Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 3 Reading: Mark 3
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Jesus went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.
– Mark 3:13 (NRSV)
It’s only the third chapter of Mark, yet the disputes continue to pile up around Jesus. Pressure is coming from many directions:
- Jesus continues to heal while the Pharisees continue to plot how to destroy him (v. 6)
- Jesus continues to heal while the desperate crowds press in, threatening to crush him (v. 9, 20)
- Jesus continues to heal while the unclean spirits recognize him and cry out in fear (v. 11)
- Jesus continues to heal, but his hometown neighbors, including his family, name him crazy or demon possessed (v. 21, 30)
In the midst of all this pressure, Jesus heals. He also gathers and names the twelve. In the midst of all this pressure he begins to mentor and empower them, for they will carry on the healing work of the kingdom when he is gone.
Plotting, Crushing, Screaming, Accusing, Crying, Calling, Misunderstanding … Jesus’ life is demanding, loud and full of pressure. Pressures from strangers, demons, the needy, the religious leaders and even his own family. Yet Jesus seems focused and unaffected, grace under pressure. He displays stillness and wisdom in the midst of the chaos. He knows who he is and remains steadfast in fulfilling his purpose.
I can relate to the noise and the pressure. I want to better embody Jesus’ grace, wisdom and ministry of healing.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, you are serenity in the storm, the still small voice when all around us is disaster and despair. We see you steadfast, faithful and sure in the midst of great pressure. Make us like you. Reveal your ways in our frailty. Help us to follow you through the chaos of our days. Grant us your clarity and focus. Empower us to always preach and heal with grace and wisdom. For you alone are our strength and hope, for you alone belongs the glory, now and forever. Amen.
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