February 28th 2018 Mark 9:30-10:12

30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

The likely reason Jesus did not want the multitudes to know is because of the importance of this trip and what He is teaching His disciples at the time. This will now be the second time that Jesus predicts His death. This is not a fun death either. It is not a story of some great adventure and a wild beast taking your life in the midst of that. But it is the most significant death in all of our lives. This is a death of betrayal, pain and resurrection. And what they did not understand was that this was what Jesus would choose to do. He choose the pain for you and I to be made holy like Him through His death.

32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

How many times is that true in our lives. We read His Word and we do not quite get it, but then we are afraid to ask. Or worse, we are reading His Word and He speaks directly to our hearts. We know that thing was for us, but we do not understand it. Are we afraid to ask? Sometimes we are. There can be many reasons that we do not ask. The most common one in my life, and the reason I think the disciples did not ask here, is nt likely what I heard and being afraid that the explanation is going to be harder then what I already thought I heard. Think about it. The disciples have been traveling with Jesus for close to three years now, three and a half years would be all they got with Him on this earth. They were close. They left their businesses, their homes, their lives to follow Jesus and now He is talking about His death and about betrayal. None of that sounds good to them, so the shy away from asking. When Jesus is speaking to you and you do not get it what is your reasoning or not asking?

33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.

Jesus already knows what they were talking about. He is looking for a confession. Just like God in the garden with Adam and Eve after they sinned. He was not asking them where they were and what happened to find out information, but He was inviting confession. When we hear the Spirit asking us questions about what we were just doing or saying it is not because He does not know, but because He wants us to confess to Him. No matter what it was, it is best to just be honest with Him.

35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Even though they did not say what was going on Jesus still takes the opportunity to address what was going on in their hearts. Trying to force our way into first is not the way to go about things. Jesus was first, preeminent over all. Yet what we see is Him being a servant to all. Serving others is what puts us first, not forcing our way there. Now children back then were not regarded in high esteem, in fact they were truthfully seem more like property then and individual. So for Jesus to take a child and make the child the center of his lesson meant something. He said whoever receives one of these little ones in my name receives me. We need to be people who look after the needy in our societies.

38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”

This seems like an odd place for John to interject with this statement. At first I was lost, so I dug in some. In matthew Henry’s commentary he points out that they were just rebuked for wanting to be the greatest. What John is putting forth here could be a way of saying look at what we do with our authority, we defend your honor. Which is partially true, but they have it twisted. They are looking at this as this person has not continued with us and is now using your name to cast out demons. Remember too that we just heard about an instance were the disciples were unable to cast out a demon. I wonder if that played into this as well.

39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.

Jesus did not see this the way the disciples did. If they are doing it in Jesus name then they are of Him. they cannot do something in His name and then turn around and curse Him. Jesus points out that it is not just those that walk directly with us that are on our side, but those that are not walking against us as well. How true is that for us today. There are times that the differing denominations and churches want to be against each other. But the truth is if we are not against each other we are on the same side as each other. There are certain distinctions that make us Christians, true followers of Christ. As long as the other churches in your area agree on the fundamentals, Jesus Christ is Creator God, the Holy trinity, Jesus’ death burial and resurrection, and the future second coming of Christ, then we should be working together for Christ and not striving against them. Whatever we do in Jesus’ name will be rewarded us, and that reward cannot be taken away.

42 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.

This should be a sobering verse for us America. We truthfully do great injustice to our children. For starters just the filth that we have allowed to infiltrate their television shows. Those of you who have children take an honest look at the content of some of the shows you allow your kids to watch. They are filled with evolutionary thought now. They teach disrespect to adults and authority. They have sex and relationship things in them that are above what your child should know about. And that is just one aspect of life that we have them in. I am not saying that we need to completely shelter our kids, but we need to watch out for them and protect them from sinning. Then you have the people that are just wicked and sin with kids in varying ways. Then we have the people that know, or are suspicious of those things happening and stand by saying nothing. It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and for them to die by drowning then for this to take place. We need to watch out for the safety of our children, even if you do not have children this should be a concern of yours.

43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 44 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’ 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— 46 where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—  48 where ‘Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched.’

Jesus here is pointing out the seriousness of sinning. We need to do whatever it takes not to sin. The point is not to literally cut of your hand or pluck out your eye. What Jesus is getting at is that hell is not a place we want to go. It is pure torture. We need to take the necessary steps to stop sinning. Is there an area of your life where you repeatedly fall into the same temptation of sin? Have you asked God to show you a way out? He will. I promise you that. Not like what He is going to show you, because stopping a sin habit often causes us to be uncomfortable in the moment. But I promise you the reward for doing so is far greater and so worth it. I would give up anything this life has to offer for the knowledge that I am walking in right relationship with the Lord.

49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

We will through trials and temptations and they will season us. This is where we do must of our growing. Salt is one of those things that makes the food taste amazing. But if the salt is not salt there is literally nothing you can do to make it salty again, it needs to just be discarded.

