had doubts. This doesn’t sound like the greatest of confessions, yet Jesus healed the man’s son nonetheless. Jesus still answers the prayers of those who have a mixture of doubt and belief. The important thing is to confess the doubt, saying, “Jesus, help my unbelief! Increase my faith!” We all begin our journey with Jesus with a “mustard seed” of faith. Following Him, the seed grows into a tree, overshadowing all our doubts, so that only our believing remains.

“And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it” (Mark 7:36 ESV)

February 25, 2013

During this season of Christ’s ministry he told people to keep quiet. Some say because it wasn’t yet His time. Others say He was trying to stay off the Roman radar. But it may have been because He didn’t want undue attention on His miracles. John called Christ’s miracles “signs.” They were to point to who He was, not to what He could do. Many crowded after Him for the free bread, not because He was the Bread of Life. Our witness is to be less about the healing and more about the Healer. Less the manna and more the Son of Man. The gospel is not so much what Jesus can do for you, but what He has already done. We preach Christ crucified.

“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two” (Mark 6:7 ESV)

February 22, 2013

Jesus taught the principle that “two are better than one” (Eccl.4:9). He trained His disciples in team evangelism. We see this pattern repeated in the book of Acts with Paul and Barnabbas and other duos. Christianity is not a solo act. We are called to be the Body of Christ. We are called to a team. Do you have a partner sharing your life mission?

“But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.'” (Mark 5:36 ESV)

February 21, 2013

Jairus, the synagogue ruler, had begged Jesus to come to his house to heal his daughter, but before they could arrive, people came saying she was already dead. At this, Jesus spoke to Jairus to calm his heart and focus his mind, pointing him away from fear and towards believing. Do you have a mixture of fear and faith in you? The voice of Christ calls us to “only believe.”

“And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?'” (Mark 4:39 ESV)

February 20, 2013

The disciples were afraid of the storm outside the boat until they awoke Jesus. Then, they were afraid of the One inside the boat. We say that we believe and trust Jesus fully. Yet when life’s storms come, we discover the true measure of our faith. The disciples thought they knew the size of Jesus’ power, but it took a terrifying tempest to enlarge their understanding.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17 ESV)

February 17, 2013

This was Jesus’ reply when challenged by the Pharisees about eating at the tax collector Levi’s (Matthew’s) house. The Pharisees were separatists. They would not associate with sinners. But Jesus came to save sinners. How should today’s church be affected by this? How do we resolve the tension between being holy and being evangelists? Simple. Follow Jesus.