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The Training Strategy

Mark 3:13-15

There is a time to pull back from work and ministry - to be with Jesus.

The Unpromising Team Included a Traitor

Mark 3:16-19

When Jesus chooses people, He does not make mistakes. But what new global company would have chosen this group of men?  Fishermen without high school education, a corrupt civil servant, a religious bigot and the betrayer-in-waiting.  Jesus did not call them - or indeed you - because of the skills they could offer to His business.

The Family Cannot Understand

Mark 3:20-21

Was Jesus going mad?  Stories got back to Nazareth, and Jesus' family, out of concern for Him, came to bring Him back into the protection of their home.  They had heard that demons called Him the Messiah (Mark 1:24), and He preached as if He was the Messiah (Mark 1:38-39).  Huge crowds followed Him everywhere (Mark 3:7-9).  Neither Jesus nor His disciples had time for the usual extended meal times which were part of normal society.  So, His mother and half-siblings (Mark 6:1-6) wrongly thought He was mentally unwell.

The Lie that Jesus is Spiritual but Not Divine

Mark 3:22

Who is Jesus?  That is the question at the centre of Mark's Gospel, which is answered at the apex of the Gospel in Mark 8:27-29 - "You are the Messiah".  John's Gospel has the same objective, "Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30-31).     It is the question which the Gospels still pose to all who will take the trouble to read them.  

Truth Has Inescapable Logic

Mark 3:23-27

Although you cannot argue a spiritually blind person into seeing the light, you can use reasoned arguments to explain the weakness of a false position.  The essence of truth is that it all stacks up and makes sense from whatever angle you view it.  The hallmark of error is that inconsistency is exposed under cross-examination.  

Unforgivable Sin

Mark 3:28-30

These verses are a puzzle, even a cause for anxiety, to some Christians.  As we get to know more of Christ we realise how far short we fall from His glorious standard (Romans 3:23).  Our tendency to fall into sin alarms us, and our difficulty in detaching ourselves from particular sins distresses us (Romans 7:21-23).  This increasing sense of unworthiness has led many believers to wonder if they have committed the unforgivable sin.  It is an important question which needs a confident answer.  

Who has Authority in Jesus' Family?

Mark 3:31-35

Families are very important to God. The Bible says that every family derives its special qualities from Father God Himself (Ephesians 3:15).  So, when Jesus apparently ignores His mother and brothers, what is going on?  Is He disobeying the 5th Commandment?  In one sense, parental honour has to do with their authority being "in loco Deo" (in place of God) ...

Words Define Pictures

Mark 4:1-2

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Many possible interpretations can be invented to describe a scene.  Although the artist has constructed the image, it is the viewers who are in control of the meaning to them … through previous experiences and associations.  Many people think like that about faith.  They like to be able to construe mystical images and rituals in their own way so that they 'own' or feel comfortable with a philosophy which suits themselves.  Many take that route to avoid submitting to the Saviour, not caring that they will have no defence against God's wra

Satan Hates Seeds of Truth

Mark 4:3-4 & 14-15

As we start the 'parable of the Sower' (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus' first word is for us, "Listen!" (Mark 7:14).  How often do we skim-read the Bible, perhaps because we assume that God has nothing more to say to us than we already know?  Speed-reading is useless when it comes to understanding the Bible.  So, just for a moment, slow down and let each of the words come alive.  Pay full attention to get a clear understanding!  

Mixed Up Hearts - Soft and Hard

Mark 4:5-6 & 16-17

As Jesus continued the parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20), the different 'soil types' represent the hardness or softness of people's hearts and their willingness to receive the gospel.  The first soil type was the downtrodden path where the seed lies on the surface and is snatched away by Satan (Mark 4:15).  The rocky places are next.  These people have some fertile soil, perhaps blown over boulders or stone to give the impression of ground in which seed might flourish.  And initially it does.  However there is little depth or residual water in the soil to nourish the roots and the seedling