1 Then He arose from there and came to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan. And multitudes gathered to Him again, and as He was accustomed, He taught them again.

I love that this was Jesus’ custom. He taught them. What is your custom? Is it something to be proud of, or something you wish people really did not know about you? We can change them. It can become our custom to love others and to be gracious. The choice of what we are accustomed to is really up to us.

2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

Whenever the Pharisees ask question it is truthfully only to try and trap Jesus with His answer.

3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” 5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’;  so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Moses gave them an out, not because it was lawful and right though. What God had intended from the beginning was one man and one woman come together and they make a new family. They then leave their households and become one. God is the one that joins them together and it is His desire that they never be separated. We need to get back to that way of thinking ourselves. The rate of divorce even among confessing believes is staggeringly high. When we make a commitment it should mean something. We should be people who count the cost before we enter into anything. Marriage is definitely one of those things.

10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. 11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

With that being said if you are in a marriage when you are being abused physically, sexually, or mentally you need to find a safe place to stay. You need to try and work things out with your partner. However if they will not change and continuing in the marriage would be unsafe for you or your children you are not required to stay. God’s heart would never desire that for your life. This is more about those that find reason for a divorce because they want it.

February 27th 2018 Mark 9:1-29

We see Jesus on the mount of transfiguration today. Immediately following that we see Him heal a boy with a difficult spirit to cast out. When healing comes, but it is not like you thought how do you react?

 

1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” 2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.

The Jews really did not get the idea of a suffering Messiah and though that He would some and immediately overthrow the Roman empire and reign there. I am sure that is likely what these guys had in mind when they heard Jesus’ words. However, that was not what He meant. The answer was in the following six days when three of His disciples accompanied Him up the mountain and Jesus was transfigured in front of them. They saw Jesus for those brief moments more as what He looks like as the son of Glory as oppose to a man.

3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

This tight must have been spectacular and a little scary to see. His clothes even became white, whiter than a normal white, whiter than was humanly possible to make. Then there were suddenly two prophets of old standing there talking with Jesus. When amazing things are happening around us and we do not know what to say, it is best if we simply do not speak, or at least say the second thing that comes to mind. In our amazement we often open our mouths and say some not bright things. That is what we see happen here with Peter. He was afraid and did not know what to say, so he said something silly. His heart behind what he was saying was nice, but that does not change the fact that it is something that should not have been said. Peter was wanting to build three homes there so that they could stay.

7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

Sometimes we say the first thing on our mind and as it is coming out of our mouth we realize how stupid it really was. Other times we really think we had a great idea and have to be told that it really was not as awesome as we thought. That is more the case here. We hear God’s voice say listen to Jesus who is His son. He is basically saying that it is Jesus who has a heart like His and that has heavenly thoughts like His and is not stuck in the here and now thinking. It is common for us to think that way, because it is what we know. We need to pray to have His heart and follow His words.

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

This is one of the ways the disciples are different then the crowds. The crowds would be healed or see a healing and Jesus would tell them not to say anything, but news of Him would spread like wildfire. When these disciples are told not to say anything they keep their lips sealed. What kind of a person are you? Can you keep your lips sealed? Or when you have news do you just need to spread it? When charged with a secret, so long as keeping it does not put another’s life in danger, we should be people who are trustworthy to keep the secret.

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”

Here things get slightly confusing. The prophecy that talks about Elijah coming first was actually about His second coming. The Jews did not yet know that there were two comes. They knew well the prophecies about Him being the conquering King, but they did not realize that He must come first as the suffering Messiah. In a sense Elijah did come before this coming as well in the spirit of John the Baptist. Jesus draws there attention to the fact that they are missing something by answering this question with pointing to the suffering He must endure.

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

The scribes were disputing with the disciples over the fact that they could not cast this demon out. How sad is that. There is a desperate father still in front of them and boy who is desperately in need of some help. Rather than someone looking for another solution they get into an argument. Let that never be said of us. If something is going on an we try to solve it, but get nowhere do not get petty and start a dispute, especially not in front of those that came to you for help in the first place.

17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

The father of the child is the one that answered. He told of the desperation he and his son were under and the state of this little boys life. That is a hard place to be. Then he adds that the disciples were not able to help. I can just hear the hopelessness of this man.

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

They bring the boy before Jesus. As soon as the little boy is brought near the demon casts him to the ground and he begins foaming at the mouth. We would expect for Jesus to heal him instantly to have compassion and end the little boys suffering the moment that He sees it. That is not the case though.

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus wants to get at the father’s belief in the midst of this healing as well. So we see Jesus ask how long this has been going on. The father replies that is has been since childhood. The life that this kid must have had. The demon would often throw him into the fire and water to try and destroy him. The life this father must of had trying to keep his boy safe all the years he had this demon. He asks that if Jesus could do anything to please have compassion and help them.  

