An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (34 now because you have already accomplished six), 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.
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!
February 25, 2015 ~~ Mark 6-11
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.
Jesus went away from there and came to His [own] country and hometown [Nazareth], and His disciples followed [with] Him.
2 And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue; and many who listened to Him were utterly astonished, saying, Where did this [a]Man acquire all this? What is the wisdom [the broad and full intelligence which has been] given to Him? What mighty works and exhibitions of power are wrought by His hands! 3 Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here among us? And they took offense at Him and [b]were hurt [that is, they [c]disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority] and they were caused to stumble and fall. 4 But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor (deference, reverence) except in his [own] country and among [his] relatives and in his [own] house. 5 And He was not able to do [d]even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them.
6 And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him). And He went about among the surrounding villages and continued teaching.
7 And He called to Him the Twelve [apostles] and began to send them out [as His ambassadors] two by two and gave them authority and power over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no bread, [e]no wallet for a collection bag, no money in their belts (girdles, purses)—9 But to go with sandals on their feet and not to put on two tunics (undergarments). 10 And He told them, Wherever you go into a house, stay there until you leave that place. 11 And if any community will not receive and accept and welcome you, and they refuse to listen to you, when you depart, shake off the dust that is on your feet, for a testimony against them. [f]Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the judgment day than for that town.
12 So they went out and preached that men should repent [[g]that they should change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins]. 13 And they drove out many unclean spirits and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
14 King Herod heard of it, for [Jesus’] name had become well known. [h]He and they [of his court] said, John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why these mighty powers [[i]of performing miracles] are at work in Him. 15 [But] others kept saying, It is Elijah! And others said, It is a prophet, like one of the prophets [of old]. 16 But when Herod heard [of it], he said, [[j]This very] John, whom I beheaded, has been raised [from the dead]. 17 For [this] Herod himself had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he [Herod] had married her. 18 For John had told Herod, It is not lawful and you have no right to have your brother’s wife. 19 And Herodias was angry (enraged) with him and held a grudge against him and wanted to kill him; but she could not, 20 For Herod had [[k]a reverential] fear of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and [continually] kept him safe [[l]under guard]. When he heard [John speak], he was much perplexed; and [yet] he heard him gladly. 21 But an opportune time came [for Herodias] when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and the high military commanders and chief men of Galilee. 22 For when the daughter [m]of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased and [n]fascinated Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, Ask me for whatever you desire, and I will give it to you. 23 And he put himself under oath to her, Whatever you ask me, I will give it to you, even to the half of my kingdom. 24 Then she left the room and said to her mother, What shall I ask for [myself]? And she replied, The head of John the Baptist! 25 And she rushed back instantly to the king and requested, saying, I wish you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter. 26 And the king was deeply pained and grieved and exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests, he did not want to slight her [by breaking faith with her]. 27 And immediately the king sent off one [of the soldiers] of his bodyguard and gave him orders to bring [John’s] head. He went and beheaded him in the prison 28 And brought his head on a platter and handed it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples learned of it, they came and took [John’s] body and laid it in a tomb.
30 The apostles [sent out as missionaries] came back and gathered together to Jesus, and told Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, [[o]As for you] come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and rest a while—for many were [continually] coming and going, and they had not even leisure enough to eat. 32 And they went away in a boat to a solitary place by themselves.
33 Now many [people] saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the surrounding towns, and they got there ahead [of those in the boat]. 34 As Jesus landed, He saw a great crowd waiting, and He was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. 35 And when [p]the day was already far gone, His disciples came to Him and said, This is a desolate and isolated place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send the crowds away to go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat. 37 But He replied to them, Give them something to eat yourselves. And they said to Him, Shall we go and buy 200 [q]denarii [about forty dollars] worth of bread and give it to them to eat? 38 And He said to them, How many loaves do you have? Go and see. And when they [had looked and] knew, they said, Five [loaves] and two fish.
