Where God Spoke To Me:
- Verse 36 - This is one of my life verses.
- Verses 23-25 - Why did the miracle come in phases? We don't know. It gives me comfort to know, though, that not all miracles happen the same way. Sometimes it's instantaneous and sometimes it's in phases.
- Verses 26, 30 - Jesus regularly tells people to not spread the word of the miracles He's done. Why? Two reasons: 1. He was trying to maintain a timetable for when things would happen as far as His crucifixion and didn't want to get ahead of that. 2. He knew that the interest that brought people out to see the miracles was generally a shallow faith that would be unlikely to bloom.
- Verse 34 - "deny himself" - This means that we have to be willing to put aside our desires and obey Christ's commands, believing that will take us to somewhere better.
- Verse 34 - "take up his cross" - This means that there will be sacrifice involved in this walk of faith.
- Verse 35 - "save, lose" - This means that when we cling to our hopes and desires, we end up losing out. When we lay those aside and run after Jesus' commands, we will find real life.
If you want to read the chapter online, here's a link.
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- Mark 7:33 - "In the book, that dad has me studying, there is a very honest and simple explanation for this process: It glorified God.
In a little more detail, Jesus would often send those He healed to a priest or the temple, in acts of obedience. With the Decapolis being a secular area and full of Jews, half-Jews, and non-Jews, the author relates that healing this way would be obviously Hebrew to them and would give glory to God.
You could not be more right about the comfort found in the different ways Jesus performed miracles! He does not meet us on our terms, but He makes Himself painfully obvious."
- Mark 6:1-6 -
"These verses describe the response of unbelief that Jesus' own people in Nazareth displayed to him when he taught in the synagogue on the Sabbath.
I find two very interesting things here, a principle taught by Jesus and Jesus' reaction. The principle or teaching is that "a prophet has no honour in his own country" - John 4:44. Jesus' reaction is that he "marvelled" because of their unbelief.
The principle that one's own people are the least likely to receive one's teachings and the most likely to cast doubt, be skeptical, and not believe is something Christians should realize and be taught to mitigate. Jesus is the son of God but according to vs. 5 "he could there do no mighty work" except heal a few people. Since time and time again the bible reminds us that salvation is a far mightier work than healing, I believe this means unbelief reduced the potential impact of Jesus' teachings that day on the listener's salvation.
Jesus' reaction is that he marvelled. Any time I read that God is impressed with something or an impression is made on God over something I want to know more. My Scofield Reference bible lists a quick reference here to Matthew 8:10-12. This is the account of Jesus' healing of the centurion's servant. Jesus marvelled over the level of faith demonstrated here as well, only the level was the other extreme. Jesus was so impressed with the Gentile Centurion's faith that he made a comparison statement. Jesus said that he had not found so great of faith in all of Israel. What I draw from both reactions is that God is interested in faith, both poor and "great" and the potential effect of God in our lives is directly proportional to the level of faith demonstrated by the listeners of his word.
Actually, looking at this entire chapter, other than the account of John the Baptist's death, one theme jumps out at me - lack of faith. It begins with Nazareth's lack of faith and then it shows the disciples' lack of faith. I am amazed at vs. 52. In spite of witnessing the feeding of the 5000+, the disciples' hearts were so hard that they didn't recognize Jesus walking on the water. I'm amazed but yet I can't help but think I am probably missing the boat daily by not recognizing God's work myself."