Mark: Faith in Action

Week 2(14-20 Jan.)

Sunday – 1st Preaching Tour

Scripture Reading: Mark 1:35-39 

The beginning of Ministry is just as Jesus did – “In the morning, while it was still dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  In our life of faith, the first action we need to take is to begin in prayer.  From there, the Spirit can and will lead us, make the opportunities for us, so that we may faithfully act upon the doors opened for us.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How often do you begin the day in solitude and prayer with God?

Monday – Leper Cleansing

Scripture Reading: Mark 1:40-45

When the Leper comes to Jesus to be healed, he comes in faith, knowing and proclaiming he knows “If you choose, you can make me clean.”  Faith in action not only knows that Jesus can heal/do but that Jesus/God has the right and authority to decide or choose what to do.  Jesus not only chooses to heal him but does it in a way that heals not just physically (leprosy cleansed) but also emotionally (with a human touch that this person would not have felt since getting the disease.)  This healing results in the man sharing with others what Jesus can and has done for him.  Faith in action results in sharing with others Jesus place in our lives and the results of it.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does it mean to recognize Jesus’ authority and place in our lives and how can we share that with others?

Tuesday – Healing of Paralytic

Scripture Reading: Mark 2:1-12

The paralytic’s four friends put their faith in action on behalf of their friend.  Seeing it impossible to get their friend to Jesus through the door, they make an opening in the roof and lower him to Jesus.  The people listening to Jesus preach/teach had no compassion for the paralytic trying to get to Jesus.  Jesus uses the friends’ faith in action as an opportunity to teach that spiritual healing is the most important healing and that Jesus has the authority to do both.  One is the sign of the authority to do the other.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What action should result in recognizing that Jesus has the authority to forgive our sins and heal our afflictions?

Wednesday – Calling of Matthew

Scripture Reading: Mark 2:13-17

In the story of the calling of Levi (Matthew), the tax collector, we find that the call comes when we recognize that we are sinners in need of healing.  The action is allowing the work of Jesus to bring us true righteousness.  What prevents us from answering the call is our own self-righteousness which is a sin in and of itself.  Thinking we aren’t in need of Jesus is having a disease without recognizing it and therefore not going to the doctor.  The scribes of the Pharisees feel they have no need for Jesus because they have faith in their own actions instead of their actions coming from Faith in Christ.

Pastor’s Pondering:   What is the difference between actions of self-righteousness and actions out of true righteousness?

Thursday – Fasting Question

Scripture Reading: Mark 2:18-22

Fasting is a form of prayer lifted up to a distant God.  When the Pharisees’ and John’s disciples fast it is/was to God that is in heaven and separated from them by their sin.  Christ’s disciples did not need to fast because Christ is with them.  With Christ comes the new covenant, the new wineskin, that breaks through the hardness of sin, takes action and through grace that comes through Christ brings newness of life.

Pastor’s Pondering:  How does the issue of fasting bring about an understanding of relationship with God through Christ?

Friday – Lord of the Sabbath

Scripture Reading: Mark 2:23-27

Faith in action means truly understanding the Law, the Word of God, which is given for us to know how to live.  The Sabbath had become a means of measurement of faith instead of being a means of maintenance of faith.  It had become a Strict law of do’s and don’ts without considering the intent which was to have a day spent resting, focusing and enjoying a day with God.  This was a day of the week given to us by God to restore ourselves and our relationship with God.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this tell us about how we should view the Sabbath?

Saturday – Sabbath Healing

Scripture Reading: Mark 3:1-6

To fulfill the Law, Jesus also teaches us that the Sabbath is not just between God and us but also other people.  In this healing, Jesus highlights that especially on the Sabbath we should do good to help other people.  If we use the Sabbath as an excuse not to help someone then we are not putting our faith in action but instead to inactivity and our faith is not a true faith in action.  It then leads us to sin and separation from God on the day that we are to be spending with God.  If God calls us to heal/help someone in need on the Sabbath then we are to step up in action.

Pastor’s Pondering:  What does this tell us about how we should view the Sabbath?

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