39 Then He commanded the people all to recline on the green grass by companies. 40 So they threw themselves down in ranks of hundreds and fifties [with the [r]regularity of an arrangement of beds of herbs, looking [s]like so many garden plots]. 41 And taking the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to heaven and, praising God, gave thanks and broke the loaves and kept on giving them to the disciples to set before the people; and He [also] divided the two fish among [them] all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve [[t]small hand] baskets full of broken pieces [from the loaves] and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were 5,000 men.
45 And at once He insisted that the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He was sending the throng away. 46 And after He had taken leave of them, He went off into the hills to pray. 47 Now when evening had come, the boat was out in the middle of the lake, and He was by Himself on the land. 48 And having seen that they were troubled and tormented in [their] rowing, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night [between 3:00-6:00 a.m.] He came to them, walking [directly] on the sea. And He acted as if He meant to pass by them, 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and [u]raised a [deep, throaty] shriek of terror. 50 For they all saw Him and were agitated (troubled and filled with fear and dread). But immediately He talked with them and said, Take heart! I Am! Stop being alarmed and afraid. 51 And He went up into the boat with them, and the wind ceased ([v]sank to rest as if exhausted by its own beating). And they were astonished exceedingly [beyond measure], 52 For they failed to consider or understand [the teaching and meaning of the miracle of] the loaves; [in fact] their hearts had [w]grown callous [had become dull and had [x]lost the power of understanding].
53 And when they had crossed over, they reached the land of Gennesaret and [y]came to [anchor at] the shore. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, [the people] recognized Him, 55 And they ran about the whole countryside, and began to carry around sick people on their sleeping pads or mats to any place where they heard that He was.
56 And wherever He came into villages or cities or the country, they would lay the sick in the marketplaces and beg Him that they might touch even the fringe of His outer garment, and as many as touched Him were restored to health.
Now there gathered together to [Jesus] the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 For they had seen that some of His disciples ate with [a]common hands, that is, unwashed [with hands defiled and unhallowed, because they had not given them a [b]ceremonial washing]— 3 For the Pharisees and all of the Jews do not eat unless [merely for ceremonial reasons] they wash their hands [diligently [c]up to the elbow] with clenched fist, adhering [carefully and faithfully] to the tradition of [practices and customs handed down to them by] their forefathers [to be observed]. 4 And [when they come] from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions [oral, man-made laws handed down to them, which they observe faithfully and diligently, such as], the washing of cups and wooden pitchers and widemouthed jugs and utensils of copper and [d]beds— 5 And the Pharisees and scribes kept asking [Jesus], Why do Your disciples not order their way of living according to the tradition handed down by the forefathers [to be observed], but eat with hands unwashed and ceremonially not purified?
6 But He said to them, Excellently and truly [[e]so that there will be no room for blame] did Isaiah prophesy of you, the pretenders and hypocrites, as it stands written: These people [constantly] honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far distant from Me. 7 In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men. 8 You disregard and give up and ask to depart from you the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men [keeping it carefully and faithfully]. 9 And He said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting [thus thwarting and nullifying and doing away with] the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (your own human regulations)! 10 For Moses said, Honor (revere with tenderness of feeling and deference) your father and your mother, and, He who curses or reviles or speaks evil of or abuses or treats improperly his father or mother, let him surely die. 11 But [as for you] you say, A man is exempt if he tells [his] father or [his] mother, What you would otherwise have gained from me [everything I have that would have been of use to you] is Corban, that is, is a gift [already given as an offering to God], 12 Then you no longer are permitting him to do anything for [his] father or mother [but are letting him off from helping them]. 13 Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing.
14 And He called the people to [Him] again and said to them, Listen to Me, all of you, and understand [what I say]. 15 There is not [even] one thing outside a man which by going into him can pollute and defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him and make him unhallowed and unclean. 16 [f]If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening [and let him [g]perceive and comprehend by hearing]. 17 And when He had left the crowd and had gone into the house, His disciples began asking Him about the parable.
