Mark – Chapter 12

The Vineyard

Verse 1 – Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.

Israel is symbolized here being the vineyard, that the Lord had cultivated to bring salvation to the world. The vinedressers are their religious leaders. He set a divine hedge of protection around it. The wine vat, where they squeezed the grapes, may have represented the altar. And the tower may represent the watch tower where men stood watch on the wall of Jerusalem.

Verse 2 – “Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vineyards, that he might receive some fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers.

The servants were the prophets and priests who remained faithful to God.

Verse 3 – “And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.

Verse 4 – “Again he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated.

Verse 5 – “And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating and some and killing some.

If you’ve read the Old Testament, you would see how many times God sent prophets to the Jewish people to teach them and tell them to repent before God sent His judgment because of their wickedness. Some they beat and stoned and some they killed.

Verse 6 – “Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’

And then the man that owned the vineyard, God sent His only beloved Son, Jesus the Christ. Surely they would show Him respect and reverence.

Verse 7 – “But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.

Israel knew that Jesus was the one that the prophecies of the Old Testament had described, by the miracles He did. They knew that the house of Judah rightly belonged to Him. But they refused to embrace Him, confess Him, and declare that He was their King.

Verse 8 – “And they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.

Verse 9 – “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.

Give the vineyard to others, alludes to the upcoming gospel mission to the Gentiles.

Verse 10 – “Have you not read this Scripture: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

Verse 11 – This was the LORD’S doing and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

Jesus is the stone rejected by the builders. Although He was rejected by most of the religious leaders, He would become the  cornerstone of a “New building,” the church. The cornerstone was used as a base to make sure the other stones of the building were straight and level. Likewise, Jesus life and teachings would become the foundation for the church.

Verse 12 – And they sought to lay hold of Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.

The Pharisees, scribes, and elders, would have killed Jesus right hen, but they feared for their own lives.

Question of Taxes

Verse 13 – Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words.

Nothing has changed in our society today. Leaders and other Christians go after other ministries with a vengeance to try to destroy the message of true grace.

Verse 14 – When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?

This specific tax that they referred to was the Roman poll tax, imposed when Judea became a Roman province. This tax represented Jewish subjection to Rome. A yes answer, would mean He supported Rome and a no answer would accuse Him of treason and rebellion against Rome. They had laid a trap of no escaping, so they thought.

Verse 15 – “Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But He knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.”

Verse 16 – So they brought it. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this? and they said, “Caesar’s.

Verse 17 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Rinder to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.

The coin had Caesar’s image, so it belonged to Caesar. Jesus supported the legitimacy of human government, but He raised the issue to a higher level. He did not identify the things that are God’s, but since humans bear God’s image we have an obligation to give to God that which bears His image – ourselves!

Questions of the Resurrection

Verse 18 – Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him saying:

Verse 19 – “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.

Verse 20 – “Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring.

Verse 21 – “And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise.

Verse 22 – “So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also.

Verse 23 – “Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife shall she be? For all seven had her as wife.”

The books of Moses were the only scriptures that the Sadducees followed. Since there was no teaching of life after death in them, they thought they could trap Jesus with this silly question. However, Jesus was about to show them otherwise.

Verse 24 – Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?

Verse 25 – “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Jesus statement doesn’t mean that people won’t recognize their spouses or other people in  the coming kingdom. Nor does it mean that we turn into angels when we die. It simply means that God’s new order of things will not be an extension of this life and that the same physical and natural rules won’t apply.

Verse 26 – “But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

Verse 27 – “He is not the God of the dead, but God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.

God’s covenant with all people’s, exists beyond death. By stating, “God is the God of the living, was proof of the after life.

The Greatest Commandment

Verse 28 – Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

Verse 29 – Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.

Verse 30 – ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.

Verse 31 – “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

According to Jesus, these two commandments summarized all God’s laws. We are to let them rule our thoughts, decisions, and actions. If you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, it won’t be hard to treat others right!

Verse 32 – So the scribe said to Him, “Well said Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.

Verse 33 – “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Verse 34 – So when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared question Him.

Do you see the significance of these two commandments? If we love others the same way we love ourselves, we won’t murder, steal, covet, lie on others, deceive, or do any harm. But is that the way people are today? No. And why is that? Because people let selfishness and self-centerdness override everything. They let their emotions rule. However, if those who call themselves Christians would act like Christians bearing these two commandments, then we would have peace among the brethren.

Verse 35 – Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David?

This question related to the scribes and their understanding of the Messiah as the Son of David.

Verse 36 – “For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘

Verse 37 – “Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’, how is He then his Son?” And the common people heard Him gladly.

Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1, to show that David considered the Messiah to be his Lord, not just his son. The religious leaders did not understand that the Messiah would be far more than a human descendant of David’s, He would be God Himself in the flesh.

Jesus Condemns the Leaders

Verse 38 – Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces,

Verse 39 – “the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,

Verse 40 – “who devour widow’s houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

These teachers of the law were hypocrites who had no love for God. True followers of Christ are not distinguished by showy spirituality. We are to live for Christ, even when no one is looking. These leader’s behavior oppressed and misled the very people they were supposed to lead.

Verse 41 – Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.

Verse 42 – Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrants.

Previously Jesus was in the Court of the Gentiles. The temple treasury was in the Court of the Women, so named because that was as close as women could come to the sanctuary. The collection boxes amplified the sound of coins when they were dropped in, making it obvious when rich people deposited large sums.

Then one poor widow dropped two copper coins – mites, of little value. She gave in spite of her poverty.

Verse 43 – So He called His disciples to Him and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;

Verse 44 – “for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

The value of a gift is not determined by the amount, but by the spirit in which it is given. A gift given grudgingly or for recognition loses its value. Gifts of any size are pleasing to the God when they are given out of gratitude and a spirit of generosity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mark – Chapter 11

The Triumphal Entry

Verse 1 – Now when they came near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples;

Verse 2 – and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt (ass) tied, on which no one had sat. Loose it and bring it.

Verse 3 – “And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?” say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.”

Jesus triumphal entry is what is now called “Palm Sunday.”

Verse 4 – So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it.

Verse 5 – And some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, losing the colt?”

Verse 6 – So they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. And they let them go.

Verse 7 – Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments on it, and He sat on it.

Verse 8 – And many spread their garments on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from trees and spread them on the road.

Verse 9 – Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Verse 10 – Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

The people shouted “Hosanna,” meaning ‘Save!’ They recognized Jesus was fulfilling prophecy that was recorded in Zechariah 9:9, and in just a few days they would cry out “Crucify Him!”

Verse 11 – And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all the things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Verse 12 – Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry.

Verse 13 – And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. And when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.

The fig tree showed the promise of fruit, but had produced none – a religious life with no substance. This is claiming to have faith, but yet not producing anything in one’s life.

Verse 14 – In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.

The cursing of this fig tree is the last recorded miracle in Mark. Jesus gives the meaning and the lesson learned in Matthew 24, about this.

Verse 15 – So they came to Jerusalem. And Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changes and the seats of those who sold doves.

If you noticed in verse 11, Jesus and His disciples had entered the temple in Jerusalem, but left. Now they are back and saw what they had turned God’s house into. Perhaps this was taking place in the court of the Gentiles.

Verse 16 – And He would not allow anyone to carry wares (vessels) through the temple.

Only Mark added the  information in this verse, indicating further inappropriate use of the temple as a thoroughfare or shortcut to walk through.

Verse 17 – Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of thieves.

What have we made our place of worship into today? Some don’t even preach the Gospel anymore, or some when they do, it’s a watered-down version. We all should study the book of Acts and see if the place where we worship lives up to scripture.

Verse 18 – And the scribes and the chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.

Verse 19 – And when evening had come, He went out of the city.

Verse 20 – Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

Verse 21 – And Peter remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

Verse 22 – So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.

Verse 23 – “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.

The image of a mountain being cast into the sea is an impossible task. Jesus used this example to tell His disciples that “Nothing is impossible with God!” To pray effective prayers and see results, faith must be placed in God, not the object of our request. Too many don’t see answered prayers, because they speak doubt and negative words right after they have made a request. Think about that a moment. The words that come out of our mouth, spoken in faith, will produce the right results.

Verse 24 – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things yo ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Verse 25 – “And whenever yo stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Verse 26 – “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

We cannot pray with bitterness, unforgiveness, or doubt, in our hearts, and expect God to answer with the desired results! The people that have hurt us are not going to always ask us for forgiveness, forgive them anyway. Our blessings and answered prayer doesn’t come from them, it comes from God! And you must believe in your heart that you will receive what you have asked.

Verse 27 – Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him.

Verse 28 – And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”

Verse 29 – But Jesus answered and said to them “I will also ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things:

Verse 30 – “The baptism of John – was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”

Verse 31 – And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?”

Verse 32 – “But if we say, ‘From men’ ” – they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed.

Verse 33 – So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

A genuine prophet has authority from heaven. If John was a prophet from God, Jesus was even more so. Unwilling to admit this, they refused to answer Jesus.