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Jesus reply is that if you believe all things are possible. What are you having trouble believing God for? Is it something against His will? Then ask Him to change your heart. Is it something that lines up with the Word of God? Then pray believing Him for it. If you have unbelief towards something ask, like this father did, for God to help your unbelief. James tells us that and unbelieving man is like a man tossed by the waves unstable in all his ways. I do not want to be unstable. I want stability in my life. Therefore I ask God to help my unbelief, because I want ot believe Him for all things.

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

Jesus healed this boy, He rebuked the unclean spirit and had him come out and commanded him to enter this fellow no more. But something seemed to have gone wrong. The boy convulsed greatly and then stopped moving. He appeared to be dead. What happens to our faith when things do not go the right way? Do we simply give up and move on? Do we get angry at God for not fulfilling our desires? Or do we take a step back and wait to see how the matter will turn out?

27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

The boy was not dead, but his body had been put through alot. Jesus went over and helped him up. He arose. He was restored to health and no longer had that demon to mess with him.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

The disciples rightly came to Jesus and asked why they were not able. When we are not able, or when we stumble in some way, do we go to Jesus and ask him why? Do we allow Him to speak into our lives? I know often the answer for me is because its about prayer and your prayer life is lacking. What is it for you? Are you willing to ask Him? I know I am committing to a more active prayer life. What about you? Is your prayer life where it should be?

Caitlin Renee

February 25th 2018 Mark 7:24-8:10

Today we see a gentile woman’s daughter healed and the feeding of the multitude done again. We have such a loving God an in each of these stories today He wants to speak to our hearts. Are we listening for His voice?

24 From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.

Tyre and Sidon were gentile regions. Jesus is now doing to crazy good things. He is breaking down social norms. He just informed them all that it was not what enters a body that made you unclean but what comes out. In case you missed it, He is saying that there is nothing unclean to eat, all food is now clean. He is doing the same things with people now. Previously the gentiles had been unclean and it Jews would stay away so as to not touch and unclean person. Whereas Jesus is breaking down these social norms He also knows it is not time to really publicize it. That is what it means by He went into a house and did not want anyway to know it. It was not Jesus trying to be shady, but Him knowing the hearts and the minds of people. He knows that they are not ready for that truth so He does not want to offend them and put it on blast. Even though Jesus wants no one to know that is never a reality. People always find out.

25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

This woman was not Jewish, but still heard of Jesus and all that He has done. She knows that He is the one that can help her daughter so she comes and pleads her daughters case. She did not just ask once and leave it alone, she kept asking. She was desperate.

27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

This reply seems really rather rude to be coming from Jesus. Understanding the culture helps us really understand what it going on here. It was commonplace for the jews to call the gentiles dogs in a derogatory way. The word dog was not a nice meaning word. However Jesus did not just say dog, He said little dog and that changes everything. In greek diminutive words like little were affectionate terms. So by saying little dog He essentially reminded her of her place, but softened the blow.

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

This woman’s faith is amazing. She did not try to fight her way out of the low place. She accepted that as her place, but noted that even little dogs get something. We like this woman need to come to God as we are and believe that whatever He gives, even if it is the scraps thrown to the little dogs, that it is sufficient for our needs.

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.

It was her faith that Jesus saw and answered. For the faith displayed her daughter had the demon cast out of her. The daughter was not even present for the conversation, but for the sake of the woman Jesus healed the daughter. The woman had to take Jesus at His word. The daughter was not there for her to immediately see that His saying was true. She left believing and her belief was not confirmed till she reached her house and say her daughter well.

31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. 32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.

Jesus is now back in jewish territory. This guy was both death and mute. These two things combined made it impossible for him to have communication with people. They probably had gestures or signs that could get across basic needs, but friendship level communication was near impossible. He could not hear what the other person was saying at all. I suppose he could have learned to read lips. Even if that was the case he could not respond back to them. He was pretty much locked in his own body. He had friends those. Thankfully. Being death meant that he could not hear the good news of Christ. Being mute meant he could not cry out for help. His friends cried out for him though. They came on his behalf and begged for Jesus to lay hands on him an heal him.

33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”

Jesus never heals that same way twice. In this case Jesus does not heal in front of the multitude. Instead He brings this fellow aside from the multitude. Then He does some weird stuff. He puts His fingers in the man’s ear. To me that is weird, but was Jesus does next is even weirder, and a little gross. Jesus spat and then touched this man’s tongue with His spit. He then prayed for his ears and tongue to be opened.

35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

The miracle took place, it worked. Now he was told to keep quiet about it. This man that was finally able to hear and speak I am sure He wanted to let everyone know. The more He told people not to say something, because He said this to the crowd as well, the more people spoke up about it. It is very hard to keep a good thing quiet, but when we are asked to it is of utmost importance that we do everything we can to keep it quiet.

37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

They were astonished at what took place. Remember what it took to get there though. It took Jesus’ fingers in his ears and Jesus’ spit on his tongue and a request to God for it to open. Are we willing to let God make us uncomfortable in the moment if it means our health in the end? As america christians we like our comfort. Often times it is in the discomfort though that we will actually grow and change. If Jesus speaks into your life and what you see is the uncomfortability of it, is that going to keep you from accepting what He is offering. Far too many times in life we miss out on the awesome that is ahead because we did not want the uncomfortable that was a fleeting moment directly in front of us.