18 And He said to them, Then are you also unintelligent and dull and without understanding? Do you not discern and see that whatever goes into a man from the outside cannot make him unhallowed or unclean, 19 Since it does not reach and enter his heart but [only his] digestive tract, and so passes on [into the place designed to receive waste]? Thus He was making and declaring all foods [ceremonially] clean [that is, [h]abolishing the ceremonial distinctions of the Levitical Law]. 20 And He said, What comes out of a man is what makes a man unclean and renders [him] unhallowed. 21 For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, 22 Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; [i]unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride ([j]the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness). 23 All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.
24 And Jesus arose and went away from there to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He went into a house and did not want anyone to know [that He was there]; but it was not possible for Him to be hidden [from public notice]. 25 Instead, at once, a woman whose little daughter had (was under the control of) an unclean spirit heard about Him and came and flung herself down at His feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek (Gentile), a Syrophoenician by nationality. And she kept begging Him to drive the demon out of her little daughter. 27 And He said to her, First let the children be fed, for it is not becoming or proper or right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the [little house] dogs. 28 But she answered Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the small pups under the table eat the little children’s scraps of food. 29 And He said to her, Because of this saying, you may go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter [permanently]. 30 And she went home and found the child thrown on the couch, and the demon departed.
31 Soon after this, Jesus, coming back from the region of Tyre, passed through Sidon on to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of Decapolis [the ten cities]. 32 And they brought to Him a man who was deaf and had difficulty in speaking, and they begged Jesus to place His hand upon him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd [privately], He thrust His fingers into the man’s ears and spat and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, He sighed as He said, Ephphatha, which means, Be opened! 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak distinctly and as he should. 36 And Jesus [[k]in His own interest] admonished and ordered them sternly and expressly to tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were overwhelmingly astonished, saying, He has done everything excellently (commendably and nobly)! He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak!
In those days when [again] an immense crowd had gathered and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and told them, 2 I have pity and sympathy for the people and My heart goes out to them, for they have been with Me now three days and have nothing [left] to eat; 3 And if I send them away to their homes hungry, they will be feeble through exhaustion and faint along the road; and some of them have come a long way. 4 And His disciples replied to Him, How can anyone fill and satisfy [these people] with loaves of bread here in [this] desolate and uninhabited region? 5 And He asked them, How many loaves have you? They said, Seven. 6 And He commanded the multitude to recline upon the ground, and He [then] took the seven loaves [of bread] and, having given thanks, He broke them and kept on giving them to His disciples to put before [the people], and they placed them before the crowd.
7 And they had a few small fish; and when He had [a]praised God and given thanks and asked Him to bless them [to their use], He ordered that these also should be set before [them]. 8 And they ate and were satisfied; and they took up seven [[b]large provision] baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 9 And there were about 4,000 people. And He dismissed them,
10 And at once He got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha (or Magdala). 11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with and question Him, demanding from Him a sign (an attesting miracle from heaven) [maliciously] to test Him. 12 And He groaned and sighed deeply in His spirit and said, Why does this generation demand a sign? Positively I say to you, no sign shall be given this generation. 13 And He went away and left them and, getting into the boat again, He departed to the other side.
14 Now they had [[c]completely] forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 And Jesus [repeatedly and expressly] charged and admonished them, saying, Look out; keep on your guard and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod [d]and the Herodians. 16 And they discussed it and reasoned with one another, It is because we have no bread. 17 And being aware [of it], Jesus said to them, Why are you reasoning and saying it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet discern or understand? Are your hearts in [a settled state of] hardness? 18 Having eyes, do you not see [with them], and having ears, do you not hear and perceive and understand the sense of what is said? And do you not remember?
19 When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many [[e]small hand] baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? They said to Him, Twelve. 20 And [when I broke] the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many [[f]large provision] baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? And they said to Him, Seven. 21 And He [g]kept repeating, Do you not yet understand?
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And [people] brought to Him a blind man and begged Him to touch him. 23 And He [h]caught the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands upon him, He asked him, Do you [[i]possibly] see anything? 24 And he looked up and said, I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking. 25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again; and the man looked intently [that is, fixed his eyes on definite objects], and he was restored and saw everything distinctly [even what was [j]at a distance]. 26 And He sent him away to his house, telling [him], Do not [even] enter the village [k]or tell anyone there.
