Mark – Chapter 16

The Resurrection

Verse 1 – Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James; and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

Verse 2 – Very early in the morning , on the first day of the week (Sunday), they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Verse 3 – And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?”

The timing of 3 days had always confused me because it wasn’t 3 full days, only 2 and one half. I just couldn’t get it to add up. But if you count Friday, as one, Saturday, as two, Jesus rose on the third day, Sunday. We have to remember that Sunday, to the Jews, was their first day of the week, not Monday, as ours is. I always counted Friday night to Saturday night as one because that is how their Sabbath is, and from Saturday night to Sunday night is only two. But Jesus died before 6:00 pm, so Friday, one, Saturday, two, and the third day Sunday.

Verse 4 – But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away – for it was very large.

Verse 5 – And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

The white robe, indicates a heavenly spiritual being. Luke tells that there were two angels, but Mark emphasized on the one that spoke.

Verse 6 – But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.

Verse 7 – “But go and tell the disciples – and Peter – that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Why do you think that the angel specifically said, “and Peter?” Because, it was a special comfort for Peter, knowing how he was feeling after denying Christ.

Verse 8 – And they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The Appearance of Jesus

Verse 9 – Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He cast seven demons.

Verse 10 – She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.

Verse 11 – And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

Did Jesus not tell them all, that He would rise on the third day? He had told them more than once, but how could they believe this woman? I think that was their real problem. The message was delivered by a woman. Sad.

Verse 12 – After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.

Verse 13 – And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.

Verse 14 – Afterward He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Verse 15 – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Verse 16 – He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Verse 17 – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

Verse 18 – “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.

These things that Jesus says will follow those who believe was not just temporary, as some suggest. The taking up serpents and drinking anything deadly, was not a saying we are to put ourselves intentionally in harm’s way. Or taking them and making an entire religion from them!

Jesus is simply, saying: For those who believe, they will be able to do as He did for the good of the person.

Verse 19 – So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Verse 20 – And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen

It is not enough to read about Christ, you must believe He is God. This is the difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Him. Only when you know Him, trust Him, and love Him, will you be motivated to share with others what He has done! Signs will follow those who believe! There must be evidence of what is being preached.

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 15

Pilate Tries Jesus

Verse 1 – Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and the scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.

Pilate was the Roman official that had the authority over the Jews. Only he could inflict the death penalty. The chief priests and the elders had to convince Pilate that Jesus was worthy of crucifixion.

Verse 2 – Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.”

Verse 3 – And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing.

Verse 4 – Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!”

Do you have a hard time remaining quiet when falsely accused of something? I think we all do. We know how much power and strength it would take to just not say anything, but Jesus answered them nothing.

Verse 5 – But Jesus answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.

Verse 6 – Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested.

Mark is silent on Pilate sending Jesus to Herod Antipas and then Herod sending Him back to Pilate. This custom of releasing a prisoner at the Passover festival is only documented in the New Testament.

Verse 7 – And there was one named Barabbas, who was claimed with his fellow insurrectionists; they had committed murder in the insurrection.

Verse 8 – Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them.

Verse 9 – But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

Verse 10 – For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over  because of envy.

Verse 11 – But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them.

Verse 12 – And Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”

Verse 13 – So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!”

Verse 14 – Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” And they cried out more exceedingly, “Crucify Him!”

Do you picture this in your mind as you read it? A hard-heart is hard to convince of the Truth. It’s basically a seared conscience. We are around people like this, every day, where they refuse to hear the truth. However, Jesus died for these people too, they just refuse to accept Him.

Jesus Is Beaten

Verse 15 – So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Scourging – Flogging – the usual instrument was a short whip with several single or braided leather thongs of variable lengths, in which small iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones were tied at intervals. The man was stripped of his clothing, and his hands were tied to an upright post. The back, buttocks, and legs were flogged. The intent was to weaken the person to a stage just short of collapse or death. The extent of blood loss would determine how long the person would remain on the cross. This punishment that Jesus took was for you and me.

Verse 16 – Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison.

