Hey. I will be starting in Mark 6 and finishing Mark!
When reading Mark 6, I ran across the story of John the Baptist being beheaded on King Herod's birthday. I do not know if I had not yet talked to Cameca about why she does not celebrate birthdays, because I do not remember reading that in Matthew. This is the second (and last) recorded birthday celebration in the Bible, and someone died at both!
I will never get tired of reading about Jesus going away to pray. In Mark 6:46, Jesus goes away to pray. What a true example of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 this is. If Jesus needed to take time away form healing the sick and preaching the Word of God, then... we all probably needed to take a minute at least a minute and pray.
A co-worker was telling me about her husband. God has done everything except physically slap him in the face. She told me three times that God has been trying to speak to him. He still doubts, and finds it hard to believe in someone/something you can't see. I read Mark 6:50 and thought about him. It says, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately He spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Jesus is telling him not to be afraid! There is no reason to be afraid of the unseen.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? -Mark 8:34-36
And he said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who ares tanding here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power. -Mark 9:1
In Mark 11:13-14 Jesus curses a fig tree because it has leaves but no figs. I thought this was really weird. I read the notes in the margin of my Bible. It says this is a metaphor for people who make promises to God but do not fulfill them. I found this very interesting. The fig tree was "out of season", but had leaves and no figs. If it was not season for the fig tree to be growing, the leaves would have been dead, too. But, the fig tree had leaves and no figs.... food for thought
I love Mark 11:22-26. "Have faith in God." Jesus answered. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
As I have said before. It is from Deut. 6:4-5 but, I love it. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30-31
In Mark 14:32, there is just another example of how Jesus needed time alone to pray. There is no doubt that we need time alone, as well.
Mark 14:72 had to be such a real moment for Peter. Jesus had told Peter what would happen. Peter denied it, then it happened. Peter disowned Jesus. In verse 72, Peter feels the weight of his actions. This happens to all of us. We think we could never deny Jesus. We all fall short to sin. Then, feel terrible in the moment that we realize the significance of our actions.
I read Mark 15:13 where the people shout to crucify Jesus over Barabbas. Barabbas was a murderer. These people had been so brainwashed by the Roman leaders. They were al threatened by Jesus. Reading this just breaks my heart because they wanted to kill Jesus over a murderer.
Mark 15:31 kills me. Jesus is my Savior, (and yours, too!) These people mocked him. The line "He saved others, but can't save himself" is so awful. I can't even begin to imagine what it was like to be on that cross.
Mark 15:8 is such a symbol of the life change that w are able to experience through Jesus' death. The curtain was what separated people from the presence of God. God tore that curtain as Jesus died on the cross. We are no longer separated from God.
Reading the story of Jesus' crucifixion is so hard. But, it is something that we all need to know as Christians. I never, not for one day, what to take my salvation for granite.
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Enjoy time with your family. I will be enjoying a lovely weekend with my brothers. I can't wait for this weekends "Concert with a Cause" at Elevation.