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 10

Marriage and Divorce

Verse 1 – Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And the people gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

Verse 2 – The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

The Pharisees saw divorce as a legal issue rather than a spiritual one. Jesus used this opportunity to review God’s intended purpose for marriage and to expose the Pharisees. The Pharisees also didn’t quote Moses fairly because they would take what Moses said out of context. Jesus showed these “so-called” legal experts just how superficial they were.

Verse 3 – And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”

Verse 4 – They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”

Verse 5 – And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

Verse  6 – “But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female.’

A hardness of heart is closing one’s heart to God’s truth, just as the Pharisees had done. Moses allowed divorce as a concession to spiritual hardness. God created the institution of marriage – from the beginning of marriage, between “one man and one woman.” If someone believes marriage is not”one man and one woman” then their heart is hardened towards the truth of God. Society can change God’s law all they want, but the truth still stands. Who do you stand with?

Verse 7 – ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

Verse 8 – ‘and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Verse 9 – “Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Verse 10 – And in the house His disciples asked Him again about the same matter.

Verse 11 – So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.

Verse 12 – “And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Inconsolable differences is pretty much, “Not an excuse.” I would say, adultery fits and so does abuse, as a reason for divorce. That’s why its smart to date a good while so one can go through different kinds of situations and crises before marriage.

Verse 13 – Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

Verse 14 – But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for such is the kingdom of God.

Verse 15 – “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.

Most little children believe and trust what you tell them to be true. If you tell young children about Jesus, they get a head start on how to treat others and how to live. They don’t have to understand everything, they simply trust. Jesus wasn’t speaking of immaturity, humility and trusting in Jesus was the intent.

Verse 16 – And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.

The Rich Young Ruler

Verse 17 – Now as He was going out on the road, one came running knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

Verse 18 –  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.

Verse 19 – “You know the commandments; ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

Verse 20 – And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have observed from my youth.”

Verse 21 – Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack; Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Verse 22 – But he was sad at this word, and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.

This man’s riches were his idol, on which his heart was set and trusted in. The love of money was proven by what Jesus told this man what he must do. The money represented his pride and the breaking of the first commandment, letting nothing get in the way of his love for God. This man was not willing to turn everything over to God.

This all points to: What are we willing to do to help the poor? It’s a matter of a giving heart. Are we willing to be generous to the less fortunate with what God has blessed us with?

Verse 23 – Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter God’s kingdom!”

Verse 24 – And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those to trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!

When we read these verses together, we see that Jesus is talking about “trusting” in one’s wealth. Most people have a hard time trusting in God if they are never in lack. They are self-sufficient, not having a need for His help. However, there are those that use their money and resources for God’s kingdom. It is not a blessing to be poor and always in lack. If a person is always in need, how are they ever going to help another? It boils down to our attitude about money.

Verse 25 – “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Wealth is not always a sign of God’s favor. Neither is it a sign of being good.

Verse 26 – And they were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”

The disciples were still thinking of an earthly kingdom, where rich men could certainly come into the Messiah’s kingdom. However, Jesus was trying to explain that God’s kingdom was a matter of attitude towards money – matter of the heart.

Verse 27 – But looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Now, whether they understood this or not Jesus said it would only be possible to enter the kingdom of God if they were totally reliant on God for all things.!

Verse 28 – Then Peter said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

In Peter’s mind, they had left all and followed Jesus, thus doing what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do.

Verse 29 – So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,

Verse 30 – “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.

Verse 31 – “But many who are first will be last, and last first.”

Jesus simply was saying: Anyone who gives up these for His sake, will be rewarded while on earth, however, not without persecution. We might lose family members because we follow Christ, but we gain a family of believers. In the world to come, things will be reversed from this world. In this world, people always try to be first, but Jesus was teaching servant-hood. Whoever strives to be first, will be last and whoever puts others before themselves, become great in God’s kingdom.

Verse 32 – Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him.

The disciples were afraid because they didn’t know what was waiting for them in Jerusalem. Jesus took the lead to show them He was not afraid.

Verse 33 – “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles;

Verse 34 – “and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

Verse 35 – Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.”

Don’t you think it odd, after Jesus is telling them about His death and resurrection, that the subject was changed so quickly by James and John?

Verse 36 – And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

Verse 37 – They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”

I believe the disciples thought that after Jesus resurrection, His kingdom would be set up here on earth. They had no concept of Jesus ascending to heaven and His kingdom not being set up until a long time in the future.

Verse 38 – But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

Verse 39 – And they said to Him, “We can.” And Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;

Verse 40 – “but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”

The disciples would indeed end up suffering and being persecuted for the gospel’s sake, but the honor of sitting on Jesus right hand is determined by God Himself.

Verse 41 – And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.

