Mark 16:9-20 – Go!

Read Mark 16:9-20

Bible scholars point out that this passage is not included in the best manuscripts of Mark’s gospel, was not written by Mark, and does not have the same “feel” of the rest of the gospel. However, there is nothing wrong with the message. It appears to be a gathering of details found in other gospels and even the book of Acts. Yet, inquiring minds continue to ponder the inclusion of this ending.

For whatever reason this passage is included in God’s Word, so let’s reflect on the message it brings to us today. We see that (1) the pattern of unbelief when first hearing of Jesus’ resurrection, (2) Jesus makes several appearances and then ascends to heaven, and (3) our call to the mission field is included. All in all, it’s a very nice closure to the gospel giving us the next steps we need to move forward on our own faith journey.

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Mark 1:40-45 – Fearless Compassion

Read Mark 1:40-45

Do you think anybody saw Jesus touch the man with leprosy? The man would have been untouchable for everyone, except Jesus. In that day, people with leprosy, called lepers, were shunned and kept to themselves or lived in “colonies.”

There was great fear and stigma surrounding the disease which would cover the skin with hideous lesions. Leprosy was highly contagious from skin-to-skin contact. And Jesus touched the man! I can just imagine the gasp of those watching such a scene.

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John 1:2-8 – Preparing the Way

Read Mark 1:2-8

Don’t you love it when you see Scripture texts pointing to each other?  Of course, there are many Old Testament prophecies that reveal pieces of Jesus’ character. But today’s reading reminds us that the prophet Isaiah spoke of John the Baptist. God already knew that the world would need special preparation to receive his Son, Jesus.

John sounds like an interesting fellow. We know from other gospels that he was born to older parents who had not been able to have children, until God’s perfect timing allowed his mother Elizabeth to get pregnant. Trusting God’s timing always has marvelous results.

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1 Timothy 1:12-17 – Whom God Uses

Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17

colorful people figures walking forward following each other

Think for a moment about Paul’s life before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. What a dramatic difference from what Paul’s life looks like as an apostle of Jesus! If we look at Bible heroes in general, we see how unprepared they were on their own.

God always equips those he calls. There is no greater honor than to be used by God for his purposes. Can you think of some examples in the Bible? The pages of Scripture are full of times we see God using imperfect people for the sake of his mission.

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