The Cost!

Mark 8:31- And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. NKJV

The Cost?

His Blood!

I’m amazed at how often I hear people say that salvation is free. They aren’t lying, but what I say in my mind is that it is free to us, but it was not free! Most things in life worth having, comes with a cost and this beautiful life with Jesus has the greatest price tag ever! His Blood!

When we started in the book of Mark, I shared that the portrait of Jesus in this gospel is that of the Suffering Servant. Thus far, what we have seen from the Pharisees and religious leaders have been minimal in comparison to what He will experience. We have seen them angry with Jesus. They have tried to trap Jesus with His words. They have tested Him with His compassion. And they have tried to turn others away from Him. But up to this point they have only been harassing Him.

Now, Jesus begins to teach them about what is getting ready to happen to Him!

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 8:31 NKJV

The Son of Man must suffer many things. There is a saying, “Things will get worst before they will get better!” That was Jesus’ message to them. He told the disciples that He would be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and scribes. Nobody foretold of this time better than Isaiah:

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Isaiah 53:3 NKJV

The phrase “be rejected” in the Greek is apodokimasthēnai, and it literally means “to disapprove of”. The evidence is there for all to see, how very much the scribes and Pharisees disapproved of Jesus. They didn’t like one thing about Him! And they allowed that to fester in their hearts to the extent of wanting to commit murder! We need to be really careful about what we allow to fester in our own hearts!

One commentator wrote that the phrase “be rejected” meant “failed to pass the scrutiny.” We know that the Pharisees felt that Jesus failed to pass their scrutiny of Him, but surprisingly this word, according to the commentator, means that they failed to pass God’s scrutiny of them! How many people today are in the same position that the Pharisees were in, thinking that they were in a place to approve or disapprove of Jesus, when in actuality, they were the ones who were found lacking?

He told the disciples that He would be killed. What? This is Jesus, the Messiah! Son of the living God! He heals the sick, open blind eyes, cause the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak. The lame walk at His word and demons flee upon command. And now He is saying that He will be killed? I’m sure the disciples were a confused bunched of people! And if that wasn’t enough, He said after three days He would rise again. They probably didn’t hear the rise again part because they were shocked that He would speak of being killed!

He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Mark 8:32-33 NKJV

A few verses earlier, Peter boldly proclaims that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. So when he hears Jesus talking like this, he thinks he has a right to tell Jesus that He has gone too far! Peter rebukes Jesus! Say what? I know he didn’t! Yes, he did! Meshuga! Yiddish word for he is crazy! But surprisingly, it appears that while the others may be wondering what Jesus is talking about, Peter seems to understand exactly what He is saying! Jesus will be murdered! Peter cannot accept this! Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ! He has come to reign in the kingdom that He has been speaking of. A glorious kingdom. The best one of all! Matthew let’s us in on what Peter said to Jesus:

Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

Matthew 16:22 NKJV

No way is this going to happen to you Jesus! No way! Then Jesus in turn rebukes Peter!

“Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Mark 8:33 NKJV

Peter went from Jesus’ approval to being rebuked! It was the plan of God for Jesus to die. He had to pay the cost that no other being, human or otherwise, could pay. For Peter to so strongly protest His death was the devil! Jesus didn’t say, “Peter, I rebuke you!” He said, “Get behind Me, Satan!” He was dealing with the devil, who was using Peter, to interfere with the plan of God!

Now don’t get all sanctimonious on me! You know very well that there are times when someone says something to you or someone else and you know it’s the devil talking! Even when you really love that person! You are not saying that they are possessed by the devil, but they yielded to him for that moment in time when they said those words that were crushing to your spirit. Yep! That was the devil himself! Or at least, one of his demons!

Jesus points out an interesting nugget here. He said that Peter was mindful of the things of men, and not the things of God. Is it possible that when we get so carried away with what is happening in this world that we lose focus of what God is doing? Is it possible that we can find ourselves in the same place that Peter was in? More mindful of the the things of the world? Is God waiting to rebuke us? Scary thought!

I got carried away with this blog and had to cut out a chunk of it for another day! I started this blog by stating that salvation wasn’t free. Not from the viewpoint of heaven. It cost Jesus His life! It cost Him humiliation! It cost Him a time of separation from God, something He had never experienced. It cost Him dearly!

So the next time you think of your this great salvation that you enjoy, thank Him for the cost He so willingly paid, that we might experience it so freely! Wonderful Jesus!

What Do You Call Him?

Mark 8:27-30- Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m excited about today’s blog, “He is the Christ!” When I think about this experience that the disciples had with Jesus, and reading the dialogue, I get goosebumps wondering what kind of answers He would get today!

As Jesus is casually walking with the disciples down the road, He asks an unexpected question of them:

Who do men say that I am?

Mark 8:27 NKJV

I can just imagine them walking along and throwing out the different opinions they have heard about who Jesus is.

So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”

Mark 8:28 NKJV

Have you ever noticed that all of these people had already died? John had been beheaded by Herod, just as Jesus began His public ministry. In another gospel we get the details about what happened. Herod married his sister-in-law which John told him was unacceptable. He didn’t like it, but he was scared of the John because John was a prophet.

But Herod’s wife was angry and probably a little insulted by John’s words. I’m sure they weren’t very nice words since the Law would have called them adulterers and John would have quoted the Law. One night when Herod got really drunk, he asked his step-daughter to dance for him and his guests. She must have been some dancer for he offered her whatever she wanted up to half of his kingdom. She ran and asked her mother what to ask for and was quickly told to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. She sounds like a very sick woman!

Then they suggested that He might be Elijah! I can understand this one a little better because of all of the miracles. However, since they didn’t believe in reincarnation this is a stretch. However, under the influence of the Greco-Roman paganism, they could have gotten things a little twisted.

Although Mark stopped naming after Elijah, by the statement he made, we know that they had other prophets and people they listed. It’s interesting to note that if you were to ask this question of men today you would still get a lot of different answers! It would be interesting to see what others would say. But had Jesus asked the people He encountered we would have gotten different answers!

