March 6 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 47
First, a little Bible study humor today—not an actual Bible quote. As Jesus gathered his apostles together to teach them, he said, “Now, I’m only going to say this once, because I don’t want four different versions of it going around.” Yes funny, but if we didn’t have four different versions, this Bible study would be way less fun! An almost spring-like Friday is forecast today, so enjoy it, laugh, and rejoice!
READ: Mark 10
This is our second and third times reading most of the accounts in Mark 10, so I’m focused on what makes Mark’s account different. Mark’s account of Jesus’ teaching on divorce in 10:1-12 is more straightforward with less discussion than Matthew’s account in 19:1-12. In the account of the little children and Jesus in 10:13:16, Mark does a great job describing the compassion of Jesus in verse 16: “And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” Those words describe how I feel God’s presence—love and protection–every time I sit at His feet, and it’s how I want to love on my kids. Speaking of loving on the little children…Robin shared this article on being aware that we are in a spiritual battle when it comes to our kids: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/parenting-means-wrestling-demons. I know, it’s not something that people like to think about, but we protect our kids in so many physical ways each day—we should be doing the same for them spiritually. This perspective completely changes how I pray for my kids and the ones I teach in kids ministry, and makes me more aware of what I’m letting in with my parenting choices.
In the account of the rich young man (Luke calls him a young ruler in 18:18), Mark’s verse 21 also adds Jesus’ compassion before he tells the man to sell his possessions: “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” There are some places in the gospels where Jesus expresses frustration when the disciples and crowds just aren’t getting it. But He never stops loving us! Mark’s gospel account comes from Peter, and I know Peter felt this love from Jesus time after time.
In Mark 10:32-34, when Jesus predicts what will happen to him in Jerusalem, the difference in Mark’s account is that he describes how the disciples and crowd were feeling in verse 32 as they made their way to Jerusalem. The disciples were astonished, or amazed, and the crowd was afraid. Jesus is marching ahead, leading the way, resolved and focused on the events that are about to unfold, where suffering and death will become real but so will resurrection and conquer. Jesus’ followers know they are marching into the lion’s den, where the people who hate Jesus have power; they are scared for Jesus, but they are also scared for themselves. However, they march on to Jerusalem.
In the midst of anxiety and fear seems like a silly time for the account in Mark 10:35-45, but we sometimes think silly things when facing death. In Matthew’s version in 20:20-28, James and John’s mother asks, but in Mark’s account, it’s James and John who ask Jesus directly to get the honor of sitting next to him in heaven. Jesus turns every question into a teachable moment, even the silly ones.
The last account in Mark 10 from verses 46-52 is about Jesus healing a blind man who then joins the followers headed to Jerusalem. In Matthew’s version from 20:29-34, two blind men call out to Jesus and are healed, but Mark’s and Luke’s versions (Luke 18:35-43) have just one blind man in this healing, and Mark says he was the son of Timaeus. Mark 10:48 says that many tried to rebuke the blind man while he called out to Jesus for mercy. I guess they didn’t want to interrupt Jesus from his goal in Jerusalem. But Jesus, and God, is so much bigger than that! He can heal and walk at the same time. He can meet here with me while He’s meeting with you in your house and while He’s sitting in captivity with the Christians kidnapped by ISIS and while He’s wrapping His arms around the woman in the hospital dying from cancer and so much more, all at the same time!
Now, let’s march on to Jerusalem.
You never stop loving me! I should model the same love and protection to my children and the children I come in contact with.
Thank You for Your love and protection that comes over me especially when I sit with You, read Your Word, and journal. You even love me when I don’t deserve it. Help me to show the same love to others, especially my children, and to protect them through prayer.