Mark 8:14-21 – Misunderstandings

Read Mark 8:14-21

You recall in our last reading–Jesus had walked away rather than be bullied by the Pharisees. Our scene continues in this reading as Jesus and the disciples make their getaway in a boat without any food.

Did the disciples miss the lesson Jesus was trying to teach them about the Pharisees and even King Herod? We might have a harder time understanding the reference to yeast. It gives us something to ponder, wondering what Jesus meant. This text doesn’t speak to “what” the yeast was that the disciples should be aware of. What do you think it is?

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Habakkuk 3:1-19 – Sovereign Lord

Read Habakkuk 3:1-19

Habakkuk’s prayer speaks to the supreme power of God, thus his sovereignty. In the face of what he has heard from God and the position he has been placed to share that message, Habakkuk’s world has been rocked. We see how he responds.

Habakkuk prays with humility. First and foremost, he calls out God’s deeds and dreams for his people. He tells God that no matter what calamity happens, “I will rejoice in the LORD!” How often do we praise God in the storms of our life? We’re probably complaining, a bit like Habakkuk did, but do we also give praise, as Habakkuk is modeling for us?

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1 Peter 4:7-11 – Bring Glory to God

Read 1 Peter 4:7-11

That first line sure grabbed me, did it for you? I had to stop and just nod my head. I’d love to think that Jesus was coming soon. And then I remember all the people I know and love that don’t know Jesus yet, or if they do, they aren’t nurturing their relationship like Jesus deserves. So when you wonder why Jesus hasn’t come yet, remind yourself there are still people who need to know about him and be saved.

We’re a lot closer to Jesus’ return than Peter was when he wrote this letter. Thousands of years have already passed. In every generation, people have been getting ready. I don’t suppose any of those who love Jesus mind when they get to heaven. We have the confidence he’ll return when the Father says so. He promised. It’s our job to be ready.

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Luke 23:56 – While We Wait

Read Luke 23:56

Jesus has died. His body has been carefully laid in Joseph’s new tomb. The women know where that is, and they hurry now to prepare the burial spices. But it’s too late now since the Sabbath is about to begin. They are going to have to wait. I can just imagine how hard it was for them to wait. Even a few hours would make a big difference in the decay of a corpse. Still, their tradition would have them wait.

They didn’t know to be waiting for the resurrection. We have that knowledge, and yet we are still in a waiting pattern, aren’t we? Our wait to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter morning is only a short wait. But the wait we have for Jesus’ promised return is much longer. How long, we have no idea. We just need to patiently wait with faithful expectation.

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Luke 21:5-38 – What the Future Holds

Read Luke 21:5-38

Our journey to the cross with Jesus continues, and today we see Jesus teaching in the Temple. The topic in this reading seems to be very timely for us today, too. But we miss the point if we think that Jesus was talking about a specific set of calamities. In every age, there have been false prophets and plenty of natural disasters. Yet Jesus wanted to include this lesson so his followers would know what to expect. Even more, he didn’t want them to be afraid.

Jesus wanted to prepare us so that we would not be led astray. Over the centuries, there have been plenty of examples of people claiming to be the Messiah or making predictions about Jesus’ return. Jesus warns us about that. “Don’t panic,” he says. All of these things will take place as Jesus said, but his words are meant to calm us not elicit fear.

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