1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

We saw this before, just a short ways back. Remember the disciples were told rest, but then the multitudes and ministry came and rest was put on the back burner. The disciples were the ones that came to Jesus that time and said they needed to send them on their way for it was late and they needed to go find themselves food. This is another instance were we see something very similar take place. Although this time it is Jesus that mentions their hunger.

4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”

The disciples still do not get it. Remember that at the end of the other feeding the multitude story they were on that lake with the wind blowing against them. They could not gain any ground rowing as hard as they can. When Jesus walked on the water and got into the boat the wind ceased and the disciples were amazed. We were told then that the disciples hearts were hard and did not yet understand the bread. They still are not getting it and asking where can they find the bread.

5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.”

Again Jesus asks them what they have available. And they reply.

6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.

Same thing took place in the other feeding of the multitude. Jesus had them all sit down in groupings. Then He gave thanks and broke the bread. He passed it to His disciples and then they passed it out to the people. That is how it is will all things. Jesus gives to those of us who are his disciples and when in turn give out what we have been given to the multitudes.

8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Again all ate, were filled, and there were leftovers. This is so important for us to see. This is a miracle that was not completely replicated, but that there are so many similarities in it. In school we are taught is either we pass or fail. I love our Lord for so many reasons and this is a big reason why. In God’s economy is it either pass or do again. The disciple hearts were hard. They did not understand the bread and the feeding of the 5,000 the first time. So Jesus did it again with the feeding of the 4,000. Jesus is the bread of life He is our passover lamb. This was a picture of Him being broken for us and His goodness spreading to everyone. If we look we will find that in our lives as well, it really is never pass or fail. I know there were multiple times that I went through similar things because I missed the lesson the Jesus was speaking. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to repeat the lesson so I can get it. I pray that as my relationship with Him grows closer that I can get more of the lessons the first time around.

Caitlin Renee.

 

February 24th 2018 Mark 7:1-23

Do you hold to the traditions of men, or the Word of God. That is what we look at today in Scripture. We see the example of the the ceremonial washing of hands that the Jews would participate in. This was not to actually be clean, but because it was a tradition of the elders. Do we hold to the tradition of the elders, or worse society, over what Scripture has to say?

1 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.

These men were the religious leaders of the day. The Pharisees are the ones that hold tight to the law, at least in their minds and how they present themselves. We will see as we continue that they hold to traditions over the law. Scribes were the record keepers, they spent their days copying scripture. These have come from Jerusalem. Their intent in coming was not to see the good that Jesus is doing, but to come and find fault in Him.

2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”

The Pharisees were known for putting demand on the people that were unreasonable. This is one of those examples. The Pharisees even admitted to it being a tradition and not the law. Yet they still come finding fault with them over not washing as they wash. Do we not do the same thing when it comes to worship. We can look at other churches and other denominations and think they are wrong because they do not worship in the same manner in which we worship. There are some that are down right wrong because they are unbiblical. The next time you catch yourself thinking that some church or person is doing something wrong I challenge you to look into whether it is biblically wrong of wrong according to your traditions. Take it even a step further than that. Look at your traditions and see if they are biblical or if they are standing in the space of scripture. I implore you to know your Bible and allow that to dictate everything else ad not simply your traditions or the way you were raised.    

6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

Jesus straight calls them out on this issue. And talks about how it was prophesied about them through Isaiah. The Pharisees are the ones that did everything for show. They would pray loudly on the street corners so everyone would hear them. They were about looking better than everyone else. But the truth is they were not close to God in the slightest. In fact they would lay aside the things of God to make themselves look better. These are not the people we want to imitate.

9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

That is a very scary place to be. Holding our traditions over what the Word says. And sadly many churches are in this place. I remember being at a meeting at the church I grew up in and an issue was raised that was controversial. We as a church were deciding where we were going to stand on said issue. In the midst of the discussion both what the Bible said and what our dominations handbook said where brought up. I honestly do not remember which way we went, though I think it was in the way of the doctrine of our denomination and not with the Bible. Regardless I remember going to some of the people who were saying tradition over doctrine. I was much younger then them and not as well versed in scripture as I should have been. I only knew in the moment that it did not sit well with me that we were discussing whether the Bible had precedence in the situation or not. Now I know why that bothered me so much. At the time all I had was the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When we hold to our traditions over the Word people end up lost and confused. I care more about what God says over what the church I am standing with and attending believes. I care about what they believe and I want to be at a church that has sound doctrine and that looks to the Bible to direct their thinking. Just for records sake that is the case for the last two churches I have chosen to worship at. And the only reason I left the last church was because I moved out of state. I do not believe in church hoping. If your church teaches sound doctrine then the only time you should leave is if ministry calls you elsewhere or if you move to far away to attend that church any more. Leaving a church because your feelings got hurt is ridiculous and we need to be people who are able to work those things out and not allow satan to divide us like he would like to do. Sorry not sure why I went on that little rant, maybe someone needed that on the day they are reading this. My point simply was that we need to pick doctrine, what the Word says, over traditions of men, even founders of our faith. Men cannot see the complete picture and their traditions may be well meaning, but if they contradict scripture they are a very scary thing to fall into.