Verse 42 – But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

Jesus answered in a way to let them know: In the kingdom of God the person’s greatness or position will not come as it does on earth. Governors and high positions ruled by Gentiles were appointed and then they ruled over the rest of the people.

Verse 43 – “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.

Verse 44 – “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave to all.

Verse 45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Many in Christian leadership today, still don’t follow what Jesus said in these verses. I’ve seen too many times, people rise to the position of ministering to thousands and having all the luxuries you can imagine, only to fall like a ton of bricks. They forgot the order of servant hood, which is following Jesus teachings. Yes, ministries should grow, but not at the expense for someone to think more highly of themselves.

verse 46 – Then they came to Jericho. And as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.

Verse 47 – And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The fact that Bartimaeus called Jesus the Son of David, showed he recognized Him as the Messiah.

Verse 48 – Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Verse 49 – So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling to you.”

Verse 50 – And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.

Verse 51 – And Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”

Verse 52 – Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

Healed is the Greek word Sozo. It can refer to physical healing and spiritual salvation. Bartimaeus received both. There are many reasons that people today don’t receive physical healing. One reason being that they ignore the spiritual healing they are in need of; they don’t want to put the time and effort in a relationship with Jesus Christ; they doubt that He can do it; they have no intention of turning their lives around toward the things of God; there are many more, but none of it is God’s fault. I don’t have all the answers, but this one thing I know: You can’t live your life any way you want, and then expect God to do your bidding. We do His will, not the other way around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 9

The Transfiguration

Verse 1 – And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”

Verse 2 – Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.

More than once, Jesus chose Peter, James, and John to witness miracles that the others did not see. These three were the closest of the twelve. They are the ones that were privileged to see Jesus in His glory.

Verse 3 – His clothes became shinning, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.

Verse 4 – And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

Moses represented the Law and Elijah, the prophets. Their appearance showed Jesus as the fulfillment of both the  Old Testament law and the prophetic promises.

This also tells me that Moses was not decaying somewhere in the ground. He was with Elijah, whom hadn’t died.

verse 5 – Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, is it good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles; one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” –

Verse 6 – because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

Verse 7 – And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Verse 8 – Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, bu only Jesus with themselves.

God made it very plain to the disciples that they were to listen to Jesus in everything that He told them. He held all authority and power.

Verse 9 – Now when they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should till no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Verse 10 – So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

Jesus didn’t want them even telling the other disciples until they fully understood what had just happened – after the resurrection. Then they would see power over death that Jesus had. The disciples could not be a powerful witness for God until they grasp this truth.

Verse 11 – And they asked Him saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

Verse 12 – Then He answered and told them, “Elijah does come first, and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?

Verse 13 – “But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him”

Jesus told them that Elijah’s coming did not change the fact that the Son of Man would suffer many things. John the Baptist had fulfilled the role prophesied by Elijah.

I also believe that during the tribulation, the two witnesses that stand in the streets of Jerusalem, will be Elijah and Enoch, because their roles in God’s great plan is not finished. If you’ll remember, these two men never died, God took them.

Verse 14 – And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them.

Verse 15 – Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.

Verse 16 – And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

Verse 17 – Then one from the multitude answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son who has a mute spirit.

Verse 18 – And wherever he seizes him, he throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast him out, but they could not.”

We know that when the disciples had went out on a particular mission, Jesus had given them authority to cast out demons. But here they were unable to do so. Perhaps their faith had wavered. Perhaps Jesus wanted them to know all demons are not alike and not to take things for granted.

Verse 19 – He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”

Verse 20 – Then they brought him to Him. and when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

To us, this sounds like a severe case of epilepsy, but does Jesus want us to connect certain diseases with being demonic? I’ve learned this: If a disease has a name, it can be cast out. Disease does not come form God.

Verse 21 – So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.”

Verse 22 – “And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Verse 23 – Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.

The issue was a matter of faith when we believe that nothing is impossible for God to do.

Verse 24 – Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!”

Faith is not something we can obtain on our own. Faith is a gift from God through trust and confidence in Jesus Christ. The more we trust and use our faith, the more it will grow.

Verse 25 – When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to him,”You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you , come out of him, and enter him no more!”

Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Every demon must obey His authority and command. He stopped the demon from ever coming back into this child!

Verse 26 – Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

Verse 27 – But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

Verse 28 – And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast him out?”

Verse 29 – So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

There are degrees of spiritual and moral wickedness so intense and malignant that they can be exorcised by only preparation, fasting and prayer. Unless someone is totally prepared by fasting and praying, they should not ever attempt to cast out demons, of any kind.

Verse 30 – Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.

At about this time, Jesus limited His public ministries in order to train His disciples. It takes time to learn deep spiritual growth, so at times we need to be separated from a crowd.

