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Archive for the ‘Mark’ Category

Gospel of Mark Study #10: The Healer

rbr4Step into the study, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable and let’s enjoy the Gospel of Mark.

Our passage today is Mark 1:29-45 29 As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. (NIV) (more…)

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rbr4Step into the study, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable and let’s enjoy the Gospel of Mark.

Our passage today is Mark 1:21-28 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching–and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

In this passage we see Jesus in two roles that are essential to understanding him: teacher and exorcist. Certainly most Christians are comfortable with the image of Jesus as a teacher and this image influences a great deal of our conception of Christianity. Picturing Jesus as an exorcist, however, raises problems for many modern, western minds. Exorcism is associated with a primitive and pre-scientific world-view, particularly in the area of mental and physical illnesses. It is interesting to note that those Christians who embrace this aspect of the Gospel presentation of Jesus are rapidly growing all over the world, while those churches that have accommodated the modern worldview and exorcised the demonic from Christianity are dwindling in influence and numbers. (more…)

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rbr4Step into the study, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get comfortable and let’s enjoy the Gospel of Mark.

Our passage again this week is Mark 1:14-15. “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (RSV) We return to this important summary of the overall message of Jesus and we must prepare to grapple with the essence of what Jesus is telling every person who will listen. We cannot pretend to understand Christianity if these words do not have life-anchoring significance for us.

Most modern Christians believe they are living in the last days. They normally base this on some form of speculative Bible prophecy. But the Bible teaches that the “last days” arrived with the coming of Christ. We see this in Peter’s statement that the time is fulfilled. The Old Testament is full of longing for the Kingdom of God to arrive. The Jews believed that”God’s time” would become evident when the “Day of the Lord” suddenly appeared. From the very beginning, however, Jesus said that the time was fulfilled. God’s day was now here. (more…)

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