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As Jesus is being led into the palace and out to Golgotha to be crucified, the soldiers and the crowds mock Him. A crown of twisted thorns is placed on His head, purple garments are temporarily placed on His body, He is spit on and beaten, and hung up on the cross. The crowd mocks Jesus' authority as they shout, "Let this Messiah, this king of Isra…
 
Early in the morning, Jesus is handed over to Pilate (the Roman leader in the area at the time) and put on trial yet again. Just as the last time, Jesus is accused of many things, but He remains silent except on the matter of if He is the king of the Jews. Following customs, a prisoner picked by the crowd is offered to be released. The crowd is ask…
 
Can there be any hope now for Peter? The man who promised to stay faithful to Jesus even if it meant prison time or death, has now refused to acknowledge that he even knows Jesus. Three times he has denied it! Jesus, rather than making Peter earn his love and or work of lifetime to try to earn his salvation, offers grace. He gives us hope for the f…
 
The Sanhedrin meet in the middle of the night, against their own rules, looking for reasons to have Jesus executed. Despite false testimonies against Him, Jesus remains silent. He finally speaks when His identity is questioned. "You are the Christ?" To which Jesus responds, "I am." This answer is enough to have Jesus put to death, as He can now be …
 
Jesus is in the garden with a few of his disciples when Judas comes with an armed crowd to capture and arrest him. Peter attempts to come to Jesus' defense, and in the process takes off a man's ear! Meanwhile, Jesus displays the excellent wisdom and commanding presence of the king he truly is, while also demonstrating perfect obedience to his Fathe…
 
As Jesus is knowingly being betrayed and preparing for what is to come, He takes some of His disciples away to pray with Him. They fall asleep... while Jesus spends time in prayer with His father. While understanding that He is about to take all of God's wrath upon himself, Jesus is under so much stress that He literally sweats blood. Jesus is a pe…
 
Why do Christians take "communion" together? Is there more to this than just a religious tradition? We can discover the origins in Mark 14 as Jesus celebrates the Passover feast with his disciples. We also dive into these questions: Was the Jewish Passover foreshadowing what Jesus was about to accomplish in Jerusalem? Is his sacrificial death reall…
 
There's something amazing about extravagant worship that pours itself out wholeheartedly on Jesus. Some may call it wasteful; others may call it over-the-top, but Jesus calls it beautiful. Mary's gift of worship polarizes the crowd around her, maybe even being a catalyst that pushes Judas over the edge: no longer 'merely' a thief, he will now becom…
 
Jesus continues to speak about the 'end times', warning us all to stay on guard. Yes, the return of Christ will happen, no doubt about it! However, no one - seriously, no one! - knows when this will be, not even Jesus. Since only the Father knows this detail, Jesus tells us that our role is simply to stay awake and stay alert. So, how can we do thi…
 
Jesus doesn't warn His followers of extreme trouble to come to put fear into us, but because He loves us and wants us to be prepared. For the sake of "the elect" (God's chosen, hand-selected people from all over the world) God has actually put a limit on suffering. He also warns us to be on guard against pseudo-saviors and false "prophets." Make no…
 
As Jesus looks upon the great buildings of the Temple in Jerusalem, He tells his disciples that one day not one stone will be left. He goes on to explain the signs of when this will be fulfilled. Everything happened just as He said it would. Jesus instructs the disciples: stay on course, stay calm, stay aware, stay on mission, and stay patient. Jes…
 
As Jesus teaches a large crowd in the temple courts, He warns against the leaders who put on a show. These are people who put on a false front to earn the respect of others, people whose hearts are not what they appear to be. Jesus then watches as the people from the crowd give their money to the treasury. The wealthy give lots, out of their abunda…
 
When Jesus is asked what the greatest command of all is, He responds perfectly. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself." Can we really love this way -devoting every aspect of life to God, and loving people the way we wan…
 
When the Pharisees and Herodians try to trap Jesus by asking whether or not it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, He responds with wisdom. Instead of falling into their well-laid trap He points them back to God. "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." So, what belongs to God? Everything, including us! And God not only wants …
 
When Jesus is questioned about where His authority comes from, the religious leaders claim they do not know. He challenges them - and us -with a parable about rejecting a beloved son. Jesus then references Psalm 118, saying, "Haven't you read this passage of scripture: 'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.'" Of course, He is …
 
What Mary and Mary discover at the empty tomb is not just startling; it is history shaping. The resurrection of Jesus has implications for all of us: sin and death defeated, and resurrection life and power released into us as well. "Come and see," says the angel at the empty tomb. Then, "Go and tell." And as we go, we discover even more evidence th…
 
