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Never Hopeless when Jesus is Here

Mark 5:35-36

The little girl was dying, but Jesus delayed His arrival to allow a distressed woman to be healed and sent on her way in peace (Mark 5:21-34).  The girl's father was the respected synagogue ruler in the town and he heard Jesus say to the woman, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34) As these words were ringing into the crowd, Jairus was told: Your daughter is dead ... it's too late ...

Bedside Tutorial

Mark 5:37-40

The little girl had died (Mark 5:35).  The friends of Jairus, the synagogue leader, told him the bad news and that there was no more need to trouble Jesus.  It was too late.  Nothing could be done.  But Jesus took command of the situation.  Having instructed Jairus to stop being frightened (Mark 5:36), it seems that Jesus now led the way to the home where the lifeless body lay.  Jesus selected only three of the disciples, who were later to become the leaders of the church in Jerusalem, to witness what He would do.  It was to be a bedside tutorial of the Christ's power to give new life.

Time to Live Again

Mark 5:41-43

Despite having all the authority of the Godhead in His body (Colossians 2:9), Jesus was amazingly gentle.  Entering the home where the girl was lying without any sign of life, and having dismissed the wailing and mocking women, Jesus went to the girl's body with her parents, and Peter, James and John.  The strong words of command which rebuked evil spirits (Mark 1:23-26) or commanded faith (Mark 2:14), were not necessary as He took the girl by the hand, and new life flowed into her.  Simple words effected a dramatic resurrection.  They were addressed to the girl herself, not to any demonic

Who is Jesus?

Mark 6:1-3

Familiarity does breed contempt.  But that is not normally true for the local-boy-come-good; or the town that glows in the reflected glory of one of its sporting sons.  However, in this passage it is astonishing to see how quickly the narrative moves from 'amazing teaching' to 'offence'.  Why?  Offence is certainly not a natural sequel to amazement.  Something else is going on here.

The Offensive Jesus

Mark 6:4-6

This title does not sound right, somehow.  As believers in Jesus, we believe He is precious.  1 Peter 2:7-8 says, "Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.  But to those who do not believe, 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,' and, 'A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.'  They stumble because they disobey the message".  Jesus did not cause offence because He was good, but because He is God whose purity exposes sin, whose power reveals the limitations of human ability and whose Word must be obeyed.

Travelling with God's Word and Power

Mark 6:6b-7

The ministry of Jesus is often reviewed as a constant round of miracles and nice stories.  Mark says that Christ's core ministry task before the cross was teaching the truth about the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15), and that He was the appointed King (Mark 15:2).  But He did not teach without the disciples being present.  They were not just film-set extras, the production entourage, or even supporting cast.  The disciples were there to learn.  Every miracle and teaching session was strategically directed at them as trainee apostles.  They were Jesus' principal audience (Mark 4:34).

Travelling Light

Mark 6:8-11

Most people like to think ahead and be prepared for the future.  That is wise (Luke 14:28).  But it is foolish to think that our work for God depends on our skilful planning (James 4:13-17).  That would arrogantly put us in control of the future, but the Lord says that is not our responsibility; it is His (Proverbs 20:24).   However well prepared we are, every episode of ministry is a journey into the unknown.  So, we cannot prepare for every eventuality because we do not know what they might be.  God's provision comes in as we go out in faith (Philippians 4:14-19).  It may be nice to think

Called to Repent

Mark 6:12-13

The ethos of every religion, operating outside the gospel, is to add many good deeds to outweigh the bad record of our lives.  Religious piety and rituals, praying, personal discipline and asceticism, charitable actions to help the poor, pilgrimages to sacred places, and giving money … all these are universal characteristics of religion, whatever the belief system.  The principle is to do enough to be accepted by God, and the belief that if we try hard enough we can achieve it.  It is, however, a fool's errand.  Nothing we can do will ever make us acceptable before the true God, whose majes

Troubled Conscience - God's Gift

Mark 6:14-16

Jesus was getting well known, liked, respected and feared. But who was He? The opinions were a 'prophet', Elijah or John the Baptist.

The Mess of Unrepentant Broken Lives

Mark 6:17-20

The fascinating thing about truth, is that it won't go away.  King Herod Antipas had big relationship problems … but let's go back in his story.  It may seem complicated, but as you read this paragraph slowly you may well see parallels in the broken relationships around you.  Firstly, the whole of Herod's family was dysfunctional relationally; more interested in political power than truth and love.  Secondly, Antipas was not really a king because the dominion of his father King Herod the Great had been carved into four areas by the Romans, and Herod Antipas was only the puppet governor of G