Lessons from Lent: Day Six

24 Feb

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (35 now because you have already accomplished five), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Six

February 24, 2015 ~~ Mark 1-5

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Mark 1

The beginning [of the facts] of the good news (the Gospel) of Jesus Christ, [a]the Son of God. 2 [b]Just as it is written in the prophet Isaiah: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will make ready Your way— A voice of one crying in the wilderness [shouting in the desert], Prepare the way of the Lord, make His [c]beaten tracks straight (level and passable)!

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness (desert), preaching a baptism [[d]obligating] repentance ([e]a change of one’s mind for the better, heartily amending one’s ways, with abhorrence of his past sins) in order [f]to obtain forgiveness of and release from sins. And there kept going out to him [continuously] all the country of Judea and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, [g]as they were confessing their sins.

And John wore clothing woven of camel’s hair and had a leather girdle around his loins and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, After me comes He Who is stronger (more powerful and more valiant) than I, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to stoop down and unloose. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when He came up out of the water, at once he [John] saw the heavens torn open and the [Holy] Spirit like a dove coming down [[h]to enter] [i]into Him. 11 And there came a voice [j]out from within heaven, You are My Beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.

12 Immediately the [Holy] Spirit [from within] drove Him out into the wilderness (desert), 13 And He stayed in the wilderness (desert) forty days, being tempted [all the while] by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered to Him [continually].

14 Now after John was arrested and put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ([k]have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel).

16 And passing along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net [to and fro] in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, Come after Me and [l]be My disciples, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And at once they left their nets and [[m]yielding up all claim to them] followed [with] Him [[n]joining Him as disciples and siding with His party].

19 He went on a little farther and saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were in [their] boat putting their nets in order. 20 And immediately He called out to them, and [[o]abandoning all mutual claims] they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went off after Him [[p]to be His disciples, side with His party, and follow Him].

21 And they entered into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 And they were completely astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching as One Who possessed authority, and not as the scribes.

23 Just at that time there was in their synagogue a man [who was in the power] of an unclean spirit; and now [immediately] he raised a deep and terrible cry from the depths of his throat, saying, 24 What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God! 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hush up (be muzzled, gagged), and come out of him! 26 And the unclean spirit, throwing the man into convulsions and [q]screeching with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all so amazed and [r]almost terrified that they kept questioning and demanding one of another, saying, What is this? What new (fresh) teaching! With authority He gives orders even to the unclean spirits and they obey Him! 28 And immediately rumors concerning Him spread [everywhere] throughout all the region surrounding Galilee.

29 And at once He left the synagogue and went into the house of Simon [Peter] and Andrew, accompanied by James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law [s]had for some time been lying sick with a fever, and at once they told Him about her. 31 And He went up to her and took her by the hand and raised her up; and the fever left her, and she began to wait on them.

32 Now when it was evening, after the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those under the power of demons, 33 Until the whole town was gathered together about the door. 34 And He cured many who were afflicted with various diseases; and He drove out many demons, but would not allow the demons to talk because they knew Him [[t]intuitively].

35 And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a [u]deserted place, and there He prayed. 36 And Simon [Peter] and those who were with him followed Him [[v]pursuing Him eagerly and hunting Him out], 37 And they found Him and said to Him, Everybody is looking for You. 38 And He said to them, Let us be going on into the neighboring country towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out. 39 [So] He went throughout the whole of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

40 And a leper came to Him, begging Him on his knees and saying to Him, If You are willing, You are able to make me clean. 41 And being moved with pity and sympathy, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be made clean! 42 And at once the leprosy [completely] left him and he was made clean [by being healed]. 43 And Jesus charged him sternly (sharply and threateningly, and with earnest admonition) and [acting with deep feeling thrust him forth and] sent him away at once, 44 And said to him, See that you tell nothing [of this] to anyone; but begone, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your purification what Moses commanded, as a proof (an evidence and witness) to the people [that you are really healed].45 But he went out and began to talk so freely about it and blaze abroad the news [spreading it everywhere] that [Jesus] could no longer openly go into a town but was outside in [lonely] desert places. But the people kept on coming to Him from [w]all sides and every quarter.

Mark 2

And Jesus having returned to Capernaum, after some days it was rumored about that He was in the house [probably Peter’s]. And so many people gathered together there that there was no longer room [for them], not even around the door; and He was discussing the Word.

