March 11, 2011

Today you should read: Mark 1:21-45

In the words of April Pilcher, “A lil’ overview of Mark 1:21-45 to get your morning started. This is so fresh it could replace your morning cup of coffee.”

Mark 1:21-28……..Jesus drives out an evil spirit!
Mark 1:29-34……..Jesus heals many who are sick!
Mark 1:35-39……..Jesus prays and prepares to preach!
Mark 1:39-45……..Jesus heals a man with leprosy!

Now think of the following:

Miracle leading to deliverance from…
1) Healing from an evil spirit—the filth of sin
2) Healing of Simon’s mother-in-law—the restlessness of sin
3) Healing of a leper—the loathsomeness of sin

Jesus’ miraculous healing power shows His ability to set men and woman free from the bondage of sin and displays His amazing love for those who were considered to be despicable.

A few lessons to learn from our friends with demons and leprosy:

Demon dude:
1) Jesus’ ministry caused an outburst of demonic activity.
2) Jesus’ power over the demons foreshadows His eventual triumph over our enemy, Satan.
3) Wherever God is at work, Satan will be opposing it. All who serve the Lord can expect the enemy’s opposition (1 Peter 5:8).

Leper’s prayer:
1) Earnest and desperate (“imploring Him”)
2) Reverent (“kneeling down to Him”)
3) Humble and submissive (“if you are willing”)
4) Believing (“You can”)
5) Acknowledged need (“make me clean”)
6) Specific (“make me clean”)
7) Personal (“make me clean”)
8.) Brief (five words in the original)

Because of this prayer, Jesus had compassion on the leper!

Questions for Reflection:

1) What kind of people do I hang out with? Are they the same type of people Jesus would hang out with or are they people that I just get along best with – people that talk like me, think like me, act like me? Do I spend time with people who have major needs – like the need of a Savior? This passage was convicting to me because I found myself thinking about who I spend my time with and if I truly have the same compassion my Savior does for people.

2) Do I pray like the leper?

3) Do I love people the way Christ loved people? Do I love people where they are at without judging or condemning them for the purpose of showing them the compassion Christ? Am I scared to make friends with people who have no desire for Jesus (in hopes of showing them the love of Jesus)?

Thank goodness I have a Savior who showed compassion to a person who made baseball an idol, who valued a social life above a relationship with Jesus, who was rebellious against his parents, who valued the praise of man rather than the praise of God, who played the “church game” for the majority of his teenage years, and who made decisions based on what he wanted rather than God’s Word (a.k.a. me)!

Posted by: Zach Monroe

Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

12 thoughts on “March 11, 2011”

  1. Thank you Zach for being so transparent and being willing to admit the times in your life when you have failed God.
    Thank you also for the reminder that we are to be Jesus’s hands and feet. And that means getting out of our comfort zone of being w/ our Christian friends. And finding people in our lives that need Jesus in their lives. Reminds me of a song by Brandon Heath that I love, “Give Me Your Eyes”.

  2. Thanks Zach. Reflection question #1 really hit me today. (What kind of people do I hang out with? Are they the same type of people Jesus would hang out with or are they people that I just get along best with – people that talk like me, think like me, act like me? Do I spend time with people who have major needs – like the need of a Savior?) Tina and I have been married nearly 27 years and God has blessed us with many Christian friends. If we are not careful, we will spend the majority of our free time with fellow believers. Please don’t misunderstand me, Christian fellowship is a wonderful gift from God which allows us to sharpen & encourage each other. However, our primary job is to engage a lost world and develop relationships with them so that the love of Jesus can be shared. Thank you Zach for this powerful reminder.

  3. Thanks, Zach! Sure glad we have a Savior willing to meet us where we are and the mercy and patience to change us into His likeness. This passage raises a question I have had for years… I understand why Jesus wouldn’t allow the demons to speak but why did He instruct the healed leper to not talk about the healing miracle he had just experienced? Several times throughout the Gospels Jesus tells those he heals not to tell anyone. What’s the explanation for this?

    1. Kim….I’m not an expert by any means, but I have always heard/thought that Jesus wasn’t ready for His name to be known/He was waiting on God’s time. Notice the last verse that says what happened after the leper told everyone. “Jesus could no longer openly enter the city.”
      In John 2:1-4, when Mary pointed out to Jesus that there was no more wine at the wedding, “Jesus said, Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”
      In summary…that’s my humble guess! Hopefully, more intelligent people will respond to your question. 🙂

    2. Hey Kim,

      This is a really good question…One of which I have asked several times and it had never been answered until a few years ago. Theologians have their varying thoughts, but one that I have read and researched that makes the most sense (at least to me) is the “bandwagon” thought.

      A number of teachers believe that Jesus instructed the lepor as well as others not to go about telling people what happened becuase He (Jesus) knew that some would follow just becuase He performed miracles rather than follow Him because He is simply worthy of our following. Not becuase of what He has done, rather WHO He is. Does that make sense?

      Thanks!
      Z

      1. Thanks Zach and Joan. I like the “bandwagon” theory-it does make sense. Knowing and experiencing Jesus has to be at a relational level or we totally miss the point. The bandwagon experience will be a knowing “of” Him not a knowing Him for who He truly is. Good stuff! Thanks again.

  4. Zach!! WOW!! C-O-N-V-I-C-T-I-N-G!!! God has been showing Mike and I these very things (especially lately). The flesh wants to fellowship with fellow believers (not that this is wrong) but the spirit is leading us to spend more time with those who aren’t (or those for whom we don’t know about their relationship with Jesus/lack thereof). Balancing of that time….is a challenge…but in the end…the decision is God’s….for us to listen to His leading and follow that.

    Praying like the leper….LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!! To be desperate for God’s cleansing EVERY day….and to humbly submit to that BELIEVING that HE IS ABLE to do immeasurably more than we can conceive! He IS in the business of miracles!

    So grateful for leadership whose walk with God is so devoted that it exhorts and inspires us to His higher calling!! Praying that we have eyes to see ALL He desires of each of us as we glorify HIM!

  5. Thanks, Zach….for all the probing questions. There’s a lot of power in those few scriptures/a lot of lessons to be learned. I appreciate your honesty and your sense of humor. May God bless you for your obedience to follow Him.

  6. Very good job Zac I really like what you got out of these verses. You have come a long way and I see you going alot farther — your “older in Christ” Tom

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