14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

They were taught that it was all about what you ate or touched that would make you unclean. And there were reasons they were given those commands. It was to both keep them healthy and to keep them separated as God’s chosen people. But what you put in is nowhere near the comparison of what comes out of you.

17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. 18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”

I love that the disciples ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question. We will never know unless we ask. As we are reading through scripture are we asking God what He means by things that we do not immediately get? Are we conversing with God over His Word? I know I do and need to start doing so more. I want to know His heart and what He means by things. I am glad the disciples asked and then recorded this for us. What goes into our bodies God has created a system in which we take in the nutrients and our body naturally disposes of the rest. The issue is not our stomachs but our hearts. What is the condition of your heart?

20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Can anything on this list be found in your heart? I am not asking if you have acted on any of them, I am asking if they exist in your heart. See we can come to to God learn from Him and know the wrong things to do and avoid them. And we should do so, we do not want to act in the way of sin. But just because we are not acting on them does not mean they do not exist in our hearts. Allow God to search your hearts. It is true that the best we can do is behavioral modification, but God is in the business of creating a clean heart in as. He changes our hearts of stone that were hardened by sin and gives us hearts of flesh that beat for Him. Allow Him the access and right to point out things in your heart. Then allow Him to clean it up and change it so it more effectively beats for Him.

Caitlin Renee

February 23rd 2018 Mark 6:30-56

Jesus can fed over five thousand people with just a boy’s lunch. He can calm the wind by entering the disciples boat. He can also heal many by them simply touching the hem of His clothes. Get to know our Savior, and know that whatever you need He is capable.

30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

The disciples had just gone out on this missionary journey where they were sent our in twos to go spread the good news. They are now all back together and they are retelling everything that took place. These guys are on fire and excited just about everything that is happening. Jesus tells them to come away for a time of rest and fellowship. After we have been in a season of intense serving we can think that is exactly what we need, a time of rest. There are times in which that is exactly what we will get. There are times that this is what we think we are heading for, and then we get derailed. When that happens we need to be okay with it and continue to serve.

33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.

This is one of those times where they thought they were heading for rest but the multitudes came. No matter what they wanted, they needed to do the right thing and minister to the needs of the people. These people were in need. When people come and inconvenience us and change the plan that we have for that day we have a few choices we can make. Mainly we can choose to be short with them and have attitude towards them or we can choose to put our plans and wants on the back burner and minister to the needs of the people in front of us knowing that God is sovereign. When we truly need the rest God will give it to us.

34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Do we have the heart of Jesus? Will we look at the multitudes as ones without a shepherd? As ones who are lost and need direction in their life? Will we look at them with compassion and be moved to help them?

35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”

Remember that the disciples were told they were going away to a solitary place for rest and ministry just showed up. Now the day is nearly over and there is no place for them to get food. In the disciple logical mind it was now time for them to be sent out so everyone could eat. I am sure there was some motivation of just being spent and ready for the multitudes to be on their way so that they could have some rest.

37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”

They were spent and now this impossible command comes from the Lord, you give them something to eat. If I were in that situation I likely would have thrown my hands up and looked around in disbelief. The crowd is massive. Even if i could go get enough food for everyone to eat where was I to get the money to do such a thing. This request would have seem absolutely absurd. And I think tha twas the point. It was an impossible task if you are looking to fill it with man’s abilities. However, if you look at it with the Lord, everything changes. Are you facing an impossible situation? Are you looking at how you are to handle it? Are you looking for God to show up? I promise you He will show up and change everything.

38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.

I am sure that to the disciples this still seems like nothing. Other accounts tell us that this was one little boy’s lunch. We are talking about feeding thousand of people. Five thousand men, but that does not tell us anything about the number of women and children present. These disciples look at what they have and can reasonably conclude that it is not enough, but they trust Jesus. Therefore they obey. Are you faced with a situation right now in which you can reasonably look and conclude that you do not have enough? Do you hear Jesus telling you to take a step of faith in that direction anyway? Sometimes that is the answer. Sometimes we physically do not have what it takes to fill a need and we need to just follow Jesus in obedience.  

40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.

The disciples and the people were obedient and they sat down in the groups. The grouping was most likely to give the disciples space to walk between the people as they served them. Jesus takes what was brought and offers it up to God and God blesses it. Jesus then proceeds to break it apart and give it to the disciples. The fact that the two small fish and the five loaves can be broken with enough to give each of the 12 disciples is amazing. Then to think that the two fish were able to spread to all the people. Even if you are thinking that everyone just got a taste to break two small fish into over five thousand pieces is absurd. Clearly something miraculous was going on here.

42 So they all ate and were filled.

Five thousand men, plus their women and children not only had something to eat, but were filled? That is so the way our God works. He fills us.

