Gospel Meditation #200 Mark 8:34-9:1 Jesus’ Four “Fors”

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 200

Mark 8:34-9:1

Jesus’ Four “For’s” or A Different kind of kingdom

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Recite the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. The If in verse 34, “If anyone would come after me” is a 3rd class condition meaning there may be those who do.
  8. The maybe nature to following Jesus is because it is costly: self-denial, taking up of the cross, losing his or her life, and not being ashamed of Jesus.
  9. Self-denial–to turn from that which is unholy and to seek to serve and please God rather than ourselves, both of which are contrary to our natural instincts and nature.
  1. To take the cross is to identify with the death of Jesus, His dying in our place and for us, in order that our sin be covered. What an odd message indeed, to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.
  2. Losing one’s life rather than seeking health, wealth, fame, fortune, honor among people, and much more. It is seeking first the kingdom. It is giving all to obtain the pearl of great price and that treasure hidden in the field.
  3. Not being ashamed to identify with Jesus and His Gospel means among other things, not being afraid to say the Name of Jesus when we know it will likely bring unfavorable reaction.
  4. An adulterous and sinful generation is not a fan of that which is holy and righteous. And the pressure to conform to it is great indeed.
  5. To be ashamed of Jesus now only will result in His being ashamed of us when the kingdom of God arrives in power. And this event’s advent is merely a matter of time.

 

Gospel Meditation #199 Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection, Mark 8:31-38

GOSPEL MEDITATION #199

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

Mark 8:31-38

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. It is assumed this story takes place in Caesarea Philippi; Jesus is not alone with His disciples, but others are nearby.
  8. Isaiah, chapter 53, had spoken of the rejection the Messiah would receive culminating in the death of the suffering servant of Israel. Jesus knew the passage was about Him.
  9. Jesus explained all plainly to the Twelve, but Peter, perhaps speaking for himself as well as the rest, protested the meaning of Jesus’ words. The Messiah would reign as king was their mindset.
  10. Redemption, Salvation, eternal fellowship in heaven was the object and not the things of men. Jesus knew that Satan was behind the misunderstanding.
  11. Not an idiom, “Get behind me, Satan!” as Jesus knew Satan’s deception was behind Peter’s exclamation as it is with every suggestion or doctrine that denies the cross and resurrection. There is nothing new under the sun.
  12. Genuine conversion, real discipleship meant followers of Jesus would deny themselves (as to worldly goals), take up the cross (of suffering and shame), and follow Him however troublesome, humiliating, and painful that might prove to be. These do not save a person but do illustrate that genuine conversion is in place.
  13. The issue is nothing less than eternal life.

GOSPEL MEDITATION #198 Mark 8:22-30 Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida & Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

GOSPEL MEDITATION #198

Mark 8:22-30

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida &

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

(also read Matthew 16:13-20 & Luke 9:18-22)

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. People brought a blind man to Jesus. They thought Jesus could heal the man. Our work is to bring people to Jesus.
  8. Being blind, Jesus spoke to and touched the man. Interesting that the healing was not completed at once and when it was the man saw clearly. Jesus did not want the healing to be widely known; Jesus did not need the publicity or further interruptions since now the priority was to teach the apostles..
  9. Some distance north of Bethsaida was Caesarea Philippi, a Greek city, a place were Jesus’ enemies would not travel.
  10. Now about half-way in Jesus’ earthly work, He enquires about what His followers, and others, were saying as to who He was.
  11. The disciples gave three replies: John the Baptist; Elijah, or one of the other prophets, like, maybe, Isaiah or Jeremiah.
  12. Though Herod had beheaded John, in his paranoia he supposed Jesus was John come back to life. Elijah, was known to come before and herald the Messiah, and others, for no sound reason, thought Jesus was one of Israel’s noted prophets coming at an auspicious time.
  13. But the disciples, as announced by Peter, had a clearer understanding, one revealed only by God Himself. (see Matthew 16:17)
  14. Characteristically, Jesus does not want this announced.