Then they came, bringing a paralytic to Him, who had been picked up and was being carried by four men. And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had [a]scooped out an opening, they let down the [[b]thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay. And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven [you] and put away [that is, the [c]penalty is remitted, the sense of guilt removed, and you are made upright and in right standing with God].

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, holding a dialogue with themselves as they questioned in their hearts, Why does this [d]Man talk like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins [[e]remove guilt, remit the penalty, and bestow righteousness instead] except God alone? And at once Jesus, becoming fully aware in His spirit that they thus debated within themselves, said to them, Why do you argue (debate, reason) about all this in your hearts? Which is easier: to say to the paralyzed man, Your sins are forgiven and [f]put away, or to say, Rise, take up your sleeping pad or mat, and start walking about [and [g]keep on walking]? 10 But that you may know positively and beyond a doubt that the Son of Man has right and authority and power on earth to forgive sins—He said to the paralyzed man, 11 I say to you, arise, pick up and carry your sleeping pad or mat, and be going on home. 12 And he arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad or mat and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and [h] recognized and praised and thanked God, saying, We have never seen anything like this before!

13 [Jesus] went out again along the seashore; and all the multitude kept gathering about Him, and He kept teaching them. 14 And as He was passing by, He saw Levi (Matthew) son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, Follow Me! [Be [i]joined to Me as a disciple, side with My party!] And he arose and joined Him as His disciple and sided with His party and accompanied Him. 15 And as Jesus, together with His disciples, sat at table in his [Levi’s] house, many tax collectors and persons [[j]definitely stained] with sin were dining with Him, for there were many who walked the same road (followed) with Him. 16 And the scribes [belonging to the party] of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with [those [k]definitely known to be especially wicked] sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, Why does He eat and drink with tax collectors and [notorious] sinners? 17 And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, Those who are strong and well have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick; I came not to call the righteous ones to repentance, but sinners (the [l]erring ones and [m]all those not free from sin).

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were observing a fast; and [some people] came and asked Jesus, Why are John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fasting, but Your disciples are not doing so? 19 Jesus answered them, Can the wedding guests fast (abstain from food and drink) while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunken (new) goods on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and the rent (tear) becomes bigger and worse [than it was before]. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the bottles destroyed; but new wine is to be put in new (fresh) wineskins.

23 One Sabbath He was going along beside the fields of standing grain, and as they made their way, His disciples began to [n]pick off the grains. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, Look! Why are they doing what is not permitted or lawful on the Sabbath? 25 And He said to them, Have you never [even] read what David did when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were accompanying him?—26 How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was the high priest, and ate the sacred loaves set forth [before God], which it is not permitted or lawful for any but the priests to eat, and [how he] also gave [them] to those who were with him?

27 And Jesus said to them, The Sabbath was made on account and for the sake of man, not man for the Sabbath; 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.

Mark 3

Again Jesus went into a synagogue, and a man was there who had one withered hand [[a]as the result of accident or disease]. And [the Pharisees] kept watching Jesus [closely] to see whether He would cure him on the Sabbath, so that they might get a charge to bring against Him [[b]formally]. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, Get up [and stand here] in the midst. And He said to them, Is it lawful and right on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to take it? But they kept silence. And He glanced around at them with vexation and anger, grieved at the hardening of their hearts, and said to the man, Hold out your hand. He held it out, and his hand was [completely] restored. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately held a consultation with the Herodians against Him, how they might [devise some means to] put Him to death.

And Jesus retired with His disciples to the lake, and a great throng from Galilee followed Him. Also from Judea And from Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon—a vast multitude, hearing all the many things that He was doing, came to Him. And He told His disciples to have a little boat in [constant] readiness for Him because of the crowd, lest they press hard upon Him and crush Him. 10 For He had healed so many that all who had distressing bodily diseases kept falling upon Him and pressing upon Him in order that they might touch Him.

11 And the spirits, the unclean ones, [c]as often as they might see Him, fell down before Him and kept screaming out, You are the Son of God! 12 And He charged them strictly and severely under penalty again and again that they should not make Him known.

13 And He went up on the hillside and called to Him [[d]for Himself] those whom He wanted and chose, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve to [e]continue to be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach [as apostles or special messengers] 15 And to have authority and power to heal the sick and to drive out demons: 16 [They were] Simon, and He surnamed [him] Peter; 17 James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, and He surnamed them Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder; 18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew (Nathaniel), and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (Judas, not Iscariot), and Simon the Cananaean [also called Zelotes], 19 And Judas Iscariot, he who betrayed Him.

