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Grace, mercy, and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

In our study of the gospel of Mark we need to keep in mind five elements that influence our comprehension of this gospel. They are:

 

  1. The disciples are part of the problem, not part of the solution;
  2. Of all the disciples Peter is the most problematic;
  3. Jesus is frustrated with the disciples for not understanding;
  4. Jesus is frustrated with the crowd’s focus on miracles and His identity and not what he teaches;
  5. The Pharisees push the ongoing situation with Jesus to the point of apostasy. That is, the abandonment or rejection of what is taught in Deuteronomy particularly, Deuteronomy 6:4-5: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Because of the violation of the Lord’s command the Pharisees test the man, Jesus, based on signs and wonders and not upon the Torah or God’s Law.

 

With these five elements in our hearts, souls, and minds we hear and see Jesus’ only demand of the disciples and the crowds is Biblical wisdom. Not human wisdom based on humanity’s wants and needs, rather, Jesus’ desire is for Biblical wisdom for the sake of God’s creation in humanity.

 

This week we turn to Mark 9:14-29 where we hear the story of a boy who has an unclean spirit that prevents him from speaking and hearing. The boy’s father takes him to Jesus seeking Jesus to cast out the unclean spirit because the disciples were not able to do it. The narrative revolves around Mark 9:24, “I believe; help my unbelief!” In other words, “Lord, I trust you, give me something to trust! Give me your teaching!”

 

Living in a world that is filled with seemingly complete disorder and confusion, a world filled with behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, we may find ourselves like the father crying out for a cornerstone … a firm foundation … a teaching, a person, to trust.

 

In the midst of your own life where do you find yourself crying out like the father in Mark?

 

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tim

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