Updated: Mar 17, 2020
TOUGH TEACHING: Jesus' teaching on divorce is difficult, and a short post like this won't sufficiently explain it. Two things to keep in mind: One thing it does NOT mean is that divorced people are not welcome in the church. Divorce is a sin, but v21 shows how Jesus cares for sinners of all kinds. Secondly, marriage and divorce form an ongoing metaphor in the Old Testament - God's bride, Israel, is constantly unfaithful to Him, yet God remains faithful to her. Even though Israel (and us) fit the qualifications of v12, God didn't divorce His people, He sent Jesus to save them.
BAD START: The rich man's question of 'what must I do to inherit eternal life' was flawed from the beginning. Compare & contrast the rich man's & Bartimaeus' approach to Jesus (Rich man: v17 & 20 / Bartimaeus: v47 & 51b).
NOT A MOVEMENT: Any marketing or PR professional would have loved to be in Jesus' shoes at this point. They could capitalize on the crowds he had attracted and quickly create an organic movement throughout the entire known world to spread Jesus' message of goodwill. Except that's not what Jesus came to do. Jesus explains why he came in v32-34: to offer His life as a sacrifice for your sin so that you can have peace with God.
SONS of THUNDER: They're back... This time James & John have an audacious request for Jesus (v35). It's easy to sit here and criticize them for arrogantly telling Jesus 'to do whatever we ask,' but how often to your prayers start out that way? Mine do way too often.
MEMORIZE: v51b is an excellent verse to memorize: "Rabbi, I want to see." Take a moment to review our previous memory verses from Mark: - "Don't be afraid, just believe" (5:36) - "I believe; help me overcome my unbelief." (9:24) - "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all." (9:35) (This hasn't been by my design, but do you see a pattern unfolding in these verses?)
Thank God that Jesus gives you the perfect righteousness represented by the bright white clothes in the Transfiguration.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome the areas on unbelief in your life.
Ask for the humility Jesus teaches about in v33-37.
1 Timothy 4
We have put our hope in the living God, therefore, train yourself to be godly.
Monday - God preserves our hope in Him through the work of the church.
Tuesday - Memorize 1 Tim 4:7b, our 2020 theme: Train yourself to be godly
Wednesday - Work hard at spiritually disciplining (training) yourself - 1 Tim 4:10
Thursday - Spiritual Disciplines are saturated in scripture - 1 Tim 4:13
Friday - Make the time each day to practice your Spiritual Disciplines.