20 Then He went to a house [probably Peter’s], but a throng came together again, so that Jesus and His disciples could not even take food. 21 And when those [f]who belonged to Him ([g]His kinsmen) heard it, they went out to take Him by force, for they kept saying, He is out of [h]His mind (beside Himself, deranged)! 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, He is possessed by Beelzebub, and, By [the help of] the prince of demons He is casting out demons.

23 And He summoned them to Him and said to them in parables (illustrations or comparisons put beside truths to explain them), How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom is divided and rebelling against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided (split into factions and rebelling) against itself, that house will not be able to last. 26 And if Satan has raised an insurrection against himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is [surely] coming to an end.

27 But no one can go into a strong man’s house and ransack his household goods right and left and seize them as plunder unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may [thoroughly] plunder his house. 28 Truly and solemnly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever abusive and blasphemous things they utter; 29 But whoever speaks abusively against or maliciously misrepresents the Holy Spirit can never get forgiveness, but is guilty of and is in the grasp of [i]an everlasting trespass. 30 For they [j]persisted in saying, [k]He has an unclean spirit.

31 Then His mother and His brothers came and, standing outside, they sent word to Him, calling [for] Him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, Your mother and Your brothers and Your sisters are outside asking for You. 33 And He replied, Who are My mother and My brothers? 34 And looking around on those who sat in a circle about Him, He said, See! Here are My mother and My brothers; 35 For whoever does the things God wills is My brother and sister and mother!

Mark 4

Again Jesus began to teach beside the lake. And a very great crowd gathered about Him, so that He got into a ship in order to sit in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was at the lakeside on the shore. And He taught them many things in parables (illustrations or comparisons put beside truths to explain them), and in His teaching He said to them:

Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed [of the same kind] fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil; And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away. Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown. And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let him [a]consider, and comprehend]. 10 And as soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, with the Twelve [apostles], began to ask Him about the parables.

11 And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is, [b]the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [[c]of our circle] everything becomes a parable, 12 In order that they may [indeed] look and look but not see and perceive, and may hear and hear but not grasp and comprehend, [d]lest haply they should turn again, and it [[e]their willful rejection of the truth] should be forgiven them.

13 And He said to them, Do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables?

14 The sower sows the Word. 15 The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them. 16 And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; 17 And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away. 18 And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; 19 Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless. 20 And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.

21 And He said to them, Is the lamp brought in to be put under a [f]peck measure or under a bed, and not [to be put] on the lampstand? 22 [[g]Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation.] For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything [temporarily] kept secret except in order that it may be made known.

23 If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend.

24 And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [h][of thought and study] you give [to [i]the truth you hear] will be the measure [j][of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. 25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away [[k]by force],

26 And He said, The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground, 27 And then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and [l]increases—he knows not how. 28 The earth produces [acting] by itself—first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe and permits, immediately he [m]sends forth [the reapers] and puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready.

30 And He said, With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use to illustrate and explain it?

31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; 32 Yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.

33 With many such parables [Jesus] spoke the Word to them, as they were able to hear and [n]to comprehend and understand. 34 He did not tell them anything without a parable; but privately to His disciples ([o]those who were peculiarly His own) He explained everything [fully].

35 On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake]. 36 And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him. 37 And a furious storm of wind [[p]of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled. 38 But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing? 39 And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased ([q]sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm ([r]a perfect peacefulness). 40 He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no [s]firmly relying trust)?

41 And they were filled with great awe and [t]feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him?

Mark 5

They came to the other side of the sea to the region of the Gerasenes.

And as soon as He got out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man [under the power] of an unclean spirit. This man [a]continually lived among the tombs, and no one could subdue him any more, even with a chain; For he had been bound often with shackles for the feet and [b]handcuffs, but the handcuffs of [light] chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he rubbed and ground together and broke in pieces; and no one had strength enough to restrain or tame him.

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always [c]shrieking and screaming and [d]beating and bruising and [e]cutting himself with stones. And when from a distance he saw Jesus, he ran and fell on his knees before Him in homage, And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? [What is there in common between us?] I [f]solemnly implore you by God, do not begin to torment me!