  • John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world!
  • The man with the unclean spirit, called Him the mighty Deliverer!
  • Peter’s mother-in-law, called Him the Healer!
  • The leper called Him a Restorer of Life!
  • The man who was paralyzed called Him a Forgiver of sins!
  • The blind man called Him a Restorer of Sight!
  • And He was still so much more!

But with all of these ways that Jesus continuously demonstrated who He was, from their responses to His question there was still great confusion about Him. They saw the miracles reminiscent of the days of the prophets like Elijah and Elisha and called Him Elisha. They heard the gospel message and His way of dealing with the Pharisees, which probably delighted most of them and called Him a prophet. And they saw His tenderness towards the lame, the poor, the children, and women and found Him to be a puzzle for them. Yet this didn’t bother Jesus so much! After listening to them for a few minutes He had another question.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

Mark 8:29 NKJV

After having read the Bible, when you come back to this passage, you may think, of course it was Peter who answered! But I like his style. He responded to Jesus’ question without hesitation. You are the Christ!

Christ is the Greek word for anointed. When used with the article “the” it is always in reference to Jesus, as the Anointed One. In Hebrew the word for anointed is Messiah. Typically Christ not only refers to Jesus’ title as the Anointed One, but also to His anointing!

Many people were anointed in scriptures:

  • priests were anointed to carry out their duties in the temple
  • kings were anointed to represent God’s authority on earth
  • prophets were anointed to carry God’s message
  • In the New Testament, those who carried the gospel message, whether anointed with oil or not, were considered to be anointed

But only Jesus carries the rightful title of the Christ, God’s anointed One! What makes Peter’s declaration so powerful is that Peter was declaring that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah, the anointed one!

What was the Messiah supposed to look like? Did they have any idea? Did the Law reveal ways they would know Him? All of these answers are in the Old Testament and revealed in Jesus.

  • The Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14
  • The Messiah would be rejected. Isaiah 53:3
  • The Messiah would bear the sins of His people. Isaiah 53:12
  • The Messiah would do miracles. Isaiah 61
  • The Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. Micah 4:5
  • The Messiah would be like Moses. Deuteronomy 18:15
  • Not to forget where He was born, and how He came out of Egypt, and so many other things.

These are the things that Peter and the disciples saw with their own eyes and yet they still struggled with this reality. You see, as Jews, they believed that the Messiah would come to establish an earthly kingdom, and to this point, He was doing a great job with the miracles, but the Romans were still in charge. Although we know the end of the events of Jesus’ life, I won’t jump ahead. Peter and the disciples are still secretly looking for an earthly kingdom that Jesus will be in charge of after He kicks out the Romans! And even with this secret hope, Peter recognizes the Messiah, the Christ!

Who do you say that Jesus is? This question is still important and relevant today! Maybe it is more important! What do you call Him? What do you say about Him to others? When I answer that question, of course I give Peter’s answer, because I truly believe it is the correct answer! But here are a few other things I have to say about who Jesus is:

  • He’s my Healer!
  • He’s my Savior!
  • He’s my Lord!
  • He’s my God!
  • He’s my King!
  • He’s my Redeemer!
  • He’s my Provider!
  • He’s my Protection!
  • He’s my Best Friend!
  • He’s my Big Brother!

He is still the Christ! He is still the Son of the Living God! He is alive and He reign supreme in my life! When I sin, He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins! When I hurt, He comforts and encourages me. When I am tired, He gives me strength! When I feel like giving up, He reminds that His grace and love is sufficient! I can’t imagine life without Him, because I know that to know Him is to know life! I thank God for Jesus! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!

No Set Pattern!

Mark 8:22-23- Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

In this blog I want to address one of my favorite topics: healing! There are so many people in the world today who are sick. Hospitals are overcrowded in some areas with people who are infected with the coronavirus. They need to be healed. Outside of that, there are people who have diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, and a host of other things that have attacked their bodies, with and without their help. The wonderful news is that Jesus is still the Healer! Even when you go to a doctor and medicine is prescribed, or surgery is performed, ultimate healing is in His hand!

In our text a blind man is brought to Jesus and they beg Him to touch the man that He might be healed. Jesus leads the man out of town, and instead of touching Him, Jesus spits on his eyes! At this point, the average person would have lost their miracle. I may have been one of them, for when we think of people spitting, we don’t think of healing coming forth! And can I give a word of wisdom at this point, if you spit on someone, you had better know that you are being led by the Holy Spirit because it could be disastrous otherwise!

This is the first time that we encounter a blind person in Mark, but this isn’t the first and only blind person to received their sight from Jesus!

  • In Matthew 9- two blind men cry out to Jesus for healing. Jesus asked them if they believed that He could heal them. They replied yes, and He touched their eyes and said “be it done to you according to your faith!”
  • In Matthew 12- a demon possessed man was brought to Him who was both blind and mute. All we are told is that Jesus healed the man and he both saw and spoke!
  • In Matthew 14-they brought the blind, the maimed, the deaf, the mute, and many others, and Jesus healed them. Again, we don’t know what His method was, but we know it was effective!
  • In John 9- Jesus healed a man born blind, by spitting on the ground, making a paste and placing it on the man’s eyes. Then He told the man to go and wash in the pool Siloam.
  • And later in Mark, Jesus heals Bartimaeus, after asking him what did he want for Him to do?

In all of these examples we see Jesus doing different things to bring healing to those who are physically blind. Some were touched, others He spoke to, another He told to go and wash the clay off his eyes, and at other times we don’t know what Jesus did. In our text for today, He spits on the man’s eyes. Unlike every other time in the bible, to my knowledge, this healing isn’t instantaneous. Not only that, but Jesus asks the man if he saw anything.

So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

Mark 8:23 NKJV

What’s going on? Jesus has a perfect record of instant miracles, and yet He spits on this man’s eyes and then asks him if He sees anything! This is different!

