Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Reading Through the New Testament - Mark 1

I'll go through each day's readings and give the impressions I get as I read it devotionally. Resisting the urge to do word studies, examine contextual clues etc. may be tough, but remember, we're listening here each day and it's very hard to listen when you are talking.

- Never really hit me that Mark immediately goes to the OT as a beginning foundation, but it makes sense. At this point nearly everyone who'll read the gospel is Jewish or Gentile. So for his Jewish readers he's pulling a Paul Harvey - "and now, the rest of the story."
- "All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John.Mark 1:5 (NLT)" John the Baptist must have been like the Beatles were on their arrival in America if "all of Judea" came out to see and hear him. I guess that tells us just how hungry the people were to hear from God.
- That clothing - interesting. The food choices - ugh
- So John gets all this notice, fame really - and he immediately takes it and uses it to point toward Jesus. How rare is that in today's celebrity culture?
- When Jesus comes to be baptized, is He the only one to hear God's voice? Mark doesn't say. But I love that translation "you bring me great joy."
- You know how you have those times when great joy is followed almost immediately with some really tough challenge? Well, I think Jesus does. Baptism to the wilderness. Tough day. Mark doesn't supply the details the other writers do.
- John never forget what he was here for right to the end of his life. How many people falter toward the end. Not John.
- Jesus' recruiting style seems to be as you are going, make disciples. Hmmm... I read that somewhere else.
- They were fishermen. All they knew and all their family knew. How much faith did it take to leave all that behind?
- Jesus immediately went to work explaining the good news that the Kingdom had come and that living in it would be different. He taught differently because of His intimate connection to the Word. Authors do that.
- For every action... didn't take long for the opposition to pop up, did it? Even the evil spirits are doing publicity work for the Kingdom. "I know who you are - the Holy One (Messiah)"
- Now the people are buzzing about Jesus.
- Jesus prepared for great ministry with great prayer and listening to the Father. No frills or fancy program. Just time spent with God.
- Jesus also resisted the urge to stay where the crowd was warm and receptive while other people were in need. Easiest thing for a church to do is to turn inward. Easiest thing for a person to do is to seek to meet their needs instead of seeking to serve Christ first.
- Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”
Mark 1:41 (NLT)  A leper was the outcast of that society and was literally untouchable. And yet Jesus' heart was so tender to people's needs His every action reflected that.
- Jesus tried to get the healed man to do what was proper so that the religious authorities would see first hand that God had sent him. While I understand the man's emotions led him to do what he did, what did it cost the Kingdom? When we let our emotions lead us to do things that we know aren't what God's best is for us - how much do WE cost the Kingdom? This man brought the ministry to a standstill keeping other people from getting help. Every time we forget it's not about us - there's a cost to the Kingdom.

- Mark 2 next

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