For Jesus was commanding, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! And He asked him, What is your name? He replied, My name is Legion, for we are many. 10 And he kept begging Him urgently not to send them [himself and the other demons] away out of that region. 11 Now a great herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside. 12 And the demons begged Him, saying, Send us to the hogs, that we may go into them! 13 So He gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered into the hogs; and the herd, numbering about 2,000, rushed headlong down the steep slope into the sea and were drowned in the sea. 14 The hog feeders ran away, and told [it] in the town and in the country. And [the people] came to see what it was that had taken place.

15 And they came to Jesus and looked intently and searchingly at the man who had been a demoniac, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, [the same man] who had had the legion [of demons]; and they were [g]seized with alarm and struck with fear. 16 And those who had seen it related in full what had happened to the man possessed by demons and to the hogs. 17 And they began to beg [Jesus] to leave their neighborhood.18 And when He had stepped into the boat, the man who had been controlled by the unclean spirits kept begging Him that he might be with Him.19 But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own [family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you.

20 And he departed and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis [the region of the ten cities] how much Jesus had done for him, and all the people were astonished and marveled.

21 And when Jesus had recrossed in the boat to the other side, a great throng gathered about Him, and He was at the lakeshore. 22 Then one of the rulers of the synagogue came up, Jairus by name; and seeing Him, he prostrated himself at His feet23 And begged Him earnestly, saying, My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, so that she may be healed and live.24 And Jesus went with him; and a great crowd kept following Him and pressed Him [h]from all sides [so as almost to suffocate Him].

25 And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,26 And who had endured much [i]suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.

27 She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, 28 For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. 29 And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [[j]suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [[k]distressing] ailment. 30 And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?

31 And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You [l]from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me? 32 Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your [m]trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in [n](into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [[o]distressing bodily] disease.

35 While He was still speaking, there came some from the ruler’s house, who said [to Jairus], Your daughter has died. Why bother and distress the Teacher any further? 36 [p]Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing. 37 And He permitted no one to accompany Him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 When they arrived at the house of the ruler of the synagogue, He [q]looked [carefully and with understanding] at [the] tumult and the people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when He had gone in, He said to them, Why do you make an uproar and weep? The little girl is not dead but is sleeping. 40 And they laughed and [r]jeered at Him. But He put them all out, and, taking the child’s father and mother and those who were with Him, He went in where the little girl was lying. 41 Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi—which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise [[s]from the sleep of death]! 42 And instantly the girl got up and started walking around—for she was twelve years old. And they were utterly astonished and overcome with amazement. 43 And He strictly commanded and warned them that no one should know this, and He [[t]expressly] told them to give her [something] to eat.

And the Women of God unite to sound the “Amen”

#lessonsfromlent

The truth of these passages today is nearly overwhelming and to choose just one to focus on is almost asking too much! I’d love to draw attention to Mark 5:34 and point out that the work of Christ Jesus cannot be undone and the healing is more than a simple alleviation of the symptoms of the illness . . . we are FREED from the captivity of the disease.

I’d also like to dig into the why of the placement of this account.  Why did Jesus call forth the woman–nameless in the crowd–to reveal herself when He’s been telling so many others to keep their restoration quiet, right in the middle of the temple leader, Jarius, asking Christ to heal his daughter and the announcement she had died. Might this woman, unnamed, unimportant, one of the masses have been the one to encourage him to believe no matter his position or the despair of his circumstance?

And if we had time we could look at the reaction of the disciples when Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4:41 and we could ask ourselves when is the last time I reacted to the activity of Jesus in my life with awe? When is the last time He quieted a storm for me and I was left asking “Who is this Man?” and why does He love me so?

Or we could giggle together over the family of Jesus coming after Him because from their perspective “He is out of His mind” and we could draw the comparison to our own lives because we know that living full out for Jesus can look strange even to those close to us. And is it any wonder that it might look strange from the outside because we see in Mark 1:24-26 that sin will not go down without some yelling and screaming and the ruckus of a restored life makes tongues wag!

Yes, if we had time we could look at all of that and enjoy the fresh revelations God has poured out on us. But since space does not permit it, she wrote with a small smile, we’ll limit ourselves to the life on the “other side.”

