Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 28:1-10 (day six)
Solomon and his temple were both a disappointment. By the time the Chronicler was writing this history (around 400 BC), the temple was destroyed and there was no king on the throne. Nehemiah would oversee the temple’s rebuilding, and Herod the Great would see it expanded to new heights, only to be destroyed again a few decades later by the Romans.
Solomon was the first of a long line of disappointing kings, and the temple didn’t fair any better. Neither would fulfill God’s promise to David.
For God so loved the world he sent the Son… John 3:16
Jesus, the Son of David, who would forever sit on the throne and rebuild his temple in the hearts of men and women.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 3:31-35 (day six)
“…no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.” -Jesus, John 3:5
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. It’s no wonder then the same must be true of us if we are to be his brothers and sisters. It’s always been faith over flesh. Faith in Jesus begets spiritual rebirth, hardwired with a new spiritual DNA. Soon enough, we can’t help but look like family.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 3:20-30 (day six)
When you set yourself against something, you will believe almost anything.
The religious elite sent their brightest from Jerusalem to determine the source of Jesus’ power. His ability to cast out demons and heal the sick was not in question; that had become self-evident. And yet they had also decided he could not be sent from God on account of his “authoritative” teaching. They couldn’t stand him. They were offended by him.
It is here where they abandoned all reason, leaving them to be believe the most abhorrent things about Jesus-that he was demon possessed and in league with Satan himself. In their extreme prejudice they were only left with a few options. And in their defiance they would much rather embrace the most offensive lies than consider the truth of who Jesus was.
The lies they believed made them feel comfortable, at ease with themselves and their self-righteousness, but ultimately it would yield the fruit of unrepentance.
This is a cautionary tale for all of us.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 3:13-19 (day six)
The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21:14
While these were normal men, in fact they wouldn’t have won any popularity contests, they hold a significant place in salvation history. These men were appointed Apostles, with a capital “A.” They became the benchmark of God’s revelation through Jesus, and the forefathers of the church. There have been none like them since, nor will there be.
They became the immediate messianic community, representative of the twelve tribes of Israel. A sign to the world of God’s promise through Jesus, delivered through the Holy Spirit’s direct revelation. Most of us, in fact, can trace our spiritual lineage to one of these Apostles (I imagine others can be traced to close followers of Jesus at the time, even though they weren’t appointed in the same manner).
They became missionaries, preachers, and disciple makers, traversing the known world, repeating a pattern that began in Mark 3-disciples appointing disciples.
We will see their names one day written on foundation stones of the New Jerusalem. Until then we are to be torch bears of the same light, carrying with us the same redeeming and historic revelation they were appointed to deliver to the world so long ago.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 3:1-12 (day six)
Lest we forget why he came, Mark provides a summary of the same. A wilderness of opposition. The religious elite with their rigged systems, their tower of Babels, exalting the self-righteousness of men. Silent and stone hearted before a not-so-subtle moment of grace, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, to give a man life?”
And the people who followed him to the shore, clamoring for more, oblivious to his true mission. They didn’t want him, just the blessings he could give. An allusion to another day when they would celebrate him one day, and reject him the next.
And if the wilderness wasn’t dry and rugged enough, stifling enough, there were the demon possessed men yelling divine declarations, as if to control the Son of Man, or remind him whose territory he was in.
The truth is, they all three remind me of…me.
This is Mark reminding us, proclaiming, “And this is why he came to die!” There is no other way to turn hearts from stone to flesh, give sight to the blind, and set the captives free, but to put him up on that tree.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 2:23-28 (day six)
“So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”-Jesus, Mark 2:28
The pharisees questioning Jesus had to be infuriated with his answer. Jesus never responded in the way they expected; he always had a way of turning the tables, and this time was no different:
“Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did…?”
How dare he compare himself to David, they likely thought. Jesus didn’t have to ask them a follow up question, because what was left unsaid was clear enough.
If you won’t condemn David, then why do you condemn me?
If they had ears to hear and eyes to see they would have realized Jesus was in fact greater than David, and even Moses. David was the king after God’s own heart, Jesus is King eternal. Moses merely received the law; Jesus spoke it into existence. He is Lord!
Re:Verse passage – Mark 2:18-22 (day six)
A really good question often leads to a really good answer. This question posed by John’s followers and the pharisees certainly fit that description. Although they both may have had ulterior motives, the answer was revealing all the same, if they were willing to see it.
Fasting, as it was practiced, was intended to serve a particular purpose. When genuine it demonstrated repentance (or mourning) and anticipation of God fulfilling his promise to send the messiah. Jesus clearly reveals the purpose of the fast had been fulfilled because the groom has come!
If the disciples had insisted on fasting they would have missed the point altogether; they would have missed Jesus.
So, Jesus asks us too, are there good things in our lives, that once served a good purpose, but now only keep us from seeing and savoring Jesus? Is there anything that now robs us rather than helps us? That binds us or blinds us, rather than setting us free to be his children in a hurting world?
Good questions often lead to good answers. Will you ask them with me?
Re:Verse passage – Mark 2:13-17 (day six)
There is a lot of comfort from this story. Jesus breaking bread with the unlovely and marginalized. The spiritually elite bent out of shape; couldn’t figure out why Jesus, a now reputable teacher and miracle worker, would waste his time and tarnish his public reputation; they cringed at the thought of the uncleanliness.
Not Jesus. He ate with them, laughed, shared stories…changed their lives. The very people the elite hated, he loved. Aren’t you glad; comforted?
If Jesus dined with them, he certainly would dine with me. In fact, he has…and changed my life. And aren’t you compelled?
If Jesus changed me, and others, by drawing near; spending time with people who needed him most (and others hated), shouldn’t we do the same?
Who are you dining with?
Re:Verse passage – Mark 2:1-12 (day six).
Jesus reveals something new. Up to this point he has shown that his mission is to bring renewal and restoration to a sin wrecked, spiritually oppressed and broken people; he has come to beckon his people to turn toward God. In this story he makes the connection between forgiveness and renewal. Eternal renewal, or healing, comes through forgiveness.
Another way to think of this, is that forgiveness, or avoiding God’s judgement, is not the end of salvation, it is the means through which we experience abundant life and fullness of joy.
Forgiveness is the way, thus Jesus is the way…the truth and the life.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 1:36-45 (day six)
Moved with compassion (anger), Jesus reached out and touched him. Mark 1:41
Some early greek manuscripts replace compassion with anger. It makes for an easier scene when we see Jesus respond to a broken man with compassion. It’s the Jesus we want.
What if Jesus responded in anger? How would that equally make sense?
Anger is an emotion that can forcefully tell us things are not as they should be. At its best it moves us to act for the good of others. We see it when Jesus enters the Temple courtyard and turns over the money changers’ tables saying, “You have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves!” Or when we get angry at cancer, or a son’s drug addiction.
Jesus wasn’t angry at the man, but the man’s condition, his brokenness and isolation. It shouldn’t be like this! And busting through every social norm, he touched him, and the leprous man was made well.
Both compassion and anger should move us to act for the broken. Be angry and act (and sin not)!