February 21, 2018
FEAR OR FAITH?
Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter when messengers came to inform them that she had died. In response, Jesus told Jairus to have faith rather than fear. Jesus often put fear and faith as opposite choices that people could make as an act of the will. When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ house, He raised his daughter from the dead.
Fear seems like an automatic response rather than an act of the will. But Jesus teaches that we can learn to choose faith over fear.
Is this possible? That we can learn to replace our fear with faith?
February 21, 2016
This with today’s reading in Leviticus 11-12 makes for a revealing juxtaposition. The law details how touching a dead body or a bleeding woman makes one unclean. Mark shows how a touch from the holy Jesus has the reverse affect: The bleeding woman is healed and the dead girl rises again.
February 20, 2016
The demoniac who lived among the tombs of the Gerasenes must have been a startling welcome as he ran, screaming and crying, down the hill towards Jesus and his disciples as they came ashore. Having just experienced a life-threatening storm on the Galilee and witnessing Jesus command the wind and the waves to be still, I’m sure the disciples’ knees were still shaking as they climbed out of their boat. And then, to be greeted by the hair-raising screams of a wild man running straight at them must have been terrifying! Yet, Jesus responded just as He had to the storm. With the same sense of confident authority He commanded the “legion” of demons out of the man and into the pig herd on the hillside. And just as the wind and waves had obeyed, so did the unclean spirits. The tortured soul of the wild man was suddenly at peace.
February 21, 2015
This with today’s OT reading in Leviticus 11-12 makes for a revealing juxtaposition. Leviticus details how touching a dead body or a bleeding woman makes one unclean. Mark shows how a touch from the holy Jesus has the reverse affect: The dead girl rises again and the bleeding woman is healed. Their impurity did not make Jesus unclean, but His holiness was transmitted to them making them whole.
February 21, 2014
This woman had suffered with a continuous issue of blood for 12 years. She had bankrupted herself spending on doctors but found no relief. Her condition meant that by Levitical law she was unclean. She could not enter the Temple to bring sacrifice. She could not be with her husband or touch another human being, for that would make them unclean as well. She was like a societal leper. She risked everything by being in that crowd following Jesus. She risked even more by touching the hem of His robe. Yet, her faith was rewarded. After 12 terrible years, she was instantly healed with just a touch. But she didn’t get away with a stolen miracle. Jesus took notice. He knew. He called her “Daughter,” welcoming her to the family of faith. Her impurity had not made Jesus unclean, but His holiness had been transmitted to her making her whole.
February 20, 2014
Jesus and the Twelve crossed to the Eastern side of the Sea of Galilee to a Gentile region known as the the Gerasenes near the Decapolis (Ten Cities). They went through a terrible storm on the way across that so terrified the disciples that Jesus had to calm it. Then, as soon as they landed they were met by a demon-possessed man that lived in the tombs. After Jesus cast the demons out into a nearby herd of pigs, the locals were so afraid of Jesus that they begged Him to leave. The healed demoniac however, begged to go with Jesus. Instead, Jesus appointed him to go to the Decapolis and tell what God had done. When we read this story, it appears that Jesus crossed over to a Gentile land, in spite of a terrible storm, to heal and ordain one demoniac to be a disciple. Jesus is still calling us to cross over to the other side to call those that He wants to save.
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.”
February 20, 2012
I wonder how many have turned Jesus away because they were afraid of the changes He would make in their lives? If they would have invited Him to stay, there would have been another chapter in the Gospel of Mark. Instead, just this… He got back in the boat and left them.
February 21, 2011
This with today’s reading in Lev.11-12 makes for a revealing juxtaposition. Lev. details how touching a dead body or a bleeding woman makes one unclean. Mark shows how a touch from the holy Jesus has the reverse affect- the bleeding woman is healed and the dead girl rises again.
February 20, 2011
What Jesus said to the demoniac He had freed from possession. When Christ saves us, He sends us first to our families then to the world.