And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”

Mark 8:24 NKJv

Let me just say that this is a miracle! When was the last time you prayed for someone blind and they could see even a little bit better? The closest I have ever come to this scenario is when I prayed for someone who was losing their sight and God restored their sight. You better believe we gave Him some praise. So if this is all there was to the receiving of sight for this man, his eyes were much improved and it’s a miracle. But Jesus wasn’t finished!

Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 

Mark 8:25 NKJV

Jesus laid hands on His eyes one more time, and this time the man could see clearly. Glory be to God! He does all things well! Even in this scenario of what we point to as a gradual healing, it was pretty instant from my point of view. What I see in this demonstration of healing is something I have learned to do when ministering healing. You pray with expectation to see results, and you ask the person to do something they said they couldn’t do before. If it’s partial, pray again for completion.

On the flip side, I have prayed for people and nothing has changed. I have seen them leave without the manifestation of their healing. Sometimes, I will later get a report of healing, and sometimes they seek medical assistance and get their healing. The important thing is that they get healed. I’m not the healer, Jesus is the Healer. My job is to cooperate with Him in faith, not to think I am the healer!

I haven’t figured out why some people are healed and others are not. I have no answers as to why Sister So and So lived and Brother So and So died. I just know that I believe in divine healing more than I believe in the medical professionals. I trust Him to heal!

Many years ago, a dear friend passed away. We prayed faithfully for her. As a church we prayed weekly, but others of us prayed daily, along with her family. But she passed. I was really messed up. So I asked God about it. He gave me a dream.

In the dream I was on a battlefield similar to the pictures we see in the Civil War. Canons were being fired and gunshots were constant. People were falling to the ground. Some instantly died but others were crying out for help. I was a medic in the dream and I would run to assist someone who was calling, and the person died. As I was grieving, I would hear another cry for help. Then I would rush to another person, and give medical assistance, and have them sent to sick bay. And this happened for several minutes with several different people. Finally I heard His voice and He said something like this:

On a battlefield, there is no time to cry over those who perish. If you do, you will not be able to help those who still need you.

In all honesty, I never wanted to pray for the sick again. I was crushed. But after the dream, I knew I had a choice to make. I could sit around and wonder about why this happened, and why that didn’t happen. Or I could obey God and continue to pray for the sick and trust Him to heal! So I continue to pray and trust my Healer!

I don’t always know what He is going to do, or how He is going to do it! But I am learning that the way doesn’t matter, only the results! Trust Him today for your healing, because He is still Christ, the Healer! Wonderful Jesus!

Sign Seekers!

Mark 8: 11-12- The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” CSB

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As we have traveled through the book of Mark, we have seen Jesus perform many miracles. In the previous chapter He healed the Syro-Phoenician’s daughter by getting rid of the unclean spirit that had her bound. We don’t how He did it, we just know that He told her it was done and when she returned home, it was as He had said.

After that He healed a man who was both deaf and mute.

They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”).  Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly.

Mark 7:32-35 CSB

I don’t know what you are thinking, but even by today’s standards, this is a pretty impressive sign of the power of God. And yet, they seek a sign!

In the beginning of chapter 8, He feeds four thousand people! When we hear of a ministries feeding four thousand people today, we hear of the big trucks rolling in with produce, dairy products, water, meats and other goodies. When Jesus fed the four thousand, He asked what was around, and fed them all without breaking a sweat!

 He called the disciples and said to them,  “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a long distance.”  His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to feed these people?”  “How many loaves do you have?” he asked them.

Mark 8:1-5 CSB

Somebody found some fish in the crowd, and He blessed that also, and they ate and were satisfied. Then they collected seven large baskets of leftovers! The Pharisees had to have heard about these miracles, and yet, they seek a sign!

For some people, as for the Pharisees, looking for a sign is not about building faith in God. If it was, Jesus probably would have given them a sign. But if you look at the first part of verse 11, it is obvious what they were doing.

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him.

Mark 8: 11 CSB

This activity was the work of the devil, not of faith seekers. How do I know? Let’s return to the wilderness where Jesus spent forty days and forty nights. Mark doesn’t go into detail about that experience, so we need to visit the gospel of Matthew.

  •  “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3
  •  “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.” Matthew 4:6

Twice, the devil tried to get Jesus to show proof of His divinity. Jesus didn’t do it for the devil and most certainly wasn’t going to be tricked into it by the devil’s agents. First of all, these verses should be written with “since” and not “if” for the devil knew that Jesus was and is the Son of God. Secondly, He was trying to get Jesus riled up enough to use His miracle working power to overcome His temptation and to show off! The devil was trying to get Jesus to perform for him, at his bidding, instead of waiting on God’s timing. What a deceiver!

Today, there are still sign-seekers. They want us to prove that we are Christians by doing this or that! They want to attack our position in Christ by saying what we should and shouldn’t do if we are really Christians. They have the same spirit that the Pharisees had when they argued with Jesus and asked for a sign. But what did Jesus say to them?

Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

Mark 8:12 CSB

Why did Jesus sigh deeply in His Spirit? I believe it was because He understood with absolute certainty that nothing He said or did would bring the Pharisees to faith in God. There comes a time, sisters and brothers in Christ, when we have to face that there is nothing that we can say or do to lead some people to the Lord. They will ask us to jump through hoops because as Christians they think we should. They will ask us to flip over backwards because they like to see us perform. But the bottom line is that they are using us as the enemy wanted to use Jesus. Jesus walked away from those sign seekers! And unfortunately we are going to have to walk away from the sign seekers in our life. It’s too burdensome of a place to be when you are always proving yourself, your love, your faithfulness, your Christianity to sign seekers!

Jesus told them that they wouldn’t get a sign from Him. He had nothing to prove. He didn’t perform miracles to prove that He was God, He simply was God. He worked miracles because it was His nature, and because He was moved by compassion (see Mark 8:1). He worked miracles at the direction of God. He worked miracles because faith moved Him to do so. But never to prove anything to the devil or the world!

