I don’t know if you guys noticed, but reading Matthew was a battle. Like 5 chapters a day, and they were long! Sometimes, I would have to read it several times, just to get the jist of it, because after 5 or 6 lines, I would be lost! Luckily, we are on Mark, which is shorter and straight to the point, apparently. I think Matthew was a bit of a gossip, he wanted us to breathe, eat, feel the whole experience. Every time, he retold the story, something extra would be added, more sarcasm placed in different areas. Don’t take my word for it though, read it yourself and see if that’s how it came across to you!
Finally, I’m ready to start Mark! I’m supposed to be on Day 10, but this is actually Day 7! Let’s see if I can catch up!
Mark 1 – 5
- Already, we have skipped Jesus’ genealogy and even Mary meeting the angel, straight to Jesus being baptised by John.
- I have a feeling, I won’t be able to make any addition or do some research, as every thing is straight to the point.
- I think I would recommend to people who are new to Jesus Christ, to start of with Mark. If you start with Matthew, you’ll be lost in the words.
- I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I wonder what made the disciples just follow Jesus? What makes them leave their work and family, and say ‘bye bye.’ Jesus must have had charisma, a light that drew people in like moths. If we are like Jesus or call ourselves Ambassador of Christ, shouldn’t we draw people to us, to Christ? I don’t think I have that pulling pour, but I could do if I let the Holy Spirit take charge. It’s like Peter and the 3000 on Pentecost, or something I heard recently, aka, yesterday at The Biggest Birthday Party Ever (celebrating the church and the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the earth), where Billy Graham lead a large congregation to the Lord (I can’t remember the number, but you can do that research :p ) One day, I want to say, that I did something like that. I don’t think I could preach so well and I don’t want to be a preacher or pastor or whatever, I just want to say that my action, my writing, the small things I did, sparked a light in someone’s heart.
- See how Jesus handled that unclean spirit. He rebuked it. If someone told me that they had an unclean spirit, I would cross the street, avoid eye contact and make sure I head straight to my pastor’s place for divine intervention, prayer and fasting. THIS! Is not the way we should respond and though, it is going to be difficult and it is so much easier said then done, we have got to start tapping into the Holy Spirit’s power (with His permission of course) and doing what Jesus commissioned us
- Even the small things are still miracles. Jesus just taking her by the hand and getting rid of that fever, is still a miracle. We can’t take for granted the small miracles that God has gifted us with.
- Jesus had done what he needed to do in this city. He had preached the Word and made an impact in the people’s lives. He didn’t stay and be exalted there or glorified. He kept His eyes on the prize, on God’s will and moved on. There can be times, where we are enjoying the position that we are at. It’s comfortable, people appreciate us, people want to hang with us and give us gifts, and sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes it can be a waste of time, it can put a hinge in God’s plan for us. We need to move forward, because where we think God wants us to be, is not entirely where He wants us to be.
- Jesus always did things in compassion or in pity. I feel like I’m losing compassion. I don’t know, like with everything that’s happening in the world or in the UK, my heart feels colder and you know what, I acknowledge that, that is a problem. How can I call myself a Christian but heart is not bursting with love – I like to interchange love and compassion. The only thing I can do is ask the Lord for His agape love everyday, because I feel like as time moves on, it is going to be difficult for every single person to show love onto others, even our family members. ‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,’ – Matthew 24:12
- Sometimes, in our excitement of what God has done for us, we can mumble His message and disregard His instruction. Jesus clearly told this person, don’t tell anyone and yet he does. This affects everything that Jesus wanted to do in the city, because He couldn’t do what He wanted to do freely. If God tells you something or does something amazing in your life, heed His instructions and do what He told you to do, because it is rarely for only your benefit.
- I don’t want to be repetitive, so I’m going to try and let the Holy Spirit lead me, when it comes about what I should write and not, because I feel like Matthew really covered the basics and the extensive.
