Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Reading Through the New Testament - Mark 3

- Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand
Mark 3:1 (NLT)  "The Noticer."
- Why were people so determined to defend a religious system that left people like that without hope?
- Jesus asked great questions that not only made people think, but that caused them to have to reevaluate what they believed and why they believed it. Great example here of one of those questions.
- They would not answer.
- He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts.
Mark 3:5 (NLT) When you love and it's rejected, it hurts. "Hard hearts" has a ring to it from the OT. I'll bet that stung when people read this gospel.
- Wow - 3rd chapter and the death panel is already being organized. Notice why. Jesus didn't obey men's ideas of what God would have Him do.
- strange bedfellows too - usually it was the Sadducees and Herodians that were tight. Apparently the Pharisees see Jesus as a mortal enemy.
- Yet the people are drawn to Him and the demonic opposition falls down before Him.
- Jesus calls out the ones he wants to multiply His ministry and then places some into leadership. He gives them a pretty concise outline of what they'll be doing.
- list of the twelve disciples - funny how we don't really hear about some and how Mark lets people know already that Judas is a traitor
- Jesus - even in the midst of great success - was still thought of by His family as in need of their help. They still don't get it, do they? Why in the world would they say "He's out of His mind?" given what incredible things He's been doing.
- the Jerusalem bunch seem to feed on that and amplify it and Jesus doesn't let it go. He calls them over and confronts. It's chilling to read about the unforgivable sin. "eternal consequences..."
- this passage is tough for people to grip. We have been conditioned to put family matters before everything else. But Jesus didn't, and He makes it clear here that God's higher purpose trumps everything else. If you believe "it's not about me" then you also need to hold the conviction that "it's not about my family" because there may come a time when you have to follow God even though your family will suffer and you know it. Lots of pastors know this from personal experience and have seen the effects of their calling to serve God on their family. I know I have.
- I trust my Father with my family more than I trust anyone, anywhere.
- Follow God and... no, just follow God.

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