43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.

He fills us to overflowing. With Him is life and life abundantly. Jesus wants us to be satisfied in Him. This is true with the food He just fed the multitude. He could have fed them enough so that they did not hunger. Instead He fed them so that they were full. We know this because there was leftovers. There were actually 12 baskets of leftovers, one for each of the 12 disciples. I wonder if they each had a basket to go out and collect what was not eaten. Regardless of how is was down it is interesting to note that what was left over was greater than what they had when they first begun.

44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.

That was a lot of people who were affected by this miracle.

45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.

Finally the disciples are getting the rest from serving that they were needing. The disciple got into boats to pass back over again. Jesus spent a little more time with the multitudes sending them on their way. Then Jesus did the thing He does to recharge. He went up on a mountain and prayed. Pray should be the thing we turn to. I know I for one do not pray like I should. That is an area of my walk that needs to grow. Getting alone and praying to God is so important to our walks, and I think it is the one thing that lacks the most.

47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.

This break did not really turn out to be a break either. The disciples were in the middle of the sea rowing with all their might, but they were making very little progress. The wind was contrary to them, it was in their face against them. Do we ever feel like that in life. Are we trying so hard to get somewhere and to make progress but seemingly going nowhere? That can be a really frustrating place to be. But we do not give up, we keep rowing with all we have. Even if you do not seem like you are making progress in the battle that you are in, you are at least holding your ground. You are not going backwards and getting off track. Whatever the wind that is contrary to you is by name, keep pushing against it, keep fighting. This is now the fourth watch of the night, so it is about 3 am. The disciples were likely exhausted from the rowing. Maybe even feeling alone in the midst of the sea. I wonder if some had started to wonder where Jesus was and wishing He was in the boat with them. But Jesus saw them in the middle of the sea and saw their struggle. Whatever we are facing I promise that Jesus is right there, He sees. Not every situation does He intervene in, and that is a mystery that we just have to choose to trust that He is sovereign and sees more than we do, and knows better than us. Jesus was again not phases by the wind, He walked right out onto the sea. In fact He could have walked by, that is how casual this walking on the sea was for Him.

49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

When the disciples acknowledge Him, even though they wrongly assumed He was a ghost, that is when He stops and speaks with them. Are you crying out to God? Even if that crying out is fear and disbelief. Jesus hears and responds. Jesus often has to tell us to be of good cheer and not fret or worry. That is because fret and worry are common natural responses.

51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

This is crazy and it is so true in our lives as well. Jesus stepped into the boat and the wind ceased. When we allow Jesus into our hearts the winds cease, it changes everything. Their may still be storms that we face, just the other day we read about the storm Jesus was on the boat for. The thing that changes for us is our response in the midst of the storms of life. What use to be over the top way too stressful to handle we can now handle with a calm and peaceful spirit.

52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.

That is a sad reality for each of us. We can both see the miracle and miss it all together. They saw the multitudes fed by a single boys lunch, but they missed the miracle behind it. If they had been thinking properly about what just took place their astonishment would not have been as great. They would have known that if Jesus was able to multiply and spread the food like He did then calming the wind would have been no problem. Plus they had already seen His power over the storms not that far back. We need to remember who Christ is, and what we have seen Him do in our lives and the lives of those around us already. We need to consider the miraculous things in our lives as things that have come straight from the hand of God. Do not let your heart grow hard, look at Christ and who is truly is.

53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.

The people in these towns recognized Jesus. Their response was to go get the sick they knew and bring them to wherever they knew Jesus was. Those that are sick and lost in our lives are we doing the same thing? Do we know who Jesus is? Have we recognized Him as the only one that can heal and save? If so, we need to be bringing those we know to Him. That may not always be possible to do physically. We do need to be inviting people to church, inviting them to come and see. But even when that is not possible, even when they reject the invitation. We should be bringing them before God in prayer. That is one way we should always be willing to bring people to Jesus. This region was constantly laying their sic before Jesus and asking that they simply be allowed to touch the hem of His clothes. All who did touch were healed. How awesome is that? Just a simple touch of the clothes and they are healed. Do we believer that God can heal with such a little simple thing as a touch? Or are we looking for the experience? Are we looking for the spectacular? Remember from 1 kings 19:11-13 that God was not in the earthquake, or the other big things. God was in the still small voice. Do not look for the spectacular and miss the still small voice of God.

February 22nd 2018 Mark 6:1-29

1 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. 2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! 3 Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”

Jesus is in His hometown now. These are the people that saw Him as He was learning to walk and talk. The simply knew Him as Mary’s son, her illegitimate son. They knew His profession to be a carpenter. That is how Jesus left their area. Now He has returned for a visit and is powerful in both word and deed and has a following of disciples with Him. He left a carpenter with no training under a Rabbi and especially not a prominent one, and has come back different. For Jesus it is not that He was a bad, troubled kid that makes it hard to believe He is the Christ. He was perfect, He never sinned, even as a child. They simply knew Him as a plain man, as someone who is commonly. It hurt, I am sure, for Jesus’ friends and family not to accept Him. But He took it as the price paid for being a prophet. There is a good probability that this will be true for each one of us. If you grew up in a believing family maybe not. But for those who did not your unbelieving family is going to have trouble accepting who you are as a believer. At least that is likely to be the first reaction. That does not mean that we should stop coming around or stop telling them about Christ. That just means to know that is a reality and not to get our feelings hurt by it, but count it the cost of being a disciple.