If you still have a hard time lifting your hands in praise, and worship for the One who took all this punishment so that we could have eternal life, then there is something defiantly wrong. We all need to be reminded of what our Savior saved us from, because the penalty for sin is death.

Verse 17 – And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head,

Verse 18 – and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

Verse 19 – Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him.

Verse 20 – And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.

Oh, but the torment is not finished, as if this hadn’t been enough, because now He is to be crucified with spikes driven through His wrists and feet and hung on a cross.

Verse 21 – Now they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.

Verse 22 – And they brought Him to a place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.

Verse 23 – Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.

This was a primitive narcotic, a stupefying liquor, made of sour wine mingled with bitter herbs, which would dull the sense of pain. Jesus would bear the burden with full consciousness.

Jesus Is Crucified

Verse 24 – And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.

This fulfilled Psalm 22:18, prophecy. Mark’s gospel doesn’t dwell on the cruel or painful agony that Christ went through.

Verse 25 – Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. (That would have been around 9:00 AM.)

Verse 26 – And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Verse 27 – With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left.

Hanging on a cross was a slow and agonizing death. The person would lose their strength form the weight of their body, trying to push up in order to breath, so death came by suffocation.

Verse 28 – So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)

Verse 29 – And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days,

Verse 30 – save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

Verse 31 – Likewise the chief priests also , together with the scribes, mocked and said among themselves, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.

So they admitted that He saved others by the miracles He did. But those miracles were never proof enough for them.

Do you know there are thousands today that say they will believe if He will do some spectacular supernatural event, before their eyes? It wouldn’t take much faith to believe in something that was right before your eyes, now would it?

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

And those who seek Him with all their heart, will discover that a truly devoted life will have a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Verse 32 – “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” And those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.

Verse 33 – Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (The darkness would have happened around 12:00 and continued until the ninth hour, 3:00.)

Verse 34 – And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthami?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Jesus quoted the first line of Psalm 22. Read the entire Psalm. Jesus knew He would be separated temporarily from the Father the moment He took on the world’s sin, and this is the first time He felt what that was like.

Verse 35 – Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!”

Verse 36 – Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”

Verse 37 – And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

John records Jesus saying, “It is finished!” (eye-witness)

Verse 38 – Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

The veil that was tore from top to bottom, was the veil of the Holy of Holies. Behind this veil is where the priest only entered once a year. This symbolized now, unhindered access to God, made possible by Jesus atonement for sin on the cross.

No longer would man have to go to a priest to have his sin forgiven. Jesus Christ is the only mediator! Jesus was and is the perfect sacrifice for the remission of sin through the shedding of His precious blood.

Verse 39 – Now when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

Verse 40 – There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome,

(Salome is only mentioned in Mark, the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.) Mary Magdalene is the one who Jesus had cast out seven demons, Luke 8:2.

Verse 41 – who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee; and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried

Verse 42 – Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is the day before the Sabbath,

The Jewish day started at 6:00 PM, contrary to when our day starts. We count a day, from morning to morning. So Jesus died before 6:00 PM, before the Sabbath, so it was still counted as the day before. Friday evening, 6:00 started the Sabbath, a new day. Jesus had to be taken down before the start of the Sabbath because no work could be done on that day. (Or, I’m totally wrong on all this and He died on Thursday.)

Verse 43 – Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Not all the Jewish leaders hated Jesus. Joseph was an honored member of the Sanhedrin. He also was a secret disciple of Jesus.

Verse 44 – Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time.

So why would Pilate marvel that Jesus was already dead? They had beat Him half to death before they nailed Him to a cross, which would have killed any other person.

Verse 45 – And when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.

Verse 46 – Then he brought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Verse 47 – And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.

“But Not For Long!!”

 

 

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 14

Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus

Verse 1 – After two days it was Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.

After two days points to the start of the Jewish Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This means the Sanhedrin plotted Jesus’ death some time between sunset on Tuesday and sunset on Wednesday.

Verse 2 – But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”

Verse 3 – And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. And she broke the flask and poured it on His head.

Verse 4 – But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?

Verse 5 – “For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.

