Gospels in 40 Days – March 6
Welcome to our study of the gospels during the Lenten season. Lent is the Christian tradition of preparing for the resurrection of Jesus by taking intentional steps to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter. The tradition mirrors Jesus going into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan but was able to resist, strengthen, and grow his ministry for the days ahead (Matthew 4). Typical Lenten observances include fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.
To join the study, pick a reading plan to follow, journal on the day’s reading using the SOAP method of Bible study (see “What’s SOAP?” on our website for details), and check in for daily posts from our study leaders. We hope you will join us this season, intentionally stepping toward God!
Mark is a good gospel to start in because it approaches Jesus’ life from the view of an outsider. His gospel was written mainly for an audience who didn’t grow up Jewish, so he explains traditions a bit more. And his gospel focuses on Jesus’ actions rather than his teachings. His purpose was to tell the Good News of Jesus. Mark didn’t know Jesus personally, but he did hang around with Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, and likely got most of the facts in his gospel from them.
Clicking on the following links will take you to the Bible Gateway website where you can read the NIV version of today’s reading:
One of Jesus’ final pleas to us Christians is to be ready, to keep watch. What does that mean?
Watch! | Becky Newman
Mark 13:37 – “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!'”
Today, reading Mark 13-14, several things stood out to me during Jesus’ final days on earth; yet, they were all connected by this verse 13:37 – Jesus pleading all of us to keep watch, to be ready. Chapter 13 is specifically talking about the end times and the signs that the end is near. In verses 13:12-13, Jesus talks about how everyone will hate Christians, even loved ones will hate us, even children will throw us under the bus. Keeping watch here means ensuring I’m standing strong to the end on the power of Jesus, even when those closest to me hurt me. Verses 14:3-9 tell the story of a woman who pours expensive perfume on Jesus and how she’s criticized for it by the apostles who are then rebuked by Jesus for not seeing and recognizing and appreciating who Jesus really is. The apostles responded to the woman out of self-righteousness, blind to the act of worship she was performing. Keeping watch here means not being blinded by personal glory/gains/judgments and keeping my eyes open and ready to see how Jesus sees. In the Garden of Gethsemane in verses 14:32-42, Jesus’ heart is heavy, and he pleads with his best friends to keep watch with him while he takes it all to God in prayer, but they just can’t keep their eyes open. They love God, they love Jesus, but the limitations of their physical bodies keep them from obeying. Keeping watch here means praying for strength, for the Holy Spirit to empower me to overcome physical limitations so that I would not sin.
Again, powerful Word straight from the mouth of Jesus penetrating my soul. As I read Your Word today, I was so angry at someone close who’s been hurting me over and over that I was nauseous. I was so angry that I was blinded, definitely not seeing him as Jesus sees him, nor treating him as Jesus would. And I was letting my physical limitations of emotion and anger lead me to sin. Then You said, “Watch!” If Jesus were to return right now, He’d catch me in an oh crap moment. He’d catch me being pretty ugly, pretty sinful, pretty undeserving of eternal life. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (vs. 14:38)
Lord, forgive me for how I’m responding. Please give me strength to overcome the anger and hurt that has taken hold. Help me to respond in love, seeing as You see. Help me to stand strong until the end.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.
Posted on March 6, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible Study, gospel, hurt, Jesus, Lent, Mark, prayer, ready, sin, SOAP, stand, strength, temptation, watch. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.