While Jesus was on the boat with the disciples He gave them a command that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 

Mark 8:15 CSB

Since the disciples were already talking about bread, they thought Jesus was also talking about bread. They had only one loaf of bread between them all and they were probably discussing how it was not enough. Jesus was perplexed at the conversation, so much so, He asked if they had forgotten how He fed the five thousand, then the four thousand. They didn’t understand what He was talking about with the leaven, and they still didn’t understand that there is no lack with Jesus.

Back to the leaven. When He commanded them to watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod, He wasn’t talking about bread at all. In the natural, leaven was used to cause the dough to rise. A small piece of dough was kept to the side to start the next batch of dough. When this piece was placed in new dough, with time it would ferment the entire batch. That, Jesus was saying, was the way of the sin, the evil intents of the Pharisees. It may have seemed a small matter, but Jesus knew that it would grow in its influence against Him and He was warning them to be careful of it!

That’s a whole new blog, but suffice it to say, we too must be careful of the little sins that we can be enticed into practicing, or the little sins that we allow in our lives. It is still the little foxes that spoil the vine (Songs of Solomon 2:15). Wonderful Jesus!

Parental Faith!

Mark 7: 29-30- “Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.”

Photo by Rachel McDermott on Unsplash

If you are a studier of the Word, then this is a familiar and challenging passage. As a matter of fact I have already written a blog on this from Matthew’s version titled, “The Children’s Bread”. It is one of my favorite passages on faith. What’s challenging about it is that it causes me to take a look at my personal faith in Jesus to see if it is producing results!

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. For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.

Mark 7:24-25 NKJV

Jesus has entered a home where He is looking for rest. We know this because Mark stated that He didn’t want anyone to know He was there. But there are some things that just can’t be kept a secret. Especially when people are looking for you! And people were always looking for Jesus!

There was a woman, a mother, whose daughter had an unclean spirit. We are not given details about how bad things were, but we can surmise that they were pretty bad. When this mother heard about Jesus, she knew she had to find to Him. Since she had heard about Him, she had to know that He was Jewish, and as such, would probably not look favorably upon her or her request. But she also knew that if her daughter had any chance of being free, it was a chance she needed to take.

As people, we often find ourselves in desperate situations; and if not us, then our children. It looks like drug addiction, alcoholism, attempted suicide, demon worship, bad relationships, and a host of other things that cause us to cry out to Jesus. If you raise them in Christ, you are at a loss for what is helping. If you became a Christian later in life, you might be beating up yourself, wondering why you didn’t surrender earlier. It’s time to release the guilt and move forward in faith!

She had heard what Jesus had done for others. Many times He told them not to tell anyone, but they couldn’t keep the secret! Shame will cause you to keep silent about your need for Jesus, or your child’s need for Jesus. Don’t let it! Had these people not shared about being set free from demons, she would have never heard that He could set her daughter free! We need to break the code of silence that keeps us from giving hope to this troubled world and let others know that Jesus hasn’t changed!

The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 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.”

Mark 7:26-27 NKJV

The Syro-Phoenician woman wasn’t just sitting by Jesus’ feet doing nothing. Mark wrote that she kept asking Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. There are some people who believe that if you are asking in faith, you only need to ask one time. But here, this woman kept asking. In fact, we get the impression that Jesus is ignoring her. Why?

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.”

Mark 7:27 NKJV

With this statement, He told her that His ministry wasn’t to the Gentiles, but to the Jews. Let them be filled first, was His way of telling her that it wasn’t time for the Gentiles to partake of the goodness of God. In answering her request, He would be taking that which belongs to the Jews and giving it to the Gentiles. He used the analogy of bread, children, and dogs. Since she was a mother crying desperately for help for her daughter, He told her that it would not be good to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs when the children had not been filled yet! But she would not be deterred.

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

Mark 7:28 NKJV

She agreed with Him! Called Him Lord! Then she made a statement that countered timing. A statement that countered fairness! A statement that pulled tomorrow’s provision into her today. She said that the dogs eat the crumbs from under the table. In other words, she didn’t need the bread, she just needed the crumbs. But to the ears of God, her desperation was her faith. She wasn’t moved by a “not now” like so many of us are moved. She wasn’t moved from her position because He seemingly ignored her. She didn’t allow her feelings to cause her to become offended or angry. He had what she needed for her daughter and she was willing to do anything to see her daughter free.

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

Mark 7:29-30 NKJV

Mothers, I know you can relate to this woman’s cry of faith! I know you have testimonies of when the need was so great that only Jesus could come through for you. So you fell on your face before Him and cried out in desperation, with a heart of faith, and He answered. Dads, I know you have read this passage and said that you could identify with this mother. Your family had a need, or your child had a need, or maybe even your wife had a need, and you went straight to the Lord. Your desperation wasn’t one of begging and pleading and hoping something would happen. It was a heart’s cry of faith. Jesus I know you are my only help and I’m trusting you to do this! I won’t leave until You assure me that things are going to be well. And He answered you!

So here’s my question, as one of my favorite bloggers always say: Why don’t we pray like this all the time about everything? If this kind of praying moved heaven and earth once, won’t it work again and again?

As parents, we don’t ever stop praying for our children. They are our heart’s cry for life! Maybe, you are in a place where you have given up on your children ever being free. Maybe you have good reason to feel that way. I want to encourage you today to keep praying for them. Trust that what they need most can only come from Jesus. Faith will move His hand in their direction because faith moves mountains and crosses dimensions! Wonderful Jesus!

A Heart Condition

Mark 7:14-16- When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 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. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” NKJV

The Pharisees are at it again! No matter what Jesus is doing, they always find fault with it. This time they brought those who were experts in the law. It reminds me of the times when the Jehovah Witness would knock on our door. First, a novice would come and try and convince me that they held truth and I needed that truth. When I would counter what they had to say with the word, they would leave frustrated. The next group would be a little more skilled, but would leave with the same frustration. Then one day, I simply had enough and asked them not to return. No one has knocked on our doors in years!