Verse 31 – For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

Verse 32 – But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

Luke 9:45 explains why they didn’t understand, (Verse 45) But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying. It was not their fault that they didn’t understand, it was hidden from them. Why? I don’t know.

Verse 33 – Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”

Verse 34 – But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

Perhaps the disciples were embarrassed about this, because when we are honest with Christ, our true motives will be exposed. It’s not wrong to want to be top in your field, but when ambition pushes obedience to the side, it can become sin. Pride can cause us to overvalue a position or prestige in God’s kingdom, such motives are destructive. God advances us in His kingdom when the timing is right. We keep our hearts humble before Him.

Verse 35 – And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.

Jesus knew their thoughts and also knew what they had been discussing. If your desire is to be first in anything, then one must have a servant’s heart. They have to be willing to serve others, putting others needs before their own.

Verse 36 – Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,

Verse 37 – “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” (Jesus always puts the Father first.)

Keep in mind, the subject is still what the disciples had been discussing, “who would be the greatest.” Jesus uses this child to show they have no  status and no rights as a child, therefore be like little children in their position which would keep them from placing themselves above others.

Verse 38 – Now John answered Him saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

I always thought John had changed the subject, not so. The disciples thought they were the only ones who had the authority to cast out demons because of their close position with Jesus. So the subject hasn’t changed. We do the same thing when we won’t join another body of believers from a church, for a worthy cause, because they are a different denomination.

Verse 39 – But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.

Verse 40 – “For he who is not against us is on our side.

Verse 41 – “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Jesus gave three reasons not to stop the man who was casting out demons. First, anyone who performed a miracle in Jesus’ name wouldn’t turn and speak evil of Him later. Second, there is no middle ground. A person is either against or for Jesus. Third, anyone who extends a gesture of kindness in His name. We don’t have to be of the same church to be a follower of Christ.

Verse 42 – “And whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

New Christians are vulnerable to teachings. If what the older Christian is doing, causes a younger believer to sin, then they are in danger of punishment. Not the younger believer, but the more mature one. We have to think about this for a minute. Are we, as mature Christians, giving an example of truly being a disciple of Christ to the younger Christians? If not, its sin. Causing them to stumble, is them thinking, “They do it, so it must be ok,” to whatever it is that’s not right.

Verse 43 – “And if your hand makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched –

Jesus uses  extreme language to tell us to cut sin out of our lives. We should make our choices and decisions with an eternal perspective.

Verse 44 – “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

Verse 45 – “And if your foot makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched –

Verse 46 – “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

Verse 47 – “And if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire –

Verse 48 – “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

Jesus was warning His disciples to guard what they watched and guard against participation in evil. What we take in through the eyes can and does affect the soul. Recklessness can lead to spiritual downfall and decay. So, does our behavior matter in our Christian walk? You bet it does!!!

Verse 49 – “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.

Verse 50 – “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

Jesus is talking about the consequences of sin. He uses salt to tell His disciples what should be in each of them, us. Just as salt changes the flavor of food, we apply goodness to our lives and to others, always making a difference, to the good. When we no longer have the desire to change the world around us, we have become useless for the kingdom. Don’t lose your effectiveness as a witness for Jesus.

 

Mark – Chapter 8

In chapter six, the 5,000 that were fed were mostly Jews. Now Jesus is in Decapolis, a mostly Gentile region. Mark’s primary audience was Roman Gentiles and he wanted the Roman’s to know Jesus was compassionate to them also.

Verse 1 – In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them.

Verse 2 – “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with Me three days and have nothing to eat.

Verse 3 – “And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.

Can we even imagine being in this multitude of people, watching the sick healed and learning from Jesus Himself? And then realizing after three days, that you needed to eat? Most people wouldn’t spend three hours let alone three days waiting on a healing. I watch people get up and leave at church, when its time for the altars to be open for the lost. Jesus showed compassion at all times, shouldn’t we do the same?

Verse 4 – Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread her in the wilderness?”

Weren’t the disciples present for the 5,000 feeding? Is this so with us? Are all former deliverance’s soon forgotten each time a new crises occurs? Trials and testings will come to every believer. Some lasting for years, but our great God will deliver us out of them all!

Verse 5 – He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.”

Verse 6 – And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them, and they set them before the multitude.

Verse 7 – And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.

Verse 8 – So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.

Seven is the same number of loaves they had started with, but now they have seven baskets left over. There was nothing lost. Maybe Jesus is trying to tell us something.

Verse 9 – Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away.

Verse 10 – And immediately He got into the boat with His disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

The Pharisees Seek a Sign

Verse 11 – And the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.