Now that Jesus has come into Jerusalem to the shouts of "Hosanna!" from the people, the season of His ministry is shifting. In the temple itself, Jesus is bringing a dramatic shift. His heart for God's house to be "A house of prayer for all nations" is on full display as He clears the temple of its market atmosphere. How might God be shifting the s…
 
Things that seem a mystery to us are not a mystery to God. Events that are unexpected to us, even things that seem to ruin our plans, come in God's perfect timing. Seasons of undetermined waiting on God are designed for us to lean into God and trust Him through the process.Por Clem Ferris
 
Have you ever felt like you're sitting on the sidelines, lacking vision, and desperate for a way forward? So was Bartimaeus. When Jesus came by, Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, knew that this man could help him. And when Jesus called for him, his faith was stirred and he jumped to his feet. Jesus is still stirring this kind of faith in hearts today, …
 
How do you feel about Jesus wrapping you up like a child in his arms and blessing you? Now, how do you feel about him challenging you to give everything away and follow him? Whoah! Each of these represent a deep element of trust, and more than anything we can do for him, Jesus wants to be able to trust him. Are there benefits to trusting Jesus? Abs…
 
What happens when the "twitterpated" emotions of romance fade? What is God's heart for you when your marriage seems ready to crumble? Jesus words, "What God has joined, let man not separate," may seem hard for our 21st century ears to hear. They were no less difficult to hear when Jesus said them, and God's grace is needed -and available- for us al…
 
Do you think of yourself as an influencer? Jesus does. Your words and actions are shaping the faith of others, and Jesus has something to say about this! Mark 9:42-50 includes some of the most challenging words in all of Mark's gospel, as Jesus talks about shaping the faith of little children, the eternal consequences of continuing in sin, and the …
 
You aren't the only one who sometimes feels insecure! The good news for all of us is that Jesus brings a security unimaginable anywhere else. Jesus himself is a secure leader, less concerned with how things appear than how the purpose of God is being advanced. He can turn our insecure preoccupation with power and position into a freedom to serve an…
 
You've prayed. You didn't get what you prayed for. Does that mean God doesn't care? He isn't big enough to handle it? That you're out of His will? Or maybe, could it be that He is drawing you near to Him? It's in active relationship with God that our faith grows, our confidence grows, and we grow in spiritual authority as well. In Mark 9, we see th…
 
The view from the top of the mountain must have been fantastic, but that wasn't why Jesus had brought Peter, James, and John there. What they were about to see was far better, and hearing the voice of the Father speaking over Jesus was stunning too. Jesus was transformed before their very eyes, the radiance of heaven shining through his humanity. O…
 
It's good to have someone who loves us enough to tell us the hard words we may not really want to hear, isn't it! Jesus isn't afraid to say hard things. In Mark 8, Peter may not want to hear what Jesus has to say to him, but Jesus loves him - and us - enough to say it anyway! Bringing the kingdom of God required Jesus to go to the cross then, and i…
 
Who is Jesus? Our answer to that question may just draw us into the biggest adventure of our lives. Our world is overflowing with competing cultures, ideas, and traditions. Big Tech, Big Medicine, Big Politics, Big Money, Big Goals, Big Dreams, Big Promises, and Big Failures are everywhere. Where does Jesus fit? Jesus himself asked the question: "W…
 
God is often surprising, isn't He! The birth of Jesus is no exception. The promise that God is with us, and will be with us means we can fully expect Him to continue doing great and surprising things today. We may not know exactly what 2021 will bring but as Christians we can say, "Be it unto us according to Your word." (We pick up today in the mid…
 
Sometimes good people get terrible news. Joseph is a good man, a hard-working man, a normal guy engaged to a local girl. And then he finds out she is pregnant. He is not the father. God turns this terrible news into wonderful news, and includes Joseph in His marvelous plan of salvation. The way God does it with Joseph is still the way He encourages…
 
"She said yes!" But the event leading to her 'yes' was radically different than anything a girl would expect. Into the life of Mary, a common young woman with a common name in a common town, God spoke significance. We too are significant to God. Our 'yes' has a powerful place in God's significant plan. We are given the amazing dignity of being incl…
 
Imagine seeing again for the first time after having lived with extended blindness. Imagine Jesus taking you by the hand, leading you out of town, healing your eyes, and then sending you on your way toward home, able to see and walk with clear vision. For the blind man in Bethsaida, this is what really happened. What a day! His steps toward home di…
 