- ‘Jesus perceived in His spirit,’ – The Holy Spirit obviously told Jesus what the scribes were thinking. How many people do you know that can read minds? I don’t! Only God can do that and maybe those that the Holy Spirit has gifted. The fact that the Holy Spirit dwells with us, means that He can tell/reveal to us, when someone is not for us, and there will definitely be people out there, who are not for us. I don’t know if I can use this saying, but I’m going to twist it, so it can fit :p ‘not all that glitters is gold.’ This actually has two meanings, well I interpret it into two meanings. 1) Just because it looks pretty or someone seems kind, doesn’t mean they are. 2) Gold in its raw form doesn’t actually shine, it is rather dull so… just because the outside is rough/plain/ugly doesn’t mean that there isn’t something worthwhile there. It’s like the bible says, only God knows the true hearts of men. – ‘But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.’ – Jeremiah 17:10
- Are we fasting? Are you guys fasting? Do you fast only when your pastor tells you to? And even then do you give up halfway and say God has seen my heart, He knows that I have tried? Fasting should be apart of every Christian’s life. It should be lead by the Holy Spirit. Your hearts must be stirred up to fast, because things don’t just go away because you tell them to – you need to know when to fast and pray. My birthday is coming up soon, so I may start to fast as well, in preparation and celebration of the Lord adding another year to my life. Jesus isn’t here yet, only the Holy Spirit is and we should be holding down the fortress for Him. We can’t celebrate just yet, because there are so many souls perishing everyday and we need to be the ones pulling them out of that fire, that was only meant for the devil.
- I’m going to go on a tangent and say, ‘it is ridiculous how many people, twist, distort and interpret the bible for their fleshy satisfaction.’ The End. But seriously, there are things that we are slipping and telling ourselves it was written in the Old Testament, it doesn’t apply to us or the bible is old, it isn’t relevant to today or even, it is just a book of good deeds. This is the Book of Life. This is Jesus. This is the Word, and we cannot be messing around with the Word. It is shameful and it is disregarding everything that Jesus has done for us. We really need to be attuned to the Holy Spirit before we do an action, that we deem is ‘correct’ even though it disregards the Old Testament. What brought this random rambles – Jesus kind of disregarding the way the Pharisees perceived the Sabbath.
- Watching. They watched. They watched Him closely. Who is watching you? No matter how insignificant you believe you are, someone is watching you. They may be watching you, to follow your example, or they maybe watching you, waiting for your downfall. They may even be watching you, to look out for you. So who is watching you and what will they see, because whatever you think you are hiding will eventually come to light. You have the choice to decide what they see, by changing the inner working of your heart.
- Verse 13 – ‘And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He himself wanted. And they came to Him.’ I don’t know if this fits, but it reminded me of the bible verse, ‘For many are called, but few are chosen.’ – Matthew 22:14. Jesus was surround by several people, but He only took some with Him and even then, He had an exclusive group within his disciples – His inner circle. Always taking Peter, John and James, with Him – like His besties. Going off tangent, but someone told me, that in the Jewish Rabbi culture (do correct me, if I’m wrong), they would have some boys who would train and have to know the whole Torah off by heart and be able to discuss it, as well. Then they (Rabbis) would select from the group, those that they believed had potential and train them up, to replace them in their stead.
- It’s weird that it is people that we know, who can be our enemy of progress (EOP). The fact they say us grow up or have known us for so long, they believe that they have the jurisdiction to dictate our lives, the path that we are supposed to take. Eeeek! NOPE! You are only man, you can’t see the future and you definitely cannot predict what God can do in us or through us. From a shepherd to a King, from a slave to the second most powerful man, and for the females who believe they are second class citizen; from an orphan to a Queen, who saved her people. The woman who has been bleeding for 12 years, who was healed and acknowledge by Jesus, because of her faith. Or maybe even Dorcas the female disciple, who was mourned greatly when she died, that Peter came and raised her back from the dead?! So who says God can’t change you or fulfil His plans in you. Just don’t give up and hold onto it. He is an unchangeable God! He will do what He said He will do.
- It is hard loving someone who is not a part of your family or even your friend, so how then can we show compassion and love to strangers. I think the best thing to do is ask God for compassion and also to imagine your family member in that situation. I think what inspired this, was when I went to see Philippa Hannna and she sang a sung called ‘Sharks’ and how it was about a friend who would cut and how she just wanted to swap places with them and cover them in love. She then went on to explain how Jesus swapped places with us and how He is covering us with love.