5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

Their unbelief is what hindered Jesus from being able to do much there. But we do not see Jesus just throw His hands up in surrender and leave out of that region. We see him marveling at the disbelief. He was amazed at their level of disbelief. That did not stop Jesus from doing what He could while He was there. He laid His hand on a few sick people and healed them. Jesus never forces Himself on us, He never forces us to accept His healings. But for as many who want Him and are looking to Him for things He is right there with open hands wanting to give. He left that region and went into the villages and began teaching in a circuit there. That means He started at one village spent some time there teaching and then moved on to the next. When He went through them all He cycle back through.

7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. 8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— 9 but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.

Jesus has spent time with His disciples now. They have seen the miracles. They have gotten to know His heart. He has told them specifically what the parables meant. Jesus has trained them up. Now it was time for them to go out on a trip preaching the Gospel as they went. Well not entirely by themselves. They went in groups of two. This is important for us to see as well. There will be times that we are out there all alone, but, especially in the beginning, we should be in groups of two’s whenever possible. It’s a good accountability as we are people so prone to sinning. And it helps the workload not be as much. When a difficult situation comes up you do not have to face it alone. You and the one you were sent out with can inquire of God and make a decision together. He told them to go out with pretty much nothing with them. There are a couple purposes in this. First it was customary for teachers of the law to go without a staff or a money bag into the synagogue. This was to signify the importance that they placed on their job as teaching and to allow others to know that they were here for no other business other than that of teaching. Likewise I am sure that Jesus did not want them to be distracted by anything else that was going on. Also when you are sent out with nothing you are dependent upon God for everything. This would help them stay humble and to look to God in all things while they were out there.

10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”

This is so important for us to hear. We are a culture that cries out that they just want to be accepted. The truth is that you will not be accepted by everyone all the time. That is especially true as preach the message of Christ. Not everyone is going to accept that. And our job is not to make everyone accept it. Our job is to teach the Word effectively, to leave nothing out. Then those that we are speaking to have the right to choice. We are to respect their choice. The shaking the dust off their clothes is a huge statement against them. This is a practice that the Jews had when they would walk through Gentile territory. They would shake the dust off their clothes as a statement that they did not want anything that was gentile traveling with them. This is what the disciples were saying. We do not want anything of your unbelief accompanying us on our journey. That is what we are to do. Preach where we are if they accept the message awesome. If not, well then shake the dust off and move on. Sodom and Gomorrah were cities back in Abraham’s day that the Lord judged by raining fire down on them. Rejecting Christ will apparently be dealt with more severely. There are clearly levels of judgement. No part of Hell will be good, but some will be worse than others. The same is true for heaven. All of Heaven will be great, but there are different levels of reward.

12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

The disciples were obedient. They went out and taught just as they were asked to do. Because of their obedience they were able to take part in some pretty amazing things. They were able to cast out demons and heal sick people by anointing them with oil. That most of been an experience. One that was needed so that later when Christ is crucified they have these things to look back on and remember. Our God is good like that. He gives us things now that will bless us in the moment, but that will also be things for us to look back and remember when things get tough.

14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”15 Others said, “It is Elijah.”And others said, “It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”

Jesus fame has spread and king Herod hears of Him. He wrongfully concludes that this John the Baptist raised from the dead. He likely thinks this way because of the guilt He feels over killing him. Others thought that He was a prophet or like a prophet. Some think it is elijah because it is said that Elijah must come again before the Messiah. All these people have their thoughts and opinions, but that does not make them right. Only the truth is right, Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus is the Messiah.

16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

John the Baptist rightly spoke out against the king and his messed up marriage to his brother’s wife. His brother was still alive and he took his wife from him. Because John was bold and spoke the truth he was put into prison. Because Herod did know that he was wrong and that John was a good man he did not have him killed right away. Instead he put him in prison and left him there for a while. Herod in good conscious could not kill him, but because of the way in which his wife did hate him Herod could not release John either.

21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.” 24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”

This whole thing is just sick. This dance that was down was a seductive type of dance. This is his niece that is dancing seductively in front of him. It worked, well in a sick way it worked. She got Herod distracted and pleased to the point where he is willing to give her anything she wants. Since she immediately runs to her mom to figure out what to ask for I suspect that her mom was the one that set it up from the beginning. Herodias is finally going to get what she wants. She tells her daughter to as for the death of John the Baptist. But not in any cute kind of way, but for his head to be brought in on a platter. That is terrible.

25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.