The three hundred denarii was worth a year’s wage. Now here comes the confusion about when this event took place. Matthew and Mark place it just before the Last Supper, while John placed it a week earlier, just before the Triumphal Entry. John places it on Saturday, the night before Palm Sunday, and Matthew and Mark place it on Wednesday two days before the crucifixion. I agree with Mark and Matthew because of previous scripture.

Verse 6 – But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.

Verse 7 – “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.

Jesus praised this woman because it was an unselfish act of devotion.

Verse 8 – “She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.

Verse 9 – “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the whole world, what this woman did will also be spoken of as a memorial to her.”

This proves that this woman was a follower of Jesus and had been listening intently to what He had said about His death coming soon. Even His disciples had ignored the fact of His dying.

Verse 10 – Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.

Verse 11 – So when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.

The priests never sought out Judas, he went to them on his own after Mary poured out the expensive oil. Maybe it became clear to Judas that Jesus wasn’t setting up a political kingdom, but a spiritual one where he would not hold a high position.

Verse 12 – Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they kill the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”

This would be Thursday evening, the 14th day of the month Nisan.

Verse 13 – So He sent out two disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water, follow him.

Verse 14 – “And wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher said, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” ‘

Many homes had large upstairs rooms with stairways leading up to, outside and in the house.

Verse 15 – “Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”

Verse 16 – And His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Passover is Celebrated

Verse 17 – In the evening He came with the twelve. (Thursday evening)

Verse 18 – Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”

Evening marked the beginning of a new day by Jewish reckoning. According to Exodus 12:8, the Passover meat had to be eaten at night and be finished by midnight. Jesus had told the disciples earlier that He would be betrayed, but now said the betrayer was one of His disciples.

Verse 19 – And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?”

Verse 20 – Then He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.

Verse 21 – The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.

The Lord’s Supper Is Instituted

Verse 22 – And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Verse 23 – Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

Verse 24 – And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

Verse 25 – “Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

This is what we now call “Communion,” which is not taken lightly. What Christ shows us is a “New Covenant” between man and God. Jesus body, which is represented by bread that is broken, shows the perfect sacrifice, once, and for all. His blood that was shed on the cross, is represented by the wine, showing a washing away of sin. So the next time you take communion, think about the sacrifice that was made and the punishment for you and me, and washed us in His blood, so that we could have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

Verse 26 – And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Verse 27 – Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.’

Even the disciples, for a time would lose hope and confidence in Jesus, because of being afraid. This quote is from Zechariah 13:7. Satan thought for a time that he had gained the upper hand. However, we soon see that everything turned out exactly as God had planned it. Christ was obedient, even unto death.

Verse 28 – “But after I have been risen, I will go before you to Galilee.”

Jesus reassured them that they would gather again in Galilee for a new mission.

Verse 29 – But Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”

Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Aren’t we all willing to stand for our faith until persecution or a temptation comes?

Verse 30 – And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

Verse 31 – But He spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.

How loyal are we to our faith? We want to be as loyal and faithful as we can be while in front of others, but do we falter when no one is watching?

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

Verse 32 – Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

Verse 33 – And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.

Verse 34 – Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.

Gethsemane means “Olive press.” Jesus was about to be under more pressure and agony than any normal man could withstand and live. He knew what was about to happen. Even after the torment of what would take place to His physical body, the bearing of the whole world’s sin was about to be placed on Him and bring Him more agony than we can imagine.

Verse 35 – He went a little farther, and fell on the ground and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.

Could God have changed His divine plan? Yes, but we all would still be living in our sin having to make daily sacrifices of a lamb by going to  a priest to perform it. We would have no personal relationship with our loving God except through a priest or a prophet.

Verse 36 – And He said, “Abba Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.

Jesus knew that all judgment and punishment for the whole world’s sin would be poured out on Him. But He still chose the Fathers will.

Verse 37 – Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?

Verse 38 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but he flesh is weak.”

This great temptation at that moment was to deny Christ under the influence of fear. So the remedy for not allowing temptation to win is to be watchful and pray.

Verse 39 – Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.

Verse 40 – And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.

Verse 41 – Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Verse 42 – “Rise up, let us go. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Judas Betrays Jesus

Verse 43 – And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

There was a band of soldiers and civil officers sent by the Sanhedrin. Thus the Gentiles and Jews were united in the arresting of the Son of God. John says they came with lanterns and torches.”

