Mark 7:1-13 Hypocrites Indeed

Twice on the left, then twice on the right

Twice on the left, then twice on the right

We join Jesus today while He and His disciples are having dinner. During the meal a group of Pharisees and scribes approach Him. They are aghast at His disciples’ behavior and are going to make sure He knows about it.

The Pharisees are going to confront Jesus on the lines of the oral traditions or the traditions of the elders. According to TempleInstitute.org the traditions of the elders was originally a set of oral rules said to have been handed down to Moses during his time on Mt. Sini , while BibleHistory.com states that they were first seen in practice during Israel’s captivity by Babylon. They were supposed to be like a buffer surrounding the Torah so, if observed, the user would be assured they would not be in danger of breaking one of God’s written laws. These oral traditions were finally written down in 200 A.D. and were called the Mishnah.  Read more »

Mark 6:53-56 Meet Him in the Marketplace

Touch the hem of His garment

Touch the hem of His garment

We are going to join Jesus in the region surrounding Gennesaret. The town of Gennesaret is about three miles from Capernaum. Jesus’ fame had easily reached there. He was even recognized on sight. Let’s join Him as He moves through this region.

The first thing that I noticed, after reading the passage a couple of times, is that Jesus only landed in Gennesaret. He moved about from there. I don’t know how far He went from this town on this particular trip. Mark lists villages, cities and countryside’s as locations Jesus visited. I’m curious what other locations asked Jesus to touch people in the way He does in today’s reading.

Jesus and His disciples have been sailing back and forth across the Sea of Galilee. We are not always told where they land. This is a little frustrating to me because I want to know those details so I can make a map in my mind of where He did what. I keep digging and am not finding locations for a lot of Jesus miracles. I guess we know another bench question I will be bringing up someday. Read more »

Mark 6:45-52 Can You See Me Now

Some things are hidden in plain sight

Some things are hidden in plain sight

We join Jesus today as He dismisses the dinner crowd. Right after gathering the leftovers, He sends His disciples ahead of Him in the boat to Bethsaida and then sends the satisfied crowd away. Finally alone, Jesus goes up onto the mountain to pray.

Mark tells us that “when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and He was alone on the land” (verse 47). Checking this out with Google, I found that there were actually two “evening” in the Jewish reckoning of time. The first was the time when the sun began to decline in the sky and the second was when it finally set. We are not sure which evening Mark is referring to in this instance, so we are going to say that it was after 6:00 and before full darkness. Read more »

Mark 6:30-44 They All Were Satisfied

Plenty for everyone with some left over

Plenty for everyone with some left over

Jesus’ disciples have just returned from their first mission trip. They are excited about all they have seen and done. They can’t wait to tell Jesus how successful it was. Jesus wanted to hear all about it too, but not where they were at.

When Jesus sent His disciples out to share His message, even more people were able to hear the gospel. Which in turn caused more people to follow Jesus and His disciples. There were so many people that night, when the disciples got back to Jesus that they couldn’t even eat. Everyone wanted to talk to them or ask them for something. Jesus knew that His disciples were tired and needed a rest.

So Jesus tells His group that they are going to sneak away to an isolated place for some rest and alone time. But the people figured out their destination and rushed ahead and beat them to where they were going. These people were HUNGRY for what Jesus and His disciples had been serving. They wanted more and they were willing to do whatever it took to get it. Read more »

Mark 6:14-29 A Promise Best Broken

Oh SO true!

Oh SO true!

Today we read the story of what happened to John the Baptist. We looked at this same story in Matthew’s account. For a closer look at this story, check out John the Baptist Murdered. Today I want to look at a different angle with Mark’s retelling.

I want to look at the promise Herod made, his reasons for making the promise, his reasons for keeping that promise, and the guilt that resulted from it. I wonder if Herod was famous for making promises. If he did, was he famous for keeping those promises? Our leaders certainly don’t keep their promises. Read more »