 

Gospel Meditation Mark 8:11-21, The Pharisees demand a Sign & The Leaven of the Pharisees

GOSPEL MEDITATION #197

The Pharisees Demand a Sign &

The Leaven of the Pharisees

Mark 8:11-21

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. “Show us a miracle and we will be satisfied.” Then one more would be requested, and then another. Heal someone, cast out a demon – then we will believe. But they did not.
  7. Seems like a miracle would be enough but it never is. Faith is always a gift, blind eyes must be opened, deaf ears must be made to hear.
  8. Jesus had feed 5000 then 4000 and yet the apostles were worried about the apparent lack of bread. Did they want to see another miracle?
  9. The guys somehow had forgotten the two most incredible miracles ever, one which showed up the fundamental law of nature – new energy or matter cannot be created. We live in a closed system.
  10. Right in front of them, as it had been for the religious leaders, they beheld the miraculous. It was not enough.
  11. As yet there was no inner working of the Holy Spirit, who alone confirms forgiveness and salvation. It is a miracle unseen, which is far superior to even a resurrection from the dead.
  12. There would be the resurrection of Lazarus, which was like casting pearls before swine; then Jesus’ own resurrection was denied.
  13. The Pharisees are like all those who trust in doing good works. Theirs is despair and a longing for proof undeniable.
  14. Good deeds are observed while real faith cannot be.

Gospel Meditation — Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand Mark 8:1-10

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 196

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

Mark 8:1-10

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Matthew’s account, 15:32-39, reads almost identical to Mark’s. 4000 this time, 5000 last, and this crowd without food for 3 days. They had bread but of a different kind. When this is available, nothing else matters much.
  8. Jesus, not the disciples, see the need. He has compassion but the disciples do not have. Do we?
  9. 7 loaves only, and these are seed cakes, flat bread. Also a few fish. Jesus maintains order, has the people sit down on the ground, not green grass as before.
  10. Jesus gives thanks, twice, once for the loaves and then for the fish. Possible the fish were presented later on. The prayer was one of thanksgiving not a “blessing” on the food.
  11. The miracle, as in the 5000 feeding, must have occurred in the hands of Jesus as He broke the bread cakes and fish. Imagine the strength and patience it must have required.
  12. Everyone was satisfied, content, as it always is when Jesus feeds us.
  13. 7 baskets were needed to collect the leftovers. But the word for baskets is different from that used in the 5000 feeding. There the word means small baskets, the kind most travellers carried with them. Here it means a hamper, a large basket, the kind used in Acts 9:25 to describe the basket Paul was lowered down in.
  14. Jesus then flees with his disciples via the boat again.

 

Gospel Meditation: Jesus Heals a Deaf Man Mark 7:31-37

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 195

Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

Mark 7:31-37

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Jesus retreats to the Decapolis (ten cities) on the eastern side of the Jordan River. He encounters another Gentile.
  1. To be deaf and have trouble speaking makes sense.
  2. Those who brought the man to Jesus are not identified. This has become a pattern for us; this is what we do too.
  3. They “begged Jesus” to heal him. This reminds us of what happened in Mark 7:26. The idea is that, for whatever reason, Jesus did not respond immediately.
  4. Jesus shows courtesy to the man by taking him aside. However, might Jesus have wanted this encounter to remain quiet?
  5. We must ask then, if the healing was private how do we know of it now?
  6. Jesus often spoke a word to heal, now a touch. Would not a spoken word have achieved the desired healing?
  7. Jesus must have touched the man’s ears, then a second action, He spit and touched the man’s tongue with a wet finger. Might this have looked differently?
  8. In Aramaic, “Be opened.” Here now was the word.
  9. The man spoke plainly (incredible, a multifaceted healing), and Jesus wants the man to be quiet.
  10. The man simply could not obey.
  11. Jesus does do all things well.

 

Gospel Meditation Traditions and Commandments & What Defiles a Person, Mark 7:1-23

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 193

Traditions and Commandments &

What Defiles a Person

Mark 7:1-23

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. We tend to be legalists, yes even evangelicals who preach grace. It is common to the human condition. In the Judaism of Jesus’ day many sought to honor God by being observant of a myriad of rules and regulations.
  8. The Oral Law, on top of the 613 laws found in Scripture, 248 permitted acts, 365 prohibited acts, many of them had to do with food and personal hygiene.
  9. Jesus, an observant Jew, nevertheless rejected much of the Oral Law, the traditions of the elders, and thus ran afoul of religious extremists. Little has changed.
  10. Pride follows in the wake of doing works that are thought to be righteous. Jesus pointed out that it is not the external but the internal where the problem lies.
  11. What was true for some of the Jewish religious leaders is true for us today.
  12. It is out of the heart and mind and the will–the core of us–where sin and evil begin. And we are surrounded by it in the culture we live in.
  13. We are in the world, not of it, but we are all vulnerable to the forces that would destroy us.
  14. Legalism does not protect us from that which defiles, and the list Jesus gives is very comprehensive.
  15. The reality is, we are all susceptible to being defiled.