What would make Jesus groan deeply today? Maybe the way we often misunderstand him, getting stuck in legalism, sensationalism, nationalism, or other -isms? A confrontation with religious leaders of his day reveals how Jesus counters the deep insecurity, demanding unbelief, and dull understanding with which we can be all too familiar! Like Jesus' fi…
 
How does Jesus respond to a spiritually hungry people? Will he send us away to find food elsewhere, or will he satisfy our hunger himself? Maybe a more dangerous question is this: Are we receiving and obeying Jesus' instruction, partnering with his plan, so that he can satisfy our hunger and the hunger of those around us? In Christ, our hunger can …
 
When Jesus is bringing healing to your life, don't be surprised if he does things that seem out of the norm. The Decapolis crowd wants Jesus to lay his hands on the man who is deaf and who has a speech impediment, and as we might expect, healing follows. It's how Jesus does it that is so striking. The way he cares, the way he communicates, and the …
 
Have you ever feel like an outsider living in a desperate world? As the Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7 discovers, the good news of Jesus Christ crosses borders and boundaries, bringing hope to many "outsiders." Awakening hope in us, this good news also activates that hope, stirring us into action, even infusing our hearts with an unoffendable deter…
 
Do we really believe Jesus when he says, "It's not what you put in your body that is the problem; it's what comes from your heart that is the real issue"? "What do you mean?" we may ask. His answer is culture-shaping and heart-shaking: human lives (thoughts, words, and actions) are constantly being shaped - and defiled - by the state of our badly d…
 
Traditions can be fantastic! And they can be dangerous, when they don't line up with God's Word and God's kingdom. When Jesus tells a group of religious conservatives that many of their traditions are contrary to God's actual commands, we are wise to evaluate where we may be doing the same thing, and to re-align our hearts, lives, and traditions wi…
 
It's great to have alone time with God isn't it? "Me-and-Jesus" or even "We-and-Jesus" Christianity can become very isolated from the world around us, and we are meant to be a blessing to our world! There is a time to get out of our "boats" and to engage with the culture around us. When Jesus and his disciples do this (Mark 6:54), the people immedi…
 
We often don't see things clearly in the dark! When we're in the middle of a struggle, it can even be hard to recognize Jesus when he comes to us in ways and means we don't expect. Jesus comes to his disciples while they are struggling forward in their boat and making painfully slow progress against the wind and waves, and they are terrified. (If y…
 
Have you ever said, "I need a weekend after that weekend!" After the disciples' successful ministry, Jesus takes them away for some much needed rest. The culture that Jesus creates makes time for rest, and also makes time for people. "But I don't have time!" we may say to ourselves. Jesus can do more than we ever could on our own, and it is a faith…
 
Privilege. Power. Influence. Murder. When news of Jesus' miraculous ministry makes it to the halls of the rich and powerful we discover more than just political intrigue; we must also grapple with the current reality of God's kingdom colliding with our own privilege and influence, and our own agendas. What if we dare to get in step with God's kingd…
 
While most Christians believe the church has a mission given by Jesus, the answers to how that looks may differ. When Jesus first sends out his twelve hand-picked disciples to represent him, how he sends them is telling: he sends them together in powerful community, carrying both his powerful mercy and his powerful message in the context of friends…
 
How do you honestly think you would respond if Jesus came to your town and you didn't know who he really was? In Mark 6:1-6 Jesus comes to his hometown, and the people are stunned. And offended. Jesus marvels at their unbelief, and soon moves on to other towns... but not before healing a few sick people. No culture is so barren that Jesus can't bri…
 
When Jesus sails back across the sea he is quickly surrounded by a crowd, but it's the stories of two desperate people we are drawn into. Jairus, whose twelve-year-old daughter's life is in the balance, and a woman whose illness throughout those same twelve years has left her penniless and alone. We discover three kinds of faith: Finding Faith, Foc…
 
Can you imagine Jesus making a special trip just for you? In the middle of your messed up life, Jesus steps in just to set you free? This is what happens in the beginning of Mark 5 when Jesus sails across the sea and rescues one seriously oppressed man, and sends him home with a story to tell. And Jesus isn't afraid to wreck the status quo to loose…
 
"Why are you so afraid?" Jesus asks. After a long day of work, he has set out with his disciples to sail across the Sea of Galilee. While he slept in the back of the boat, a severe storm set in, and the disciples are afraid. Jesus does more than ask this question. He challenges, champions, and changes them through the storm, and he is still doing t…
 
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