From Pastor Perry

Mark 3:13–21 (ESV)

The Twelve Apostles

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 

20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

 

Even as Jesus seeks to expand His ministry by appointing and sending 12 apostles, His family comes and tries to make Him stop what He is doing. How ironic that those who think they know Jesus best are trying to stop Him from fulfilling His mission! Unfortunately, similar examples are still seen, as when lifelong Christians undermine sound mission strategies. But the Lord and His mission are not overcome by even this opposition. Jesus willingly faced death and conquered it for us. In Him is our hope of eternal life.

 

I pray: Lord, overcome our fear when we do not understand Your plans. Focus us instead on Your call to follow and Your gracious promise to lead. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1661.

Mark 3:7–12 (ESV)

A Great Crowd Follows Jesus

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

 

In contrast to the Pharisees’ and Herodians’ hostility, the crowds enthusiastically press around Jesus to listen and be healed. The mixed reaction to Jesus has not changed over the years. Many still reject Him, while others desperately seek His help. He nonetheless attends to people’s physical and spiritual needs. He continues to bless those who seek Him today.

 

I pray: Lord, draw us to You, that we might learn from You and be healed by You. Count us among the eager crowds who leave everything else to be near You. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1660.

Mark 3:1–6 (ESV)

A Man with a Withered Hand

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

 

Again, Jesus demonstrates His authority over the Sabbath, this time by restoring a man’s hand. He knows all our burdens and desires to grant us rest. Call on Him in earnest prayer. When the Lord is for us, none can oppose us!

 

I pray: Lord, lead us to take Your Word to heart. By Your Holy Spirit, work in us a faith that knows You as the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1660.

Mark 2:23–28 (ESV)

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

 

When the Pharisees accuse Jesus’ disciples of violating the Sabbath, Jesus uses the opportunity to claim divine authority and assert His messianic status. Sadly, there are people today who still level criticisms like the Pharisees of old, criticizing Jesus’ followers because they really wish to criticize the authority and status of the Lord. But neither Jesus nor His Church can be dismissed. Through these same disciples, Jesus would spread the good news of peace, rest, and comfort.

 

I pray: Lord, defend Your people from those who hate You and would therefore do harm to Your Church. Help the Church to see that the battle is Yours and that You can do all things. Amen.

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1659.

Mark 2:18–22 (ESV)

A Question About Fasting

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

 

Jesus stresses that the time of fulfillment has arrived, and thus totally new ways of thinking and acting are in order. In our own lives, the same dynamic is at work. It will not do simply to patch some little bit of the Gospel onto our existing lifestyle and expect it all to hold together. Thankfully, the Lord offers such surpassingly great promises that the old is made obsolete. That is what Paul meant when he said, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2Co 5:17).

 

I pray: Lord, so fill us with the surpassingly great promises of Your Gospel that we count all else as loss for the greater hope of attaining eternity with You. Amen.

 

 

 

Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1659.

Latest comments

09.10 | 11:35

I really love v.13 in this passage. It is both encouraging and comforting.

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24.01 | 10:13

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13.12 | 15:29

HI this is I Frederick Demond Wilson. I hereby am solemnly here to forebare witnessing of His witness, our Creator.

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27.05 | 16:27

Pastor: on my e mails, a note said that you were trying to contact me. Now,
I am having trouble reaching you. Was it important? In Christ, daisy

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