Verse 44 – Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; take Him and lead Him away safely.”

Verse 45 – And as soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

Verse 46 – Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.

Verse 47 – And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priests, and cut off his ear.

According to John’s gospel, Peter did the cutting, and then in Luke we see Jesus healing the man’s ear.

Verse 48 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber with swords and clubs to take Me?

Verse 49 – “I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not take Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.

Verse 50 – Then they all forsook Him and fled.

Verse 51 – Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him,

Verse 52 – and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

The Gospel of Mark is the only gospel to record this young man. Some suppose it is John Mark the author of Mark, referring to himself. The Sanhedrin Tries Jesus

Verse 53 – And they led Jesus away to the high priests; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.

This high priest was Caiaphas. This would be a mock trial because the only thing they could decide to try Him on was that He said He was the Son of God.

Verse 54 – But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest . And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

Verse 55 – And the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and found none.

Verse 56 – For many bore false witness against Him but their testimonies did not agree.

Verse 57 – And some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,

Verse 58 – “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ”

According to Old Testament Law, there had to be two witnesses that agreed before they could convict someone, they couldn’t find any. Now they distorted what Jesus had said about the temple being destroyed. Besides, Jesus wasn’t talking about Herod’s temple, He was talking about His own body.

Verse 59 – But not even then did their testimony agree.

Verse 60 – And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”

Verse 61 – But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Here are my thoughts on this insane question: The priests and the scribes were supposed to know the scriptures in order to teach the people. Jesus fit all that had been predicted about the coming Messiah. No one had ever healed the sick, raised the dead, and fed thousands like Him. So if Jesus wasn’t the Messiah, what would the Messiah be like to them? They had intentionally ignored all the signs because of envy.

Verse 62 – And Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with clouds of heaven.”

Jesus let them know that one day they would stand before Him and be asked questions and be judged.

Verse 63 – Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?

Verse 64 – “You have heard the blasphemy? What do you think? and they all condemned Him to be worthy of death.

Verse 65 – Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” and the officers struck Him with their palms of their hands.

Our Savior stood there and let them do this to Him for yours and my sake. That’s why He was the perfect sacrifice. None of us would have ever stood there and let these men spit and beat us, without defending ourselves.

Peter Denies Jesus

Verse 66 – Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priests came.

Verse 67 – And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”

Verse 68 – But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.

Verse 69 – And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.”

Verse 70 – But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.”

Verse 71 – But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”

Verse 72 – And a second time the rooster crowed. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.

Let’s not be so hard on Peter’s denial because none of us are “always faithful,” and none of us are without sin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark – Chapter 13

Questions From the Disciples

Verse 1 – Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!”

I assume as they left the temple, the disciples made comments of how beautiful and massive the stones were. Archaeologists have found the stones were 42 feet long, 11 feet high, and 14 feet deep, weighing over a million pounds.

Verse 2 – And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Around 20 B.C., Herod the Great began to remodel and rebuild the temple, which had stood for nearly 500 years since the days of Ezra. Herod made the building one of the most beautiful buildings in Jerusalem – not to honor God, but to appease the Jews. It was not completed until A.D. 64. Jesus prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70, when the Roman’s completely destroyed the temple and the entire city of Jerusalem.

Verse 3 – Now as He sat on the Mount  of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately,

Verse 4 – “Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

Verse 5 – And Jesus, answering them, began to say, “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Verse 6 – “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.

There will be those coming who will proclaim to be the Messiah. We already have seen this, one in particular in Waco Texas several years back. Now there is one in Russia who claims  he is Jesus reincarnated, and has thousands of followers.

Verse 7 – “And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled, for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.

Verse 8 – “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.

This list here, nations rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom, and earthquakes in various places, is only the beginning, followed along with famines. And yes, we have been seeing these things for a good while, but the end is not yet.

Verse 9 – “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. And you will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.

Jesus is talking to the disciples about what is going to happen before the temple in Jerusalem is destroyed. These things that He listed in verse 8, also would take place when the Roman’s destroyed Jerusalem and everything in it including the temple.