The problem the Pharisees apparently have with Jesus is that He and His disciples are not following tradition and they want to know why? The traditions of elders evolved as the scribes took the law and added things to it that had not been there. The elders were the ancient Jewish scholars who were responsible for the rules and regulations that later became known as the Mishnah.

“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. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 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.”

Mark 7:6-8 NKJV

Jesus went straight to the matter of the heart. He called them hypocrites. We have a pretty fair understanding of the word hypocrite, but I still want to look at its Greek meaning. Hupokrites denotes a stage-actor. William Barclay wrote that it doesn’t simply mean an actor on the stage, “but one whose whole life is a piece of acting without any sincerity behind it all.”

Jesus knew that this conversation wasn’t about the sincerity of honoring or keeping the law, and called them on it! He reminded them of the words of the prophet Isaiah that went straight to their heart. The first point was that the time would come when they would lay aside the commandment of God and hold fast to the tradition of men. The traditions of men are still more important to church people than God’s word. If there is a contradiction in the word to one of our practices, we continue with it and ignore His word. For example, Jesus stated that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. Yet, tradition states that He died on Friday night and rose early on Sunday morning. Even a kindergartener can figure out that isn’t three days and three nights, but it’s our sacred cow and we aren’t changing it for anything!

The second point was that they would honor God but their hearts would be far from Him. We would not want to be called a hypocrite by anyone, especially Jesus! But when we attend church, is our heart involved, or are we punching the spiritual clock? When we pray, is our heart involved, or just our lips? When we read the word of God, are we checking off a spiritual discipline, or does our heart hunger for a word from God? Have we become religious, and therefore hypocrites, or is there still a burning in our hearts for the Lord?

He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 

Mark 7:9 NKJV

Not only did they add rules and regulations to the law, not only were they hearts far removed from Him, but they rejected the commandments of God for those rules, regulations and traditions! When we get to a place where what we believe, think, feel, or do, matters more than what the word of God states, we are rejecting the commandments of God. Especially in the church! For example, love is important to God for He is Love. Demonstrating that love should be important to us! We shouldn’t pick and choose when to demonstrate love, but endeavor to make it a lifestyle!

When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 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.  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Mark 7:14-16 NKJV

Jesus appears to ignore the scribes and Pharisees after making His point and turns His attention to the multitude. He tells them that it isn’t food and drink that defiles a person, but what comes out of a man is what defiles him. The disciples were confused at His saying and asked Him to explain what He meant.

He said to them, “Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a person from the outside can defile him? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated” (thus he declared all foods clean). And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.  All these evil things come from within and defile a person.””

Mark 7:18-23 CSB

Jesus clearly states two points in this discourse. The first point is that food does not defile us and we can eat whatever we want to eat. The second point was of greater value, sin comes from the heart and defiles man. His concern wasn’t about rituals and legalism, but with the condition of the heart. Remember the sermon on the mount?

But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:38 CSB

That means that someone can commit adultery with another person without their permission! And if they continue with those thoughts, they will begin to move on those thoughts with their behavior.

But thank God for Jesus! He can bring change to a heart that is filled with sin. He is the solution and the antidote for all that defiles a man. When a sin filled heart opens up to Jesus, He cleanses it, making it a place of influence for the Holy Spirit! (Acts 15:9)

If the condition of your heart is still filled with sin, I urge you today to surrender it to Jesus, and He will cleanse it. If you are a believer and sin is trying to recapture your heart, cry out to Him! He will deliver you! Take some time right now and allow the Holy Spirit to check out the condition of your heart. It is truly a matter of life and death! Wonderful Jesus!

Don’t Be Afraid!

Mark 6:49-50- And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 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.” NKJV

Sign Seekers! Wonderful Jesus!

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://wonderfuljesus.blog/2021/10/08/sign-seekers/
  1. Sign Seekers!
  2. No Set Pattern!
  3. Parental Faith!
  4. A Heart Condition
  5. Don’t Be Afraid!
Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

Sometimes it is easy to forget the fact that God has unlimited power. I know that we have all trained our mouths to say that He is God and nothing is impossible for Him! I know we all confess that there is no one like Him, not in the heavens above or the earth beneath! But when it really comes down to it, most of us live like the devil has more power than God does. That needs to change!

When trouble hits us and we become overwhelmed in the midst of it, feeling like giving up on God, that’s our moment of thinking that God isn’t who He said He is! When stuff just keeps coming at us, bombarding us on every side, and we want to walk away from God because things are just too hard, that’s our moment of thinking that Satan is greater than God!

What we need to understand and settle in our hearts is that there is no other god like our God. He is truly greater than the enemy, and Satan hasn’t forged a weapon that God cannot thwart every single time!

Most people know of the time when Jesus walked on water. The only other person in history who walked on water was Peter. I know of no others. For some reason, Jesus’ ability to walk on water has always been associated with His holiness, yet that certainly didn’t apply to Peter. It was simply because He believed that He could!

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. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 

Mark 6:45-46 NKJV

From the disciples perspective, this night was no different than any other night. Jesus had ministered to crowds, and miracles took place. Other than the fact that He had miraculously fed 5,000 men, it was business as usual. Jesus had sent them to Bethsaida, He closed the service, and went to a mountain to pray. But what He did next was completely supernatural, and I have not heard of its duplication!

Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 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.

Mark 6:47-48 NKJV

Mark says that Jesus saw the disciples in the boat, struggling to get to the other side. They had made it to the middle of the sea, but the wind was against them and they weren’t making much progress. After His time of prayer, He decided to go to Bethsaida, but since He didn’t have a boat, He decided to walk on water! Look at God!

I’ve seen a lot of water in my lifetime. I have seen both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan, and several other large bodies of water. Every once in a while, I’ll stick my feet in the water, and without fail, my foot cuts through the water and touches land. But not so with Jesus!

Once He decided that He was going to the other side by walking on the water, the water became a road in the midst of the sea! Mark said that Jesus had planned to pass them by. He wasn’t walking to get in the boat, He was walking to the other side!