27 And Jesus went on with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, Who do people say that I am? 28 And they answered [Him], John the Baptist; and others [say], Elijah; but others, one of the prophets. 29 And He asked them, But who do you yourselves say that I am? Peter replied to Him, You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 30 And He charged them sharply to tell no one about Him.
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must of necessity suffer many things and be tested and disapproved and rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and after three days rise again [[l]from death]. 32 And He said this freely (frankly, plainly, and explicitly, making it unmistakable). And Peter took Him [m]by the hand and led Him aside and then [facing Him] began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around [His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have a mind [n]intent on promoting what God wills, but what pleases men [you are not on God’s side, but that of men].
34 And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and [o]lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [[p]joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow [q]with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me]. 35 For whoever wants to save his [[r]higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the [s]lower, natural, temporal life [t]which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his [u]higher, spiritual life [v]in the eternal kingdom of God].
36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [[w]in the eternal kingdom of God]?37 For what can a man give as an exchange ([x]a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [[y]in the eternal kingdom of God]?
38 For whoever [z]is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous (unfaithful) and [preeminently] sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory (splendor and majesty) of His Father with the holy angels.
And Jesus said to them, Truly and solemnly I say to you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste death before they see the kingdom of God come in [its] power.
2 Six days after this, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves. And He was transfigured before them and became resplendent with divine brightness. 3 And His garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller (cloth dresser, launderer) on earth could bleach them. 4 And Elijah appeared [there] to them, accompanied by Moses, and they were [a]holding [a protracted] conversation with Jesus.
5 And [b]Peter took up the conversation, saying, Master, it is good and suitable and beautiful for us to be here. Let us make three booths (tents)—one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah. 6 For he did not [really] know what to say, for they were in a violent fright ([c]aghast with dread). 7 And a cloud threw a shadow upon them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the [[d]most dearworthy] Beloved One. Be [e]constantly listening to and obeying Him! 8 And looking around, they suddenly no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus only.
9 And as they were coming back down the mountain, He admonished and [f]expressly ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man should rise from among the dead. 10 So they carefully and faithfully kept the matter to themselves, questioning and disputing with one another about what rising from among the dead meant.
11 And they asked Him, Why do the scribes say that it is necessary for Elijah to come first? 12 And He said to them, Elijah, it is true, does come first to restore all things and [g]set them to rights. And how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be utterly despised and be treated with contempt and rejected? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and [people] did to him whatever they desired, as it is written of him.
14 And when they came to the [nine] disciples, they saw a great crowd around them and scribes questioning and disputing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Jesus [[h]returning from the holy mount, His face and person yet glistening], they were greatly amazed and ran up to Him [and] greeted Him. 16 And He asked them, About what are you questioning and discussing with them? 17 And one of the throng replied to Him, Teacher, I brought my son to You, for he has a dumb spirit. 18 And wherever it lays hold of him [so as to make him its own], it dashes him down and convulses him, and he foams [at the mouth] and grinds his teeth, and he [[i]falls into a motionless stupor and] is wasting away. And I asked Your disciples to drive it out, and they were not able [to do it]. 19 And He answered them, O unbelieving generation [without any faith]! How long [j]shall I [have to do] with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to Me. 20 So they brought [the boy] to Him, and when the spirit saw Him, at once it completely convulsed the boy, and he fell to the ground and kept rolling about, foaming [at the mouth]. 21 And [Jesus] asked his father, How long has he had this? And he answered, From the time he was a little boy. 22 And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us. 23 And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes! 24 At once the father of the boy gave [an [k]eager, [l]piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my [m]weakness of faith!
25 But when Jesus noticed that a crowd [of people] came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you to come out of him and never go into him again. 26 And after giving a [hoarse, clamoring, fear-stricken] shriek of anguish and convulsing him terribly, it came out; and the boy lay [pale and motionless] like a corpse, so that many of them said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took [[n]a strong grip of] his hand and began lifting him up, and he stood.
28 And when He had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, Why could not we drive it out? 29 And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer [o]and fasting.
