Mark 16:1-8 – The Empty Tomb

Read Mark 16:1-8

When is an ending not the end? When death ends in a victorious resurrection! The tomb was empty! Jesus is alive!

You also noticed that Mark’s gospel abruptly ends (in most ancient manuscripts) with verse 8. The sentences that follow here are thought to have been added to help bring a better closure to this climatic ending.

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Mark 10:46-52 – I Want to See!

Read Mark 10:46-52

Meet Bartimaeus, the blind beggar from our reading. We don’t often get an introduction by name to those whom Jesus healed. There must have been something special about Bartimaeus that stood out. Forever we will remember Bartimaeus and his bold faith.

What can we learn from Bartimaeus or how Jesus responded to him? Bartimaeus was determined. He knew what he wanted and was insistent. He knew Jesus was the answer. He didn’t let the people trying to keep him quiet win, he only shouted louder. Jesus rewarded this man’s persistence, called out his great faith, and healed him.

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Mark 5:35-43 – Trust Jesus

Read Mark 5:35-43

I love a happy ending, don’t you? We first met Jairus, the girl’s father, in our last reading. Do you think he felt pushed aside or marginalized when Jesus got sidetracked with the woman who had touched his garment? Our passage starts with news of the passing of Jairus’ daughter. Jairus’ emotions had to be all over the place.

Thankfully, Jesus overheard the news. We’re not told how Jairus was responding to the message, but Jesus’ words had to have been a bit confusing. Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” Do you think Jairus even heard Jesus? I can just imagine a father’s wailing cry after hearing his precious daughter had died.

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Mark 5:21-34 – Faith Healing

Read Mark 5:21-34

What surprised you in today’s reading? Was it that a religious leader who publicly recognized Jesus’ healing power or was it how a woman was healed by simply touching Jesus’ garment? Jesus’ ministry is packed with amazing moments of seeing God at work among his people.

Let’s focus on the woman who has been afflicted for twelve years. Could she even remember what it was like to not be bleeding? Can you remember what you were doing twelve years ago? Take a moment to do the math. While you certainly won’t remember what you had for dinner twelve years ago tonight, try to place yourself in that moment of your history. I was leading Vacation Bible School in a church where my husband was serving. Many of the kids attending that year are grown up with children of their own!

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Zechariah 12:10-14 – Regret or Remorse?

Read Zechariah 12:10-14

Recall the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. His side was pierced to make sure he had died. Another prophet also prophesied about it. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.” Zechariah’s reference to our king being pierced speaks to how the people feel about it after the fact.

Zechariah speaks to the mourning the people will feel when they realize they have let their king be killed. The very one they had been waiting for to save them was now dead. Zechariah’s words come long before Jesus was even born, so the people wouldn’t understand what this all means.

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