And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 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.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 

Mark 6: 49-51 NKJV

Can you imagine being on a boat in the middle of the sea and suddenly you see a person walking towards you? I can only imagine! The fear He caused to rise in the hearts of His disciples had to be great! Who has ever heard of anybody walking on water? At that time, I am pretty sure that the answer was a firm, nobody! And we have only heard of two! Yet, He walked on water without anything under His feet to give Him additional support!

Mark said the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost and it caused them to cry out. I’m thinking they did more screaming than a crowd at a horror flick! I would have been louder than they were! Jesus stopped to talk with the disciples and told them to be of good cheer because it was Him, and they didn’t need to be afraid! I don’t know y’all! I think I may have still been dealing with the adrenaline rush that accompanies fear! This was not your everyday occurrence! This went beyond speaking to the winds. As a matter of fact, He had literally walked across water, with winds and waves strong enough to hinder them from progressing in their journey! This was a lot!

Don’t be afraid, Jesus said! How many times do we have to be told by God, or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to not give in to fear? Too many times! I’m included in this number, but it’s nothing to be proud of! At some point, we have to learn to trust His word to us knowing that nothing can stop His word from coming to pass! We have to just decide to not to be afraid!

Our daughter joined the Navy several years ago. One of her first assignments when she graduated from OCS (Officer Candidate School) was a year in Bahrain. I want you to know that we weren’t happy with that assignment. Immediately every negative thing we had heard about the Middle East tried to bombard our hearts and minds, but we had to reject it. We knew that in accepting the negative thoughts and situations that could come at her, we would be filled with fear, worry, and become paralyzed in our faith. So we decided to not be afraid. Did we pray? Absolutely! But not in fear, in faith! And she had an uneventful year! Thank the Lord!

Just as I have had to be reminded not to fear, I have also had to be reminded to trust God! When Jesus said, “Be of good cheer,” He wasn’t telling them, “Don’t worry, be happy!” What He was telling them was to be courageous and not full of fear! That’s still His message today! Every piece of bad news doesn’t have to cause fear in our hearts! We don’t have to live in fear of getting cancer! We don’t have to live in fear of being shot down in the streets! We don’t have to live in fear of having our identity stolen!

If we are not careful, we will allow statistics, news reports, what happened to Cousin Sally and Uncle Bob cause us to think that the devil is sovereign and God is a weakling. This is so far from the truth that it is hilarious. The devil has never been a match for God. Jesus said that He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening! (Luke 10:18) Paul wrote that Jesus made a spectacle of the devil in Colossians! These are the types of pictures we need to keep at the forefront of our mind when trouble attacks! The One that lives within us is still greater than the one who lives in the world! Wonderful Jesus!

You Can Do This!

Mark 6:12-13- So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. NKJV

Sign Seekers! Wonderful Jesus!

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://wonderfuljesus.blog/2021/10/08/sign-seekers/
  1. Sign Seekers!
  2. No Set Pattern!
  3. Parental Faith!
  4. A Heart Condition
  5. Don’t Be Afraid!
Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

We serve the God of miracles. There is no one like Him. He most definitely is the Sovereign Lord, ruler of the universe! And nothing is impossible for Him! As people of the Most High God, we should expect to see miracles. Although there are many who disagree with that statement, to me, it makes a lot of sense!

Typically, children display many of the qualities of their parents. For example, children of pastors and ministry leaders, typically become pastors and ministry leaders. Musicians generally raise singers or musicians. Actors typically raise children who follow in their footsteps. I think you see where I am going with this! And yet, we serve the supernatural God and Creator of the universe, who is limitless in power, and we don’t often experience Him in the supernatural, or believe that we can!

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

Mark 6:7-9 NKJV

In this 6th chapter of Mark, we see that Jesus has sent His disciples out to do ministry. Mark notes that Jesus gave them power over unclean spirits. That means that He gave them the power to cast out demons, just like Him. When they returned to Him, they had this testimony:

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

Mark 6:12-13 NKJV

As they went out, two by two, they shared the same message that Jesus shared, and then they worked the same works that Jesus worked. They cast out demons, and they healed the sick! They were so excited to see things work for them, as they had worked for Jesus. That’s the point that He wanted to make for them, that they could do what He was doing!

This doesn’t often happen over night. It didn’t happen over night with the disciples. But as we live for Him and fellowship with Him, He begins to rub off on us and we begin to act just like Him! Each of our daughters have mannerisms of their father and of me. Why? Because they are our children. Some things they picked up, and some things are inherent!

Later in the chapter, Jesus was having a service. The service lasted long enough that the disciples noticed that dinner time had passed and the people were probably hungry.

Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

Mark 6:36-37 NKJV

According to Mark, they were in a remote location and getting food for such a large crowd was going to be a problem. But Jesus tells the disciples to feed them. Can you just imagine the look on their faces? As we read further in the text we find that the crowd was about 5,000 men. So when the disciples heard Jesus say that they should feed them, they responded like they didn’t know who they were hanging out with!

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?”

Mark 6:37 NKJV

That’s about a year’s salary in Jesus’ day. Today the value is around $368.00. That’s not a lot of money on anybody’s scale, but for the disciples they didn’t think it would do the job. Having mercy on the disciples, Jesus asked how much food did they have around?

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.”

Mark 6:39 NKJV

We know from other accounts that this meal belonged to a young boy. Some say it was not really two fish and five loaves of bread, but it was tiny fish like sardines with crackers. Since Jesus called it fish and bread, then that’s my take on it.

Jesus took that meal and blessed it, then He told the disciples to serve it. Here’s where it gets interesting to me. There were twelve disciples and thousands of people. Did the food multiply as Jesus gave it out to the disciples, or as the disciples gave it out to the people? What’s your thought? I believe as Jesus gave each disciple food to pass out, it began to multiply giving the disciples faith to move out with it. As they gave it out, it just kept multiplying! And then there were leftovers! Twelve baskets! Each disciple had a basket, and each disciple’s basket had leftovers! Pretty cool!

