Digging in Deeper: Mark 2:5

“Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes, when a good thing is done in a way or at a time that no one was expecting, it doesn’t seem so good anymore. Have you ever noticed that? I believe the cynical adage is that no good deeds goes unpunished. That could have been the theme of Jesus’ whole ministry. He did a whole lot of good things during His three years in the spotlight and yet again and again He did them in ways that broke the mold. They broke the mold for a people who were very much fond of their molds. The result was a whole lot more conflict than you would think someone so committed to doing good would attract. This first story in Mark 2 is a perfect example.

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Morning Musing: Mark 1:36-38

“Simon and his companions searched for him, and when they found him they said, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Rick Moranis was one of the more popular actors in Hollywood in the 1980s. He always seemed to play about the same character, but he did it really well. He was always kind of nerdy, courageous when it counted, and incredibly likable. When someone has really hit their stride like that in any profession, the rule is: keep going. It takes too much time, effort, and energy to get there. You don’t break stride for anything. So, what did Moranis do when his wife died unexpectedly and he was left to play single parent to three young kids? He walked away from acting entirely. He understood what Jesus demonstrates here.

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Morning Musing: Mark 1:35

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.”
— ‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:35‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

How do you recharge? How do you build yourself back up when you’ve hit the point of exhaustion? Different people fuel up in different ways. Extroverts, for example, need to get around people. After a long, stressful day of work, they need to go home, change clothes, and go to some crowded, public space where they can be the life of the party. Introverts like me, on the other hand, need isolation. After a Sunday morning of being “on,” I have to spend a few hours being completely “off” before I’m good for much else. Those are just two ways to recharge. Not every approach works for every person, and finding your source takes some trial and error. What we see here is Jesus demonstrating a way to recharge that is not only universal, but it’s also more efficient and effective than anything else. I’m talking about prayer.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 1:16-18

“As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea–for they were fisherman. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told them, ‘and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Would you follow Jesus if He came calling? If you’re already a Jesus follower, I suspect your answer to that question was a quick and enthusiastic, “Yes!” If He came calling out of nowhere and you were already in the groove of your life, though, would you really drop everything and follow Him? If you’re not already doing it, the answer just may not be quite so affirming. Now as a follower of Jesus, if He came and asked you to leave everything familiar and go some place new, would you do it? These men did and it changed the world. Let’s look at why they did it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 1:15

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
— ‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:15‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Jesus said a lot of things. At the end of John’s Gospel, the apostle includes a note that he only presented a sampling of what Jesus did and said. Speaking only somewhat hyperbolically, he observed that if he had written down everything, it would have filled several books. But, Jesus was a teacher. That was His primary mission and goal. For all of the things He said, though, there was one big idea that beat at the heart of all of His messages.

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