30 They went on from there and passed along through Galilee. And He did not wish to have anyone know it, 31 For He was [engaged for the time being in] teaching His disciples. He said to them, The Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of men, and they will put Him to death; and when He has been killed, after three days He will rise [[p]from death]. 32 But they did not comprehend what He was saying, and they were afraid to ask Him [what this statement meant].
33 And they arrived at Capernaum; and when [they were] in the house, He asked them, What were you discussing and arguing about on the road? 34 But they kept still, for on the road they had discussed and disputed with one another as to who was the greatest. 35 And He sat down and called the Twelve [apostles], and He said to them, If anyone desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all. 36 And He took a little child and put him in the center of their group; and taking him in [His] arms, He said to them, 37 Whoever in My name and for My sake accepts and receives and welcomes one such child also accepts and receives and welcomes Me; and whoever so receives Me receives not only Me but Him Who sent Me.
38 John said to Him, Teacher, we saw a man who does not follow along with us driving out demons in Your name, and we forbade him to do it, because he [q]is not one of our band [of Your disciples]. 39 But Jesus said, Do not restrain or hinder or forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is for us.
41 For I tell you truly, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to and bear the name of Christ will by no means fail to get his reward. 42 And whoever causes one of these little ones (these believers) who [r]acknowledge and cleave to Me to stumble and sin, it would be better (more profitable and wholesome) for him if a [huge] millstone were hung about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
43 And if your hand puts a stumbling block before you and causes you to sin, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to go into life [[s]that is really worthwhile] maimed than with two hands to go to hell (Gehenna), into the fire that cannot be put out.[t] 45 And if your foot is a cause of stumbling and sin to you, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter into life [that is really worthwhile] crippled than, having two feet, to be cast into hell (Gehenna)[u]. 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell (Gehenna), 48 Where their worm [[v]which preys on the inhabitants and is a symbol of the wounds inflicted on the man himself by his sins] does not die, and the fire is not put out. 49 For everyone shall be salted with fire.
50 Salt is good (beneficial), but if salt has lost its saltness, how will you restore [the saltness to] it? Have salt within yourselves, and be at peace and live in harmony with one another.
And [Jesus] left there [Capernaum] and went to the region of Judea and beyond [east of] the Jordan; and crowds [constantly] gathered around Him again, and as was His custom, He began to teach them again.
2 And some Pharisees came up, and, in order to test Him and try to find a weakness in Him, asked, Is it lawful for a man to [a]dismiss and repudiate and divorce his wife? 3 He answered them, What did Moses command you? 4 They replied, Moses allowed a man to write a bill of divorce and to put her away. 5 But Jesus said to them, Because of your hardness of heart [[b]your condition of insensibility to the call of God] he wrote you this [c]precept in your Law.
6 But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave [behind] his father and his mother [d]and be [e]joined to his wife and cleave closely to her permanently, 8 And the two shall become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has united (joined together), let not man separate or divide.
10 And indoors the disciples questioned Him again about this subject. 11 And He said to them, Whoever [f]dismisses (repudiates and divorces) his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12 And if a woman dismisses (repudiates and divorces) her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.
13 And they kept bringing young children to Him that He might touch them, and the disciples were reproving them [for it]. 14 But when Jesus saw [it], He was indignant and [g]pained and said to them, Allow the children to come to Me—do not forbid or prevent or hinder them—for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all. 16 And He took them [the children up [h]one by one] in His arms and [[i]fervently invoked a] blessing, placing His hands upon them.