When I was in high school I heard an amazing testimony. The evangelist visiting our church had been on a missions trip to Haiti. While he was there he experienced a similar miracle. They had prepared food for a group of people that were connected to the place where they were ministering. Many more showed up than was expected. As they prayed over the food they asked God to do a miracle. It multiplied and everyone present ate. I don’t remember if there were leftovers, but I remember that the food had multiplied. It caused my heart to burn for the God of the supernatural. The God who still performed miracles!

Do you want to know what I believe? I believe that had the disciples remembered how the demons fled at their command, and how the sick was made whole, and then trusted that they could feed the 5,000, it would have happened! How do I know that? Because when we step out at His command, failure is not an option!

I’ve seen God do some amazing things over the years. I truly believe in miracles! I know that I can believe for a miracle and see a miracle come to pass. I’m not God and I don’t have a perfect record of seeing miracles happen around me, but I have seen enough of them to keep me pressing toward the life of the miraculous! The life of God!

Can I share a healing miracle? I was grocery shopping when I saw a lady falling to the floor. I don’t know how I knew she was having a seizure, but I knew. I immediately dropped beside her and began to command that seizure to stop! I bound the activity of that demonic spirit and everything that I could think of. In the meantime, I heard someone call 911 and people were gathering. I didn’t give any of that an ounce of attention. Before the ambulance arrived, the seizure stopped, the lady got up and declared that she was fine. They wanted her to be checked out but she refused it. She thanked me and we both went our way praising God and continued with our shopping! If I saw her today I wouldn’t know her from anyone else! But that day, God used me to give her a miracle!

I see people all the time that I don’t feel the urge to walk over to and pray for them. And that’s not my usual way of doing things. I must admit that I am more comfortable praying for people in church or in their home. But if I am led to pray or something is going down in my presence, I will step out in faith and pray. And you can do this, too! I know you can! Wonderful Jesus!

Reject Rejection!

Mark 6: 4-6 -Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.” And because of their unbelief he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn’t believe in him. TLB

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

We’ve arrived to chapter 6 of the book of Mark. A lot has been happening with Jesus, through Jesus, and around Him. Mark still writes with a sense of urgency and portrays the ministry of Jesus as energized and busy with purpose. After all, He knew that His time on the earth was going to be short, and He had much to do!

It’s the Sabbath, and Jesus has returned to His hometown in Nazareth. He may have left alone, but He has returned with His disciples. As has become His custom, He went into the synagogue to teach.

Soon afterwards he left that section of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he went to the synagogue to teach, and the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves.

Mark 6:1-3 TLB

At first, they are astonished and impressed with what Jesus is saying. They are also amazed that miracles are attributed to Him because they never saw that coming. Years ago, a movie came to the theaters about Jesus as a little boy, and the miracles that He could have performed. Not only is this a stretch of the imagination, but it is adding to the narrative in the word of God, which tells us that His first miracle was at Cana. Having said that, they had never seen anything from Him to prepare them for this side of Jesus.

“He’s no better than we are,” they said. “He’s just a carpenter, Mary’s boy, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” And they were offended!

Mark 6:3 TLB

They had the nerve to think that Jesus was no better than they were! But He was! And He still is! And nothing in Mark’s narrative of the event gives us insight that says He was trying to say that He was better than them. Although, He truly was better than then!

Then they began to attack His character and identity. Underlying the words they said was a message heard loud and clear: He’s just a carpenter. (When did He become a rabbi)? He’s Mary’s boy! (The one she had under suspicious circumstances. The one they tried to claim as Joseph’s boy)! His family lives amongst us! (We aren’t anybody, and neither is He)! But they were so very wrong! He was so much more! And they missed it because they were too busy with jealousy and pettiness to see the Light!

Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family.”

Mark 6:4 TLB

Can you relate to Jesus’ words? Do you feel respected and accepted everywhere except in your home, amongst your family? Do you feel like the people who are supposed to cheer you on are the ones putting you down? Do they try to make you feel like you think you are something, when they feel you are nothing? Jesus knows exactly what you are experiencing because He already walked in those shoes!

Rejection comes in many forms. When you apply for a job and receive a rejection letter, it makes you feel some kind of way. You’ve been rejected! When you are applying to a college, a program, for a scholarship, it makes you feel unworthy, not smart enough, not good enough. Rejection! When your spouse say means things, want a divorce, walk away, rejection is on the attack! When your parent abandons you, tell you they never wanted you, or send you to live with someone else, again, you feel rejected! Unfortunately, rejection can happen several times in a lifetime, to same individual, causing the pain to run deep! Don’t allow it, it’s time to reject rejection!

Jesus didn’t allow this rejection to stop Him! To Him, what was worst than their rejection was their unbelief.

And because of their unbelief he couldn’t do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn’t believe in him. Then he went out among the villages, teaching.

Mark 6:5-6 TLB

Jesus, the Son of God, could not do any mighty miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief! That’s interesting to me. Some will say that they didn’t receive a miracle from God because of this or that, but Jesus could not, Mark wrote, not would not do mighty miracles in Nazareth. Why? Unbelief hindered Him from performing miracles, then, and it will hinder Him from performing miracles today!

There were a few folks who benefitted from Jesus laying hands on them. They were sick and He healed them; but the vast majority of them demonstrated their unbelief in Him with their rejection of Him!

Jesus did not allow that to define Him, and neither should we. All of us have, and will experience rejection. All of us have to choose to succumb to it, or to make it bow to us! It’s our choice! With His help, we can overcome rejection every single time.

I thought I was in position for a promotion. I was really excited about this opportunity. But in the end, it was given to someone else. Before rejection could make its way into my spirit, I had a Jairus moment! Jesus said, “promotion comes from the Lord”! That settled it for me and I was able to go on and work with the individual and do my job! I’d like to tell you that I got a better promotion. As of today, it has not manifested in my life! But I choose to trust God with my promotion. Every time I submit an application for a position and it is rejected, I just remind myself, promotion comes from the Lord! I rejected rejection!

