Friday Morning: 26 Apr 2019 – Mark 3:1-12 ~ vast numbers of people came to see him

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 3:1-12 (NLT)

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.

Crowds Follow Jesus

Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him.

Jesus instructed his disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush him. He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him. And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, the spirits would throw them to the ground in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!” But Jesus sternly commanded the spirits not to reveal who he was.
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Morning Reflection:

“The news about his miracles had spread far and wide,
and vast numbers of people came to see him.”
– Mark3:8b

The contrast between the two responses to Jesus’ healing ministry is striking. In the first, the religious leaders respond by plotting to kill him. In the second, huge crowds of sick people flock to him for healing.

+ The Religious Leaders: They opposed Jesus because he posed a threat to their power and authority. They could have just ignored him; instead, they plotted to kill him.
+ The Huge Crowds: Sick people flocked to him to receive the physical benefits of his healing ministry. But they don’t seem to have much interest in worshiping him as “Son of God”, or “Son of Man.”

He had healed many people that day,
so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch him.

– Mark 3:10

Questions for consideration:

  • When you think of religious leaders, who comes to mind? Do you think that Jesus would be a threat to their authority? Please explain.
  • What power and authority do you have in your own life? Do you feel threatened by Jesus? Please explain.
  • In reading the Gospels, we frequently run into people who flock to Jesus because of what he can do for them, but have no interest in following him, especially when it becomes costly. Can you identify with them in any way? Please explain.
  • Jesus was amazingly gracious to all who came to him for healing. Have you ever received God’s mercy and grace in your life, in spite of being driven by need rather than devotion? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for world leaders to fight against Christian persecution:

Sovereign Lord: All authority vested in governance comes from you and is accountable to you. Stir the hearts of every world leader to carry out their responsibilities justly and peacefully with special attention to Christians who are defenseless, in need of protection. Give them the wisdom to enact the necessary policies and procedures to make a lasting, global difference. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

My Prayer:

Lord Jesus: Search my heart and forgive my selfish motives in coming to you. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me, that I might relinquish my control and willingly follow your leading, whether I understand it or not. On the other hand, give me wisdom and sound judgement that I might use the resources you have given me to advance your Kingdom purpose – to be a light to the nations and a source of help, healing, and hope. In your name I ask it. Amen.
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“Wonderful Merciful Savior” – Selah

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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