17 And as He was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, Teacher, [You are [j]essentially and perfectly [k]morally] good, what must I do to inherit eternal life [that is, [l]to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]? 18 And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me [[m]essentially and perfectly [n]morally] good? There is no one [[o]essentially and perfectly [p]morally] good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother. 20 And he replied to Him, Teacher, I have carefully guarded and observed all these and taken care not to violate them from my boyhood. 21 And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him, and He said to him, You lack one thing; go and sell all you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come [and] accompany Me [[q]walking the same road that I walk]. 22 At that saying the man’s countenance fell and was gloomy, and he went away grieved and sorrowing, for he was holding great possessions. 23 And Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, With what difficulty will those who possess wealth and [r]keep on holding it enter the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were amazed and bewildered and perplexed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, Children, how hard it is [s]for those who trust (place their confidence, their sense of safety) in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. 26 And they were shocked and exceedingly astonished, and said to Him and [t]to one another, Then who can be saved? 27 Jesus glanced around at them and said, With men [it is] impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God. 28 Peter started to say to Him, Behold, we have [u]yielded up and abandoned everything [once and for all and [v]joined You as Your disciples, siding with Your party] and accompanied You [[w]walking the same road that You walk]. 29 Jesus said, Truly I tell you, there is no one who has given up and left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for My sake and for the Gospel’s 30 Who will not receive a hundred times as much now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many [who are now] first will be last [then], and many [who are now] last will be first [then].
32 They were on the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on in front of them; and they were bewildered and perplexed and greatly astonished, and those [who were still] following were seized with alarm and were afraid. And He took the Twelve [apostles] again and began to tell them what was about to happen to Him, 33 [Saying], Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be turned over to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn and sentence Him to death and turn Him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and whip Him and put Him to death; but after three days He will rise again [[x]from death].
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Him and said to Him, Teacher, we desire You to do for us whatever we ask of You. 36 And He replied to them, What do you desire Me to do for you? 37 And they said to Him, Grant that we may sit, one at Your right hand and one at [Your] left hand, in Your glory (Your majesty and splendor). 38 But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism [of affliction] with which I am baptized? 39 And they replied to Him, We are able. And Jesus told them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized, 40 But to sit at My right hand or at My left hand is not Mine to give; but [it will be given to those] for whom it is ordained and prepared. 41 And when the other ten [apostles] heard it, they began to be indignant with James and John.
42 But Jesus called them to [Him] and said to them, You know that those who are recognized as governing and are supposed to rule the Gentiles (the nations) lord it over them [ruling with absolute power, holding them in subjection], and their great men exercise authority and dominion over them. 43 But this is not to be so among you; instead, whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant, 44 And whoever wishes to be most important and first in rank among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for ([y]instead of) many.
46 Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, a son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, saying, Jesus, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [[z]now]! 48 And many [aa]severely censured and reproved him, telling him to keep still, but he kept on shouting out all the more, You Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]! 49 And Jesus stopped and said, Call him. And they called the blind man, telling him, Take courage! Get up! He is calling you. 50 And throwing off his outer garment, he leaped up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, What do you want Me to do for you? And the blind man said to Him, Master, let me receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has healed you. And at once he received his sight and accompanied Jesus on the road.
When they were getting near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, He sent ahead two of His disciples 2 And instructed them, Go into the village in front of you, and as soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied, which has never been ridden by anyone; unfasten it and bring it [here]. 3 If anyone asks you, Why are you doing this? answer, The Lord needs it, and He will send it back here presently.
4 So they went away and found a colt tied at the door out in the [winding] open street, and they loosed it. 5 And some who were standing there said to them, What are you doing, untying the colt? 6 And they replied as Jesus had directed them, and they allowed them to go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their outer garments upon it, and He sat on it. 8 And many [of the people] spread their garments on the road, and others [scattered a layer of] leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed cried out [ [a]with a cry of happiness], Hosanna! [Be graciously inclined and propitious to Him!] Praised and blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Praised and blessed in the name of the Lord is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna (O save us) in the highest [heaven]! 11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and entered the temple [[b]enclosure]; and when He had looked around, surveying and observing everything, as it was already late, He went out to Bethany together with the Twelve [apostles].
12 On the day following, when they had come away from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [[c]for in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves, for the fig season had not yet come. 14 And He said to it, No one ever again shall eat fruit from you. And His disciples were listening [to what He said].
15 And they came to Jerusalem. And He went into the temple [area, the [d]porches and courts] and began to drive out those who sold and bought in the temple area, and He overturned the [[e]four-footed] tables of the money changers and the seats of those who dealt in doves; 16 And He would not permit anyone to carry any household equipment through the temple enclosure [thus making the temple area a short-cut traffic lane]. 17 And He taught and said to them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But you have turned it into a den of robbers. 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard [of this] and kept seeking some way to destroy Him, for they feared Him, because the entire multitude was struck with astonishment at His teaching.
