Jesus interacts with two different people in this passage: a man with a twelve year-old dying daughter, and a woman who suffered bleeding for twelve years. Neither situation seemed hopeful for them until they met Jesus. No matter how little hope there seems to be in a situation, the touch of Jesus can change everything. Knowing this, how much do we really trust Jesus, and what will we trust him with?
We all go through storms in life. The question isn't "Will I go through a storm," but "Will I go through the storm with Jesus?" Even though we don't always see him, even though we may feel like he doesn't care, Jesus promises his presence throughout all the troubles we experience in life. No matter what you're going through, no matter how hard it seems, remember to trust Jesus in the storms.
We all have a past. Sometimes that past can feel like a hindrance or a hurdle that makes it difficult to move forward. But Jesus breaks down all kinds of barriers to get through to us. He broke all kinds of rules and customs to meet the demon-possessed man in the Gerasenes. Not only that, but this man was the first person in Mark's gospel that Jesus empowers to be a missionary. In Christ, your past does not paralyze you; it propels you into purpose.
People respond differently to God. We see this all the time. Some people are interested in God, some people aren't. There were a variety of responses to Jesus in Mark. Jesus describes why some people respond differently than others in Mark 4:1-20. This is the critical question: what kind of soil are you?
The Pharisees brought many accusations against Jesus during his ministry. Out of all those charges, only one was labeled unforgivable--blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. They essentially said Jesus was empowered by demons, rather than by the Holy Spirit. Often we are quick to judge or condemn people, ideas, and movements that look different from ours. But Jesus welcomes all who do the will of the Father.
The Pharisees distorted Sabbath and weaponized it. Jesus understood God created Sabbath for the good of the people. They didn't see the world the way Jesus did. Eventually, their hearts grow so hard that they start to plot Jesus' death. The hardness of their hearts determined their ability to see.
Jesus showed us that God does his best work at places like Levi's house, not the temple. Our mission is not getting lost people in the church so much as it is getting Christ in lost people. Worship and other church events are like halftime. They matter, but they are not where we play the game. That means we have to actively go where lost people are.
We all have certain boundaries that we don’t want to be violated. During Jesus’ life, there was a certain religious group (The Pharisees) who had rigid boundaries. They believed these boundaries shouldn’t be violated. A controversy is created when Jesus violates a major boundary of the Pharisees. It raises the question: how should followers of Jesus live out what Jesus taught today?
Life is often challenging. We encounter new difficulties and obstacles every day. Sometimes those obstacles stick with us for a long time, either turning into bad habits or simply hindering us from taking the next step forward. Through faith in Jesus, we can experience breakthrough into new territories and arenas of experiencing God's goodness. Through our own faith and of those around us, we can break through!
It's difficult to say "no." There are so many expectations placed on us that choosing how to prioritize our lives is no easy task. Thankfully, we have Jesus as our example. He understood his Father's will and made it his life's mission to see it come to fruition. Even when his ministry grew so large so quickly, he wasn't controlled by the expectations of his followers. Jesus lived on mission, which dictated the way he lived his life
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