Isaiah wrote one of my favorite scriptures:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Jesus knew who He was. He knew the mission on His life, His purpose. Even though they rejected Him, He continued with the plan of teaching and preaching the gospel. He loved the unlovely, and forgave what seemed to be unforgivable. He allowed nothing and no one to hinder or stop Him. That needs to be our attitude!

He marveled at what they said and did. He commented that He hadn’t expected to receive any honor from them. But He still was disappointed by it. Go ahead! Be disappointed in the moment! Then realize that what God is doing in your life, and what He has planned for you is far greater than the rejection that wants to grip your soul.

Decide today to reject rejection, and trust God with those things you have no control over! One day you will look back over your life and thank Him for those rejections! Wonderful Jesus!

Believe For It!

Mark 5:36- “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” NKJV

Sign Seekers! Wonderful Jesus!

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://wonderfuljesus.blog/2021/10/08/sign-seekers/
  1. Sign Seekers!
  2. No Set Pattern!
  3. Parental Faith!
  4. A Heart Condition
  5. Don’t Be Afraid!
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

The woman with the issue of blood had managed to touch His garment, and she was whole. Jesus, knowing that power had left Him wanted to know who had touched Him. She confessed with fear and trembling, but Jesus wasn’t upset with her, He just wanted to know what had caused the unexpected flow of power. While He was telling her to go in peace, for her faith had made her whole, Jairus had visitors.

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?”

Mark 5:35 NKJV

Hearing this news had to be devastating for Jairus! He was so close to getting a miracle of healing from Jesus. He had found Jesus and they were headed to his to home. If only they had not been stopped by this woman! If only they had moved quicker! If only he had found Jesus earlier! The if onlys were rushing through his mind, his heart and his spirit!

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

Mark 5:36 NKJV

I’m sure Jesus read Jairus’ body language. Maybe he looked defeated, or his eyes were filling with tears. We don’t know! But we do know that before Jairus could speak a word, Jesus stopped him by saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe!”

Is it possible that when Jairus asked Jesus to come to his home that he didn’t believe? Or maybe he believed that Jesus could heal his daughter, but raising her from the dead? Maybe that was stretching him!

My daughter was a young girl when she asked me if I had ever noticed that the woman suffered for 12 years, and Jairus’ daughter was 12 years old? Actually, I hadn’t! I wondered if there was a spiritual connection since Mark mentions the 12 years in both situations.

Twelve has a lot of biblical meaning. It represents the 12 tribes of Israel. It symbolizes God’s power and authority; the authority and perfection of God’s kingdom. Since it is mentioned twice in this chapter, I think it had a significance. Jesus was all about the kingdom and it could be that these two events were about establishing or promoting the kingdom in a greater way. I’m certain they held significance on some level.

And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.  When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.”

Mark 5:37-39 NKJV

This is a good place to share about ministering healing to the sick. Let’s look at what Jesus did:

  • He only took Peter, James and John with Him. He wouldn’t allow the crowd to follow. When you pray for the sick, take people who will encourage faith and not fill you with fear and doubt.
  • He questioned the mourners being there, because He said the child was not dead but sleeping. If you go to pray for a miracle, don’t let the noise distract you and cause you feel the hopelessness of the situation. In reality, if it wasn’t hopeless to man, then why would you need a miracle. You already know it’s going to take a miracle, so don’t get into conversation that can pull you out of faith.

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. Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 

Mark 5:40-42 NKJV
  • Too many people in the room, or house, can give the devil too many ways to distract you. Jesus put them out of the house. Notice that Jairus and his wife did not argue with Him. Make sure the person who asked for prayer is in agreement with your requests. Friction is tough on faith!
  • The girl was immediately raised from the dead! Sometimes the miracle will be immediately, and sometimes it will not. I don’t know why that is so, but I just continue to trust Him when I pray, leaving timing to Him. However, I have learned that persistence in prayer brings manifestations! When I pray for someone in great pain, I persist until things changes. Usually until they are pain free!
  • Obey the Spirit of God! Jesus knew what God was leading Him to do. It is important to be led by His Spirit. I have never been led by Him and not seen Him move. Sometimes I just step out and sometimes I see people healed. But when I am following His leading, I am pretty sure that things are going to change!

Jairus chose to believe the word that Jesus spoke him, “Only believe!” What He saw Jesus do for his daughter was greater than a healing, it was a resurrection. His daughter was restored to him and his family. He was ecstatic! We are still talking about it today!

What a powerful demonstration of the kingdom of God in Mark 5. First, a demoniac is set free! He had terrorized his community for years, but Jesus set him free and gave him a new lease on life. Then the woman with the issue of blood was healed. Twelve long years of being ostracized from society, from attending the synagogue, from living life, and after her encounter with Jesus, she was made whole. And it closes with Jairus’ daughter being raised from the dead! Look at Jesus! Look at God!

Power over demons! Power over sickness and disease! Power over death! That’s the gospel of the kingdom! Many pastors and church leaders are afraid to teach that Jesus is still demonstrating power in this manner. They are fearful of telling people that they can be healed and then they are not.

But if that’s the logic we use, then why go to the doctor? Some people are helped, and some are not. Some walk away healed, and others die. Some get better, some get worst. And yet, we continue to encourage people to go to the doctor.

Jesus has a much better track record, and you can believe it! The problem isn’t with Him, but in what we believe about Him. We can see miracles! I believe that we must see miracles. People are tired of religions that stress what they need to do for God. It is up to us to show them that our God isn’t like other gods! He didn’t die on the cross to see what we could do for Him. He died on the cross to demonstrate what He can do for us!

We can easily quote Hebrews 13:8:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever

NKJV

and still not believe in the miracle working power of God being available to us today! Beloved! Jesus’ words are true even today “according to your faith be it unto you”! What do you believe? That you will receive! Believe for miracles today! He’s still working them on our behalf! Wonderful Jesus!