- I think I’ve done this parable already? Anyho! ‘To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that…’ – Verse 11 – Since we are children of God, we can already see that things that the bible has proclaimed/told us is coming to pass. While people of this world, can easily just explain it away as coincidence or they are even shocked that events that are happening in this world are even happening. We’re lucky because we have been clued up, the bible is revealing what will happen in the last days and because we have the chance to see the signs and prepare, we must also give those that are hard-headed in the terms of Jesus, the opportunity to wake up and see the truth for what it really is. Only the Holy Spirit, can ‘open the eyes of the blind’ (don’t you feel like singing), ‘open the ears of the deaf,’ so that they may respond correctly, however, we have a duty to assist them and continue to speak ‘living waters’ into their life.
- Verse 33 – ‘And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.’ – I always wonder if God is speaking to me, sometimes I get frustrated and ask Him to speak to me, disappointed that He hasn’t said anything audible to me. I tell Him, that He said, ‘if I draw close to Him, He will draw close to me, but I haven’t seen any evidence.’ I ask Him, if I have offended Him, but I still don’t get know reply, so it’s a vicious cycle of frustration and silence. However, I have learnt that God doesn’t always speak using words but actions, I just actually have to see His actions and see that He has responded to my questions. That’s why I have a ‘Hearing Loss’ section, to see if He is really speaking to me or maybe I am comforting myself with delusions. It would be nice, if others that have had an encounter with God would also share (aka testimony time).
- Note, this may be obvious, but don’t get distracted when reading the Word, you may miss things that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you. Basically, you are just licking the icing, not eating the cake
- It’s weird isn’t it? That two people can attend the same church and hear the same message, but get something completely different from it. One person may have even missed the message! Verse 34 – ‘… And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.’ – The Holy Spirit works in one accord; however, sometimes you may only need a part of the message, whilst someone else needs the whole message. If you are not walking with the Holy Spirit, how can He give you or explain the message that you need, to help you in your situation?
- Verse 5 – ‘And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.’ This may be a touchy topic and I don’t want to offend. Doesn’t it make you sad when a person is self-harming. When a person is self-harming and it is someone you know, someone personal to you. You want to cry on their behalf. You wish you had the magic cure to fix them up and solve their issues. A typical answer would be they need Jesus – since in this message, an unclean spirit was in the person who was suffering. However, do you know that fear is an unclean spirit? That depression is an unclean spirit? He says that He ‘has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ – 2nd Timothy 1:7. Therefore, we can help these people, yes let’s pray for them, but also let’s shower them with love, because it is the Holy Spirit that can fix the inside, not man. We can only provide love, support and prayers.
- Verse 15 – ‘…the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind.’ – See! ‘in his right mind,’ when Jesus comes, when the Holy Spirit enters your life, things will begin to transform for the better.
- Verse 19 – ‘…and how He has compassion on you.’ – Why would Jesus tell the man, to tell the people that He had compassion for him? Like I always do, I use compassion and love interchangeable. So Jesus is telling the man that He loves him and that he should tell others, that Jesus loves them as well. It reminds me of my church service at BCC, where Pastor Mark was talking about that orphan spirit (I’m sorry, I couldn’t actually find the link to the podcast, so you are going to have to filter through it :P). Many people don’t understand that God has accepted them as His children. Sometimes they feel unworthy of His grace and love, but here we have Jesus telling the man, that He loved him and that he should tell others of His love.
- Verse 35 – ‘…some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”’ – If this man had heeded the word of the ‘some,’ his daughter would still have been dead. They had seen all that Jesus could do and yet, they the ‘some’ wanted to instil fear and doubt into the father’s mind about what Jesus could do. The father had a situation and he had two options, listen to those that would tell him to give up, that his situation will not improve, that God has no power in this situation. Or, listen to Jesus and continue to walk in faith, believing that his situation would be revived.
- Is twelve a significant number? Jacob had 12 sons. There are 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus had 12 disciples. The woman who was bleeding, was healed after 12 years and now we have a little girl who came back to life at the age of 12?!