Tuesday Morning: 30 Apr 2019 – Mark 4:21-41 ~ Kingdom Revelations and Authority

Tuesday Morning

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

Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 4:21-41 (NLT)

Parable of the Lamp

Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”

Parable of the Growing Seed

Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Jesus Calms the Storm

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
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Morning Reflection:

“Pay close attention to what you hear.
The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given
—and you will receive even more.” – Mark 4:24

 So what are we to make of Jesus’ Kingdom revelations?

+ The Lamp: The kingdom of God, as embodied in Jesus’ Person and ministry, was now a veiled revelation to those without, but He intended that later it should receive a glorious manifestation through the ministry of His followers.
+ The Growing Seed: Growth of the believing community would increase, though no one could really explain why it was growing except that God was responsible for it. Eventually there would be a harvest of the crop when God, the ultimate sower, saw that the time was right.
+ The Mustard Seed: When Jesus came declaring that the Kingdom of God was at hand, He planted the seed. That beginning was very inauspicious. Nevertheless, Jesus assures the disciples that the Kingdom of God would one day be impressively large.
+ The Storm: Jesus demonstrates his Kingdom power over nature. He is Lord over all of creation. Faith overcomes fear.

Questions for consideration: Re-read these Kingdom stories and ask the Holy Spirit to apply them to your personal circumstances.

  • Which one of these stories do you find most encouraging? Please explain.
  • Can you think of examples of how one or more of these stories have played out in your memory? Please explain.
  • In your present situation, where do you need Jesus to exercise his authority over creation? What storm do you need Jesus to calm? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for those who are doing the persecuting:

Merciful God: Open the eyes and soften the hearts of the people who have brought unfathomable suffering and abuse upon Christians, especially those who have perpetrated the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka. Remind us again that you sent your Son to save the whole world, and that you don’t want anyone – even these people – to perish.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

My prayer:

Lord Jesus: Give me eyes to see and ears to hear – that I might understand the workings of your Kingdom all around me. May I value the slow and steady growth produced by faithfulness to your Word. Show me the potential of small beginnings and give me the faith and vision to discern what they can become. And when I am afraid, still the storms raging within me that I might persevere in faith, hope, and love. All to the glory of your name, and the advance of your Kingdom. Amen.
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“Kingdom Come” – Darlene Zschech

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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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