Our vision of persecution can not be limited to what happens to us. Christians around the world are persecuted daily for their belief in Christ. However, I believe it will continue to get worse as we approach the coming day of our Lord and Savior.

Verse 10 – “And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.

Verse 11 – “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry before hand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

These verses have a two-fold meaning. Speaking to His disciples and us today when we give a testimony of why we follow Christ. We are not to be afraid, because the Holy Spirit is in the Christian to give encouragement and speech.

Verse 12 – “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

There is coming a day when a Christian will become an out-law. Children will rise against their own parents and parents will turn their children into the authorities for believing in Christ.

Verse 13 – “And you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

There is already such a hatred for Christians in this country, but I don’t believe we’ve seen the worse of it yet. Severe trials and persecutions are going to sift true Christians in the coming years. Our faith will be challenged to the point of wanting to give up, but don’t! Stay faithful to the One who holds all things, till the end. The apostles held true till death.

Verse 14 – “But when you see the abomination of desolation; spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not: (let the reader understand), “then those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

This prediction will happen twice, once in our past history and again in the future. Antiochus Epiphanes sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the sacred temple altar (Daniel 9:27; 11:30, 31), in A.D. 70 when the Roman general Titus placed an idol on the site of the burned out temple after the destruction of Jerusalem. For the other abomination of desolation, read Revelation 13.

Verse 15 – “And let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house.

Verse 16 – “And let him who is in the field not go back to get his garment.

Verse 17 – “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days!

Verse 18 – “And pray that your flight may not be  in the winter.

Verse 19 – “For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.

This time that Jesus is referring to, will exceed what was experienced in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 .

Verse 20 – “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

There will be people saved during this tribulation time. Revelation 7:14 – And I said to him (one of the elders), “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Verse 21 – “Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.

Verse 22 – “For false christ’s and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Here again is another good reason to “Know Your Bible!” How are you going to know you are being deceived unless you know the truth? These last days are not going to be easy for any believer. For him who has understanding, more will be given!

Verse 23 – “But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

It’s all in the Bible, Old Testament and the New. There will be no excuse for not knowing what is happening. Our God gives the believer a Spirit of discernment to know the difference between truth and deception.

The Second Coming

Verse 24 – “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;

Verse 25 – “the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in heaven will be shaken.

Isaiah 13:9, 10 – Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. (Verse 10 ) For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.

Verse 26 – “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Verse 27 – “And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

This represents the great harvest at the end of this world, when the angels – reapers shall be sent forth to separate the wicked from the just.

Parable of the Fig Tree

Verse 28 – “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts for leaves, you know that summer is near.

Verse 29 – “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, at the very doors.

Verse 30 – “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Two-fold meaning again. At the beginning of this chapter, one of Jesus disciples was talking about the large stones of the temple. Jesus is telling them that there will be some standing here now that will see the destruction of this temple and the destruction of Jerusalem which took place 40 years from then. Then when He goes on to tell about all the things concerning the “tribulation,” He’s talking to the generation that would see all these things He mentioned, come to pass. And that could very well be this generation, present time.

Verse 31 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Therefore, everything that is predicted in scripture, including the events Jesus just mentioned, will come to pass – all the revelation of God, all the words of Him who is Truth.

Verse 32 – “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

When Jesus said that He didn’t know the time of the end, He was affirming His humanity. Of course the Father and Jesus are one. The emphasis of this verse is not on Jesus lack of knowledge, but rather on the fact that no one knows, but God. No one can predict by Scripture or science the exact day of Jesus return, but will know its near when these signs take place. Jesus is teaching that preparation, not calculation, is needed.

Verse 33 – “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

This was teaching the disciples and us the time and hour is hidden from us. Therefore, watch the signs, read and study the Bible, and pray continuously, earnestly seeking guidance.

Verse 34 – “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.

Verse 35 – “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning –

Verse 36 – “lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.

Verse 37 – “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

This chapter was not given to promote discussions on prophetic timetables, but to stimulate right living for God in a world where He is largely ignored!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.