A sign from heaven, a cosmic phenomenon. They wanted to discredit Jesus’ authority. The Pharisees needed to explain away the miracles that were happening so that the people would not believe that He was the Messiah. Hearts can become so hard that even the most visible facts cannot convince the hardest of hearts.

Verse 12 – But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

Have you  ever asked God for a sign? Is the Bible in its entirety not enough? When we are waiting on an answer, we are to watch, wait, and pray, earnestly fro our answer. Too many times people will say, “This must be a sign…” Then nothing turns out the way they thought.

 

Verse 13 – And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.

Verse 14 – Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.

Verse 15 – Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

Leaven is yeast in this passage representing evil and corruption. Food was on the disciple’s mind, but they had just left the Pharisees and Jesus was warning them about them. Beware of those working in secrecy and silence, twisting the scriptures for their gain – hypocrites.

Verse 16 – So they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”

Verse 17 – And Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand?  Is your heart still hardened?

Did you catch what Jesus related a hard-heart to? Evidently not perceiving nor understanding. Do you think it had anything to do with their intelligence level? I don’t believe it did. It had everything to do with the perception they had of Jesus being able to see into the heart of the Pharisees.

Verse 18 – “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?

Oh, how easily they forgot all the multitudes that Jesus had fed. Did they not think that He could feed only twelve? Do we not do the same thing every time a new situation arises? Are our memories so short they we forget that our God has delivered us before?

Verse 19 – “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up? They said to Him, “Twelve.”

Verse 20 – “and when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did yo take up?” And they said, “Seven.”

Verse 21 – So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

This is the hardest rebuke recorded by Mark. He still wasn’t mean about it though. He wanted them, as He wants us, to remember the times He delivered and provided, and He is perfectly capable of doing it again.

Verse 22 – Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.

Verse 23 – So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

Verse 24 – And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees walking.”

Verse 25 – Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

Verse 26 – And He sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into town, nor tell anyone in town.”

No reason is given to the man for not returning to the village, but there was one or Jesus wouldn’t have taken this man by the hand and led him out of that town. Also, perhaps this healing was done in two stages to show the disciples, and us, that sometimes a healing will come gradually.

Verse 27 – Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”

Verse 28 – And they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others say one of the prophets.”

Verse 29 – He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

Verse 30 – Then He charged them that they  should tell no one about Him.

Verse 31 – And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Before the disciples could tell others that Jesus was the Christ, they needed to fully understand what the reason for His coming and dying was for. Unless someone understands the foundational basics of the Gospel, themselves they will only sound confused to someone else. We need to know “what” we believe, and “why” we believe it.

Verse 32 – He spoke this word openly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

Verse 33 – But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Peter wasn’t considering God’s will or the purpose of His plan. He only knew that he didn’t want Jesus to die. Only after Jesus death and resurrection would they fully understand why Jesus had to die.

Verse 34 – And when He had called the people to Him, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

He asks us, as He did them, are you willing to put others first and carry the burden of being persecuted for My sake?

Verse 35 – “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Verse 36 – “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

Verse 37 – “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Verse 38 – “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with His holy angels.

I have one question: If you were standing in a court of law, would the prosecutor have enough evidence to convict you of being a follower of Jesus Christ?

 

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 7

Verse 1 – Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.

Verse 2 – Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.

Verse 3 – For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.

Verse 4 – When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

Mark mentions this ceremonial washing of the hands, because he was writing to a non-Jewish audience. This was not merely washing before eating. The Pharisees had made a ritual of washing the hands and arms into a traditional ceremony. Because Jesus disciples followed a religious leader, Jesus, the Pharisees thought they should follow these strict rules for washing.

Verse 5 – Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”

Here is what amazes me: Before this took place, Jesus had fed 5,000 with hardly anything to start with, and then comes to this town and heals all their sick, and now these morons, yes I said morons, only see that the disciples didn’t follow “their tradition in the washing of their hands.” They gag at a gnat and swallow a camel!” No tradition overrides what’s in the heart!

Verse 6 – He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

Verse 7 – And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not and having no intention of being. The Pharisees did not worship out of love for God, but out of a desire to appear holy which gave them status. Worship comes out of love and adoration for who God is. Praise comes from what He has done and will do for you! The Pharisees did neither.

Verse 8 – “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold tradition of men – the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other things you do.

Verse 9 – And He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

The pharisees had made their own traditions more important than God’s law.

Verse 10 – “For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

Verse 11 – “But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban (that is, dedicated to the temple)”;

In other words: The Pharisees had made a rule that said instead of what is intended to take care of the needs to parents, give it to the temple and you won’t be put to death.