They came to the other side of the sea to the region of the Gerasenes. And as soon as He got out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man [under the power] of an unclean spirit. This man [a]continually lived among the tombs, and no one could subdue him any more, even with a chain; For he had been bound often with shackles for the feet and [b]handcuffs, but the handcuffs of [light] chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he rubbed and ground together and broke in pieces; and no one had strength enough to restrain or tame him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always [c]shrieking and screaming and [d]beating and bruising and [e]cutting himself with stones. And when from a distance he saw Jesus, he ran and fell on his knees before Him in homage, And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have You to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? [What is there in common between us?] I [f]solemnly implore you by God, do not begin to torment me! For Jesus was commanding, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! And He asked him, What is your name? He replied, My name is Legion, for we are many. 10 And he kept begging Him urgently not to send them [himself and the other demons] away out of that region. 11 Now a great herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside. 12 And the demons begged Him, saying, Send us to the hogs, that we may go into them! 13 So He gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered into the hogs; and the herd, numbering about 2,000, rushed headlong down the steep slope into the sea and were drowned in the sea. 14 The hog feeders ran away, and told [it] in the town and in the country. And [the people] came to see what it was that had taken place. 15 And they came to Jesus and looked intently and searchingly at the man who had been a demoniac, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, [the same man] who had had the legion [of demons]; and they were [g]seized with alarm and struck with fear. 16 And those who had seen it related in full what had happened to the man possessed by demons and to the hogs. 17 And they began to beg [Jesus] to leave their neighborhood. 18 And when He had stepped into the boat, the man who had been controlled by the unclean spirits kept begging Him that he might be with Him. 19 But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own [family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you. 20 And he departed and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis [the region of the ten cities] how much Jesus had done for him, and all the people were astonished and marveled.

Really gaze into the face of the man on “the other side” and see the way Satan has driven him to isolation. How the enemy separated him from any love or comfort he may have received and caused him to dwell in the tombs where there were no signs of life and death reigned.

  • They came to the other side of the sea to the region of the Gerasenes. And as soon as He got out of the boat, there met Him out of the tombs a man [under the power] of an unclean spirit. This man [a]continually lived among the tombs, and no one could subdue him any more, even with a chain;

Now ask yourself if you were not driven to isolation and dwelling in the tombs of death before Christ arrived? And might it be that when we’re hurt or offended we’re tempted to return to some variation of that isolation? Might it be that rather than seek comfort we return to the tombs?

  • The enemy is all about pushing us into isolation and separating us from any comfort we might receive. Don’t let him do it Girlfriend!

And don’t you find it ironic that the bondage the man was experiencing on the inside took the form of shackled feet and cuffed hands on the outside? And that no matter how they tried, no one could help, no one was strong enough to tame him?

For he had been bound often with shackles for the feet and [b]handcuffs, but the handcuffs of [light] chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he rubbed and ground together and broke in pieces; and no one had strength enough to restrain or tame him.

Does it not strike you that we wear our bondage the same way? Rather we want to or not, those shackles make themselves known to everyone around us and those cuffs, no matter how we try to hide them are visible for all the world to see. And no matter how many may try, they simply aren’t strong enough to help us

  • The enemy would love nothing more than to convince you that this time the shackles on your feet and the cuffs on your hand are beyond anyone . . . no one can tame it. Don’t you listen to him Sister!

It surely seemed that the man on the other side was hopeless, left to be tormented by the shrieking and the screaming night and day. Beaten and bruised and suffering self-inflicted wounds—and then . . . Jesus.

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always [c]shrieking and screaming and [d]beating and bruising and [e]cutting himself with stones. And when from a distance he saw Jesus, he ran and fell on his knees before Him . .

Oh Sweet One, is not the same for you and I? Have we not resided on the other side and heard the condemnation of our own hearts shriek and scream of our inadequacies and our imperfections? And then . . . Jesus.

Have we not encountered strongholds we believed would keep us from ever being freed from the shackles and cuffs that held us? Have we not wondered who is strong enough to tame it? And then . . .Jesus.

Have not each one of us found ourselves beaten and bruised on the other side? Have we not suffered the pain of self-inflicted wounds and thought there is no hope? And then . . . Jesus.

We see Him in the distance, fall to our knees and are rescued. Death is defeated by the One who is Life. Isolation is replaced by the embrace of Grace. Bondage is broken by the Freedom Giver and by His stripes our wounds are healed–even the self-inflicted ones.  Praise His Name Beloved that He traveled to the other side for us and we can utter those three beautiful words—And then . . .Jesus.

creation swap lessons fromlent 22124_Winter_Streaks

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