John was beheaded over speaking the truth. The head was given to the girl and the girl gave it to her mom. This is sick beyond words to me. The disciples came and took John’s body and gave it a proper burial. Do not let that intimidate you from speaking the truth. Even if it were to cost us our lives to speak the truth and to stand before God with a clear conscious makes it all worth it. What happens to be in this life is not as important to me as what Jesus says t be when I reach heaven. The desire of my heart is to hear Him say “well done, thy good and faithful servant, enter into your Father’s rest”. Let’s live our lives like there is a kingdom age that we are actually living forand that we want to bring as many with us as possible.

Caitlin Renee

February 21st 2018 Mark 5:21-43

Regardless of how big the crowd is our God sees us and cares for us.

21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea.

Jesus had taken a break from the multitudes and crossed over to go help this one guy in his plight. This man was plagued by a legion of demons and was in dire need of some help. After helping just one person Jesus was sent away. That guy remained there to be a witness for Jesus. Now Jesus has crossed back over and right into the midst of the crowds.

22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet  23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”

This guy Jairus is a ruler of the synagogue. Most of these guys did not like Jesus or believe who He was. I wonder when Jairus came to believe in Jesus. Did he since Jesus first came on the scene or was it not until his daughter was sick and in need? We do not know, but we know that his daughter is in need and that he is turning to the only one who can help.

24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.

Jesus starts the journey with Jarius to his house, but along the way the crowds were still pushing in close to them and they were being bumped and what not.

25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

We interrupt the story of Jairus and his dying daughter to hear about this bleeding women. When women had their flow of blood they were to go outside of the community until it was over. Blood of any kind was considered unclean back them. Typically these women would go through their cycles together. They would go together at the end of their menstruation to cerminically bath. This woman was there for many years would see the woman come and go time and time again, but hers never stopped. It never became her time to be clean. Her faith was great, but so was her shame. She knew that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes that she would be healed. But she also did not seem to want to make a big deal out of it. She knew Jesus could do it and that was enough for her. Immediately upon the touch of his garments she was healed. The flow had stopped and she felt in her body that she was healed.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”

Even the things done in secret the Lord knows. Back in chapter 4 verse 22 we see this truth revealed. God knows all things. When this power leaves Jesus He knows, and He knows who it was that touched Him.

31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

The disciples have a point. Remember as they were on their way to Jairus house the crowds were so great that they kept getting bumped into along the way. There are multiple people bumping into and touching Jesus.

32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.

This touch was different however. Jesus noticed this touch and the power that has come out from HIm. He wants to acknowledge the one that has received the healing.

33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

This woman was called out on a matter that she would have prefer to keep quiet. At first this seems like a complete intrusion of her privacy. Remember who she is and what she has gone through. For twelve years now she has suffered much at the hands of many doctors and she did not get any better. In fact she got worse. She came to Jesus believing that He could heal her. She likely went to the doctors believing that they could heal her as well. Her hopes had been lifted so many times only for deep disappointment to follow.

34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

This shows us how different our healing from God is from our “healing” from others. God gives us assurance of our healing. See if he did not call this woman out and tell her what she felt was truth. Guys the world will try to offer healing for us on various issues and diseases. There are things that they get right. I am a person who believes in going to the doctors for health issues. God has given them minds to figure things out and help. However, we are a culture that is overpopulated with antidepressants and drug abuse. I believe that there are people who do need antidepressants, but that is not the case for everyone on them. We suffer much at the hands of others with good intentions that just want to help. The issue with drug abuse makes it worse. Doctors want to help but all they can offer is another drug. These people suffer much at the hands of physicians. Jesus heals and He gives us insurance of our salvation. He does not want us to doubt our healings, He wants us to know the power of His touch.

35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

Do not forget what we started today’s reading with. It was about a dad and his sick dying daughter. Jesus started on a journey to help this dad out. Along the way He was stopped by this woman who needed a healing. He stopped and had a conversation with her. Sometimes it can feel that way with us. We go and ask for a healing and along the way someone else’s needs show up. Theirs seem to take precedent. We can get to the place where we think the time for our miracle has come and gone. We can think it is simply time to move on from here.

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Jesus heard the word, He saw that potential for doubt to creep in. Jesus speaks right to that. He tells him to not fear, even though he just got the news that his daughter had died. He is told to believe. He started in a place of belief and Jesus wanted Him to continue in this belief, even when things seem beyond belief.

37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.

38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”

He only brought some in to see what was about to take place. He kicked ut those who came simply to mourn. What we see as the person dying Jesus knows to only be a sleep, and a sleep that He can wake her from.

40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.  41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.

This little girl and her family received the miracle that they desired. Jesus healed her. The healing was complete and immediate.

Can you relate to either person from today’s reading? Have you been suffering from something for a long time and instead of growing better with the things you have tried you have only grown worse? Or have you believed Jesus for a miracle and it seems like it is delayed in coming, or worse that you have been forgotten about? Take heart from today’s reading. You are not forgotten. Jesus desires to heal and to let us know that healing is complete. He simply wants us to trust Him and put our faith, our belief, in Him.

Caitlin Renee