Verse 12 – “And you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother,

Verse 13 – “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

Jesus teachings on mans traditions are very clear. Can you think of traditions, rituals, or ceremonies, in your church that are not Biblical?

Verse 14 – And when He had called all multitude to Him, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand:

Verse 15 – “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

This is the heart of Jesus teachings. A person is defiled by what comes out of their mouth, not by what is taken in!

Verse 16 – “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Verse 17 – And when He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.

Verse 18 – So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him,

Verse 19 – “because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”

The Jews believed they could be clean before God by what they did not eat. But Jesus pointed out that sin begins with attitudes and intentions of the inner person. We are not made pure because of outward actions – we become pure on the inside as Christ renews our minds, and transforms us into His image, through His Word and right actions will follow.

Verse 20 – And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.

Verse 21 – “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders,

Verse 22 – “thief’s, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.

Verse 23 – All of these evil things come from within and defiles a man.

An evil action begins with a single thought. Allowing our mind to dwell on any of these, will lead to sin. Where your mind goes, there your body will go also!

Verse 24 – And from there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.

Jesus traveled about 30 miles north of Israel. These were port cities that were flourishing and were also Gentile people.

Verse 25 – For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.

Verse 26 – The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

This woman was called a Canaanite in Matthew. Matthew refers to her religion also that she’s a Gentile, while Mark refers to her political background and where she is from. Matthew’s description was designed for his Jewish audience, who remembered the Canaanites as bitter enemies when Israel was settling in the Promise Land. Either description showed that this poor woman had no favor with the Jews.

Verse 27 – But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

Verse 28 – And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.

This woman didn’t argue with Jesus, but simply stated she would consider this interruption in order for her daughter to be healed.

Many Jews would lose God’s healing because they rejected Jesus, but some of the Gentiles would receive healing because they didn’t reject Jesus. She refused to give up.

Verse 29 – Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

No hindrance was going to stop this woman, not even having to ask Jesus again and again. Have you ever given up too soon?

Verse 30 – And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.

Verse 31 – And again, departing from he region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.

Let me point something out: It seems as though Jesus went to Tyre and Sidon for that divine appointment with that woman. It’s not strange, even though we might think so at the time, when God places you in a place that makes no sense. When we pray for the Lord to “order our steps,” then just follow where  the Spirit leads you.

Verse 32 – Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.

Verse 33 – And He took him aside form the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.

Verse 34 – Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

Verse 35 – Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed and he spoke plainly.

Verse 36 – Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

There was a very good reason for Jesus wanting them to keep quiet about this miracle; He didn’t want people coming to Him for just the miracles. Later on in Hebrews 2:12, we are told to declare His name to others and in the midst of the congregation, sing praises to Him. So yes, I believe we are to tell others of the things God has done for us.

Verse 37 – And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.

 

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 6

Jesus is Rejected at Nazareth

Verse 1 – Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him.

This visit to Nazareth, His own country, is only recorded in Matthew and Mark.

Verse 2 – And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!

Verse 3 – “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother James, Jose, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?”

Does this not remind you of people who “knew you when,” before you were a Christian? That’s why it’s harder for family and friends to see the truth. They have let people’s past blind them to Jesus saving power. These people only thought of Jesus as a “carpenter’s son,” nothing more.

Verse 4 – But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”

Respect sometimes is not given by those closest to the Christian in a family. Plain and simple, it’s because of their unbelief.

Verse 5 – Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid hands on a few sick people and healed them.

Verse 6 – And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

Verse 7 – And He called the twelve to Him, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.

Two by two confirms what the Old Testament says was needed for a witness. The twelve were called “apostles” after they returned (Mark 6:30).

Verse 8 – He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts –

Verse 9 – but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.

They were to leave immediately, depending on God for everything they needed.

Verse 10 – Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place.

Verse 11 – “And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet, as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgement than for that city!”

Jesus made it clear that the listeners were responsible for what they  did with the gospel.

Verse 12 – So they went out and preached that people should repent.

Verse 13 – And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

There was evidence, manifestations, of what was being preached, as there should be today when the “True Gospel” is revealed.

John the Baptist is Murdered

Verse 14 – Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well-known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen form the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”

Verse 15 – Others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”

What people think of Jesus or who He is does not change the fact that He is the Son of God. People think that if they just call Him prophet or teacher, it weakens His power, not so. Just as people today when they say the Bible is not true, doesn’t make it so.

Verse 16 – But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!”

Verse 17 – For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for he had married her.

Verse 18 – For John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

People don’t like it when you confront their sin. They will lash out. John the Baptist had no problem condemning what Herod had done. But Herod had a problem with it, so he threw John in prison.