Maybe adultery and murder won’t get us, but pride,

slander, envy, or coveting may.

Gospel Meditation # 197, Mark 8:11-21, The Pharisees Demand a Sign & The Leaven of the Pharisees

GOSPEL MEDITATION #197

The Pharisees Demand a Sign & The Leaven of the Pharisees

Mark 8:11-21

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. “Show us a miracle and we will be satisfied.” Then one more would be requested, and then another. Heal someone, cast out a demon – then we will believe. But they did not.
  7. Seems like a miracle would be enough but it never is. Faith is always a gift, blind eyes must be opened, deaf ears must be made to hear.
  8. Jesus had feed 5000 then 4000 and yet the apostles were worried about the apparent lack of bread. Did they want to see another miracle?
  9. The guys somehow had forgotten the two most incredible miracles ever, one which showed up the fundamental law of nature – new energy or matter cannot be created. We live in a closed system.
  10. Right in front of them, as it had been for the religious leaders, they beheld the miraculous. It was not enough.
  11. As yet there was no inner working of the Holy Spirit, who alone confirms forgiveness and salvation. It is a miracle unseen, which is far superior to even a resurrection from the dead.
  12. There would be the resurrection of Lazarus, which was like casting pearls before swine; then Jesus’ own resurrection was denied.
  13. The Pharisees are like all those who trust in doing good works. Theirs is despair and a longing for proof undeniable.
  14. Good deeds are observed while real faith cannot be.

 

Gospel Meditation # 192 Jesus Walks on the Water and Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret

GOSPEL MEDITATION # 192

The Gospel of Mark #23

Jesus walks of the Water and

Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer

4          Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.

  1. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  2. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  3. Jesus needed to create distance between Himself and the Twelve. There was a danger into being forced to declare His Messiahship following the great miracle.
  4. The disciple may have wondered why they had been sent away, but then between 3 and 6am there came Jesus walking on the water.
  5. In 1 Corinthians 12 4-11, we find one of Holy Spirit gifts is miracles, and the feeding and the walking fit.
  6. He would have passed by except for the invitation; seems Jesus waits for the invitation with us too.
  7. A ghost, a “phantasma” from the Greek; the disciples had plenty of cultural and superstitious baggage yet.
  8. Not really grasping the 5000 fed, they were again astounded when the wind ceased.
  9. Gennesaret, a very fertile valley 1 and ½ miles west of the sea of Galilee that stretched south 3 and ½ miles—again the crowds caught up with the Jesus and the twelve, which is understandable given the incredible miracles they had witnessed—and again, no time to rest and teach.
  10. We are desperate when something touches our body; rarely are we troubled when the illness has to do with the heart. And when so, the troubling is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This must be the healing we seek from

Gospel Meditation # 191 Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

GOSPEL MEDITATION #191

Mark 6:30-44

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

  1. Find a quiet place without distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. The apostles return from their first missionary adventure and report back to Jesus all they had done and taught. This is a precedent for today as well may well be concluded.
  7. Jesus wanted a time to refresh, debrief, a time apart from the crowds. Here we see the importance of leisure time and rest.
  8. Jesus no doubt was tired, but seeing the people He had “compassion” on them. This is typical of Jesus and is what we are to model as well.
  9. His compassion lead to His teaching; and what He said would have more lasting value than what was to follow.
  10. Jesus taught for a lengthy period of time or so it could be assumed. So wrapped up in what He was giving them, time was passing and it would be too late to care for themselves. And we know from Matthew 14:21, there were women and children present in addition to the 5000 men.
  11. The apostles are aware of the situation, but Jesus tells them to “give them something to eat.” It seemed impossible, was impossible for them, yet Jesus issues the challenge.
  12. Five barely loaves, two fish – maybe enough for two, but in the hands of Jesus, after the thanksgiving prayer to God for the food, a miracle occurs in His hands. The supply of food is not exhausted until everyone is satisfied.
  13. The disciples give out the food, true then, true today. It is astonishing that Mark reports that everyone was content.
  14. Twelve baskets left over. Twelve baskets, one for each of the apostles? Is it going too far to assume the baskets was meant for the Twelve? Perhaps.