More powerful than me: Mark 1.7

“He proclaimed, ‘One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals.'”

Mark 1.7

John the immerser knew his place. He came as a forerunner, always calling attention to the Messiah. He gloriously fulfilled his work.

Humility allows us to accept our place in God’s plan. It recognizes the gifts and opportunities he gives us. How do we point to Christ?

#votd #Mark #John-the-Baptist

Jesus went with him: Mark 5.24

“Jesus went with him, and a large crowd followed and pressed around him.”

Mark 5.24

The willingness of Jesus to help others is shown in his going with Jairus, the synagogue ruler, to heal his daughter. The Lord is not unmoved by human needs.

Jesus has come to mankind, in the flesh. He also moves in our direction, to satisfy our need, to forgive our sin. Am I moving in his direction?

#votd #Mark #Jesus-Christ

You have received it: Mark 11.24

“For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11.24

Often, when the Lord made a promise to Israel, he put it in the past tense (see Deuteronomy 3.2, for example), to indicate how sure was his word. Jesus does the same about prayer requests.

The Lord is able to bless, and he desires to bless. He bristled when the possessed boy’s father said, “If you can” Mark 9.22-23. The issue is not his ability or desire, but our willingness to believe.

#votd #Mark #prayer #faith

Cousin or Nephew?

An interesting situation happened this past Sunday morning during our adult class as we were studying the Bible person of John Mark. The situation arose when I asked how Barnabas and Mark were related to each other, and the answer wasn’t as clear-cut as I originally thought it would be. I was under the impression, per my memorization of scripture, that Mark was Barnabas’ nephew, but most translations say Barnabas and Mark were cousins.

For example:

“Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)” (KJV)

Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him).” (NET)

I’ve checked out the actual Greek word which seems to indicate that the relationship was that of cousins, but, as some commentators point out, it’s possible that the same word could be used for both nephews and cousins…sorta along the lines of father being used for grandfathers and great, great, etc. grandfathers.

So the question is, have you ever you studied out this situation before? What do you think? After all, I figured a few heads are much better than one in this case.

#barnabas, #bible-characters, #bible-questions, #mark

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Outline of the Book of Mark

There’s an outline of the Book of Mark at: http://doverchurchofchrist.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Book-of-Mark1.pdf

#mark, #new-testament-outlines

Epidemic Blindness

There is so much blindness in Mark chapter eight!

First, the apostles are blind to the needs of others, mainly because the people they encountered were Gentiles. Jesus, however, was not so prejudiced. He said, “”I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat,” (Mark 8:2 NLT).

Such was God the Son. He was always concerned about people; Jew or Gentile didn’t matter to him. He knew that true religion is caring for others (James 1:27). Why is it that people are so often reluctant to help?

Following this, the Pharisees caught up with Jesus in Dalmanutha. These people were blind to Jesus as the Son of God. They asked for a sign. Jesus had given them several miracles and signs already. Why were the Pharisees always looking for the abnormal to find the Messiah? They were blind, but simply needed to open their eyes.

Next, the disciples demonstrated their blindness again when Jesus said, “”Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod,” (Mark 8:15). The disciples thought Jesus said this because they had no bread back there in the wilderness.

They were blind. He was not talking about that. He was trying to get them to understand the influence the Pharisees and Herod might have on them. They needed to be cautious of what their influence could do!

Jesus said to them, “’You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’* Don’t you remember anything at all? (Mark 8:18 NLT). Did you notice the frustration in Jesus’ words?

Later, though, a glimmer of light came through for Peter when he confessed Christ is the Son of God. Still, blindness has a way of afflicting some even after they receive their sight, as it did Peter in verses 32 and 33.

People struggle with the same kind of blindness even today, don’t they? They need help. Will we help them see?

#blind, #jesus, #mark

Jesus in Mark 2

In Mark chapter 2, Jesus, the untiring servant of God, met a sick man whose bed had been lowered so he might be healed.

But, one interesting thing in the passage is Jesus knew the thoughts of the scribes and Pharisees in the room.

Though there have been many magicians who have performed illusions of mindreading, and there have been others who appear to do the same, there has never existed a true mind reader except for Jesus Christ.

Christ had this attribute of God on earth, similar to the ability of omnipresence recorded in John 1 with Nathaniel.

Jesus dealt with the sick man’s truly deadly disease ― sin ― and then he turned his attention to the thoughts of the Jews.

The Bible, which gives us the mind of God on the subject, tells us in this chapter the Jews were thinking, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7 ESV).

This would have been true, except Jesus IS God (John 1:1). Because he is, he did not blaspheme.

The other truly remarkable thing here is that Jesus says, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home,” (Mark 2:10-11 ESV). Jesus had not only the power to heal this man, but also he had the authority to forgive his sins.

Jesus had the exousian to forgive sins. This is the same word used in Matthew 28:18 when Jesus said, “All authority has been given me…”

Yes, Jesus is a Savior who has compassion for men. But, he also has authority over them. His way is the only way (John 14:6).

#authority, #jesus-christ, #mark

Consider Mark 10

The contrasts in Mark chapter 10 are instructive.

In verse 35 of this chapter is the request from James and John, the sons of Zebedee, the sons of thunder, who ask Jesus for positions of authority and power in the kingdom. How little attention had these apostles paid to recent events! Jesus had taught earlier in the chapter that to even enter the kingdom, one must become humble and unassuming as a little child. They had failed to understand the truth that Jesus had taught!

Finally, to cap all of this as a living object lesson is poor, blind Bartemaeus. Jesus and the apostles had been in Jericho where large crowds followed him from the city. The blind man was sitting begging alms when Jesus came and began calling out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people in the crowd told him to keep quiet, but he called to the Master even more loudly. Jesus called the blind man to him.

Bartemaeus had only one request:  “…that I might receive my sight.”

What a contrast! THIS was the attitude Jesus had been teaching about all along. The Jews needed this attitude to understand how to rid themselves of a hardened heart. The children were characteristic of the kingdom because of their willingness to come to Jesus humbly and unassumingly. And, in contrast to James and John, blind Bartemaeus asked for mercy to receive his sight.

May we all learn the lesson of Mark 10, that we might have the same attitude in the kingdom of our Lord and Master.

#bartamaeus, #jesus-christ, #mark

Something About Philippians?

The apostle Paul didn’t think he “had it made” as a Christian. He was always “pressing toward the mark” (Philippians 3:14), forgetting the past and looking forward to the future (Philippians 3:13). If we are to be successful as followers of Christ, we must do the exact same thing, remembering that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul’s attitude of heart was “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

#apostle, #christian, #forget, #future, #mark, #past, #pressing, #strengthen, #successful