Verse 19 – Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not;

Verse 20 – for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

Herod reminds me of people who will gladly receive the gospel, but they never change. Herod wasn’t willing to give up his illegal wife, just as people aren’t willing to separate with their live-in mates after they know its  wrong to be doing it without being married. It’s only a pretense of listening.

Verse 21 – Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee.

Verse 22 – And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you  want, and I will give it to you.”

Verse 23 – He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”

That must have been some dance. Al those people attending were as wicked as Herod, himself. Herod shot off at the mouth before he thought, and offered this girl anything.

Verse 24 – So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”

Verse 25 – Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

Verse 26 – And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her.

This shows you how disgusting this whole ordeal was. Did you notice the girl had to go out from where she danced. That means her mother was not in the room, only sick wicked men. Herod had the authority to stop this request, but because of the others that had heard it, he wouldn’t do it. How often people won’t do the right thing because of who they associate with. People who are in leadership and those who hold high offices in government, know exactly what is right or wrong. They just choose to sin, willfully and openly.

Verse 27 – And immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison,

Verse 28 – brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.

Verse 29 – And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corps and laid it in the tomb.

John the Baptist defended his faith till the end. He knew by faith what was right and would not back down, even before a king. Will we be that bold and courageous in defending our faith when persecution comes?

Verse 30 – Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.

Verse 31 – And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

Five Thousand Are Fed

Verse 32 – So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

Verse 33 – But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.

Some think that pastors and leaders should always be available to them. Pastor’s get tired too. Many times, it won’t do for an elder or someone else to show up at a hospital, the person wants the pastor.

The multitudes that constantly followed Jesus and His disciples, were always wanting more. However, the majority of them only wanted His healing’s. That is proven by what happened later on, to all the disciples and to Jesus by losing their lives. Their hearts were never truly changed.

Verse 34 – And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Verse 35 – And when the day was far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late.

Verse 36 – “Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”

Verse 37 – But He answered and said to them, “You give  them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”

How many times would Jesus have to prove Himself to His disciples? Had they not just come back from healing the sick and casting out demons themselves? How many times do we expect God to prove Himself to us? Is it every time there is a new crises in our lives?

Each crises or each new trial in our lives should build our faith and confidante in who our God is, not cause us to doubt every time a new situation arises.

Verse 38 – But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”

When we have a need, Jesus wants us to look at what we already have. It doesn’t matter how small. Wisdom from the All Mighty, will show us what to do with the little we have to multiply it. Don’t focus on what you lack.

Verse 39 – Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.

Verse 40 – So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.

Verse 41 – And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.

Verse 42 – So they all ate and were filled –

Verse 43 – And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.

What I find so amazing from this is, our God will and does multiply what is blessed. He also gives more than enough to be shared with others. God doesn’t bless us so that we keep whatever He blesses us with for ourselves. It’s to be a blessing to others also! We are blessed to be a blessing. Selfishness and stinginess is not supposed to be any part of a Christian character.

Verse 44 – Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.

Jesus Walks On Water

Verse 45 – Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.

Mark doesn’t say why Jesus rushed His disciples away, but John 6:14-16, says the men were going to take Jesus by force and make Him kings.

Verse 46 – And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.

Verse 47 – Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land.

Verse 48 – Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.

Verse 49 – But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out;

Verse 50 – for they all saw Him and were troubled. And immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

The event where Peter goes to Jesus on the water, is only recorded in Matthew. Again, different eye-witness versions.

Have you ever been in a situation where there is no possible way out, but you’ve prayed and waited for help? Jesus is greater than any storm in our lives. He will either strengthen you to get through it, or someone you least expected will show up for your deliverance, but you are never alone.

Verse 51 – Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled.

Jesus not only walked on water before their eyes, but when He got in the boat the winds ceased. When the presence of Jesus is in our midst there will be a calmness that is also present. He not only can calm the storms that rage inside of us, but our surroundings too.

Verse 52 – For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.

The disciples disbelief was their misunderstanding. They marveled at Jesus, because they still couldn’t believe this Man was the Messiah. Even after watching 5 thousand fed with so little, they still were in doubt.

Verse 53 – When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there.

Verse 54 – And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,

Verse 55 – ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.

Verse 56 – Wherever He entered into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the border of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.

Story after story of all the healing’s in the New Testament, should convince anyone that “Jesus wants you well!”so why is it He gets blamed today when someone is not healed? I hate to hear people say, “Jesus doesn’t heal everyone,” like some have a special privileged when they are healed and others do not. How about saying, “Not everyone gets healed,” instead. Unbelief is a major blocker of faith in someone’s healing. The fault is not with the One that heals and healed all who came to Him.