19 And when evening came on, He and [f]His disciples, as accustomed, went out of the city.
20 In the morning, when they were passing along, they noticed that the fig tree was withered [completely] away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to Him, Master, look! The fig tree which You doomed has withered away! 22 And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. 23 Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. 24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and [g]let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. 26 [h]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
27 And they came again to Jerusalem. And when Jesus was walking about in the [[i]courts and porches of the] temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to Him, 28 And they kept saying to Him, By what [sort of] authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do them? 29 Jesus told them, I will ask you a question. Answer Me, and then I will tell you by what [sort of] authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? Answer Me. 31 And they reasoned and argued with one another, If we say, From heaven, He will say, Why then did you not believe him? 32 But [on the other hand] can we say, From men? For they were afraid of the people, because everybody considered and held John actually to be a prophet. 33 So they replied to Jesus, We do not know. And Jesus said to them, Neither am I going to tell you what [sort of] authority I have for doing these things.
And the Sisters of the Body say, “Amen”
I would have to say that the #lessonsfromlent for me today has come in the form of one question:
How often do I do that?
See if you can relate . . .
Christ tells Peter what is about to happen and Peter does not like the sound of it. Peter takes Jesus by the hand and begins to tell Him how it should be! Bunny, how often do you do that?
- How often do you decide that you don’t like the way things are going or unfolding so you take Jesus by the hand and begin to tell Him how it should be?!?
Jesus is right in the middle of revealing a beautiful thing to Peter, James, and John, He is standing before them in dazzling white with Moses and Elijah. The three are conversing and rather than lean in close to try and drink it all in, Peter decides to talk even though he really had nothing to say! Marilyn, how often are you the blurter? How often do you do that?
- How many are the times when you’re so distracted by you that you miss hearing Him? How often do you choose to speak rather than lean in close and simply take in the All of Him?
The Messiah shares on the road to Capernaum that He will be delivered into the hands of men and killed. What do the disciples do . . . come alongside to comfort? . . . silently grieve with Him? . . . ask what they might do for Him? No! They focus on themselves and dispute about which of them is the greatest. Marilyn (Bunny) Biddinger, how often do you do that?!?
- How often are you so concerned about your position, your agenda, your significance that you’re callous to the heartbreak of another? How many times have you engaged in competition within the Body of Christ while a Sweet One among you has the weight of the world on them?
And the final “How often do I do that?” is with the young rich man . . . He came to Christ looking to possess another treasure. To add it to the vast collection of things he already held dear. And think about this—Jesus knew him from the inside out before he ever spoke a word to the Messiah. Christ knew his heart. Christ knew his motivation. And Christ knew that he would choose to walk away. And still, I looked at ten translations, and every one includes some variation of the phrase “Jesus looked on him with love”—He knew the young rich man would reject Him but He loved him anyway.
Christ was well aware that the lure of stuff you can touch and feel in this world, the things that mark us as successful in this time, the things that make us important in the here and now . . . those would be what the young ruler chose. The treasures and possessions of today would win out over possessing eternal treasure. How often Bunny? How often do you do that?
- How many times do I choose the things of this world over the eternal life to which I have been called?
Sisters, if you are in Christ Jesus . . . your eternity has already begun. Let me type that again—
If you are in Christ Jesus . . . your eternity has already begun.
Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
See you and I, Sister loved by God, we have to begin living with an eternal perspective. If we don’t we will fail to invest our time, our energy and our resources into the things that really matter. Don’t get me wrong. The things of this life are gifts from God and deserve to be stewarded well but our firsfruits – the first of our time, the freshest of our energy, and the cream of our resources are meant for more than the things that fade and wither.
Jesus chose you . . . Jesus chose me for MORE than this fleeting world.
Girlfriend, we were meant to influence eternity. So let’s you and I set our eyes on the One who called us by name, follow in His footsteps with our hearts fixed on the Father, and let’s leave the “how often’s” behind!