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Looking for Love in Mark

Posted by C Shell 
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Looking for Love in Mark
December 31, 2009 11:55AM
OK so here's the deal. We're going to look at the book of Mark through love-colored glasses. Asking God to show us his love in what we read. We're sorting for love although it's fine to talk about other things we see.

No structure, no rules, you can jump in or out, skip days, quit entirely, no problem. We can talk about stuff from previous chapters, comment on what others have said even though the chart says we're on another chapter. We have 2 days to talk about a chapter, and that's flexible since USA time and other countries' is different. I don't know if this will work, but let's give it a try anyway.

We're taking a new chapter every odd day, which would work out to:
January 1 & 2 - Mark 1
January 3 & 4 - Mark 2
January 5 & 6 - Mark 3
January 7 & 8 - Mark 4
January 9 & 10 - Mark 5
January 11 & 12 - Mark 6
January 13 & 14 - Mark 7
January 15 & 16 - Mark 8
January 17 & 18 - Mark 9
January 19 & 20 - Mark 10
January 21 & 22 - Mark 11
January 23 & 24 - Mark 12
January 25 & 26 - Mark 13
January 27 & 28 - Mark 14
January 29 & 30 - Mark 15
January 31 - Mark 16

May our God who is Love, give us light as we walk together!
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 01, 2010 03:19PM
January 1 &2 - Mark 1.

Why was it so important to "prepare the way of the Lord?" John-the-Baptist-style, you would do this by confessing & being sorry for your sins, turning away from them to God. Basically: by being humble. I used to think this meant self-effort, improvement of the "highway" by removing the boulders myself, so the King could come in. Now I see that he really WANTS to come in; I don't have to try to persuade him by cleaning up my act.

Anybody want to comment on what "prepare the way of the Lord" means if it's not self-effort?

The ones coming to be baptized by John weren't the religious leaders, but the outcasts. "Every mountain & hill will be made low" refers to pride, clinging to old ideas of being right, self-defense tactics.

John admits his baptism is preliminary. Jesus will immerse us in himself, in his own Spirit. What a LOVE promise! It's like we're red cloth and he's white cloth and we speak different languages. He immerses us in his whiteness and we become white and now we're speaking the same language, we don't "clash" anymore.

Jesus didn't need to be baptized any more than he needed to go to the Temple for the Passover. It was his love that brought him to the Jordan, his humility modeled for us: "I can let someone immerse me. Can you let me immerse you?"

His Father loved him so much for doing that. The Father, the Son and the Spirit had a LOVE moment there in front of everybody. We can see the Father's love for his Son very obviously. We also see the Spirit's true nature: pure and gentle like a dove, mobile, graceful -- this is what John said Jesus would baptize us with! not something scary and ghostly. Real baptism isn't getting body-slammed by a Force. It's about being beloved and well-pleasing, about a gentle, clean presence coming in to live.

How has your idea of "baptism in the Spirit" changed over time?

Jesus also said "Repent and believe." I have a bad connection to the word "repent". Associated with fire & brimstone preachers, shaking fingers of warning. Instead Jesus is saying "Open your heart, change your mind. I have great news to tell you about my Kingdom and you won't be able to hear about it if your hands are over your ears."
Anonymous User
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 01, 2010 05:36PM
Good, Shelley.
When John baptised people, they were becoming identified with what he was saying. Thats what the word baptizo means. Identified with John's message, they became prepared. When we prepare the way for the Lord, maybe it's like we are becoming a highway for Him to enter upon to others' lives.

Quote
Sweet Shelley
Jesus also said "Repent and believe." I have a bad connection to the word "repent". Associated with fire & brimstone preachers, shaking fingers of warning. Instead Jesus is saying "Open your heart, change your mind. I have great news to tell you about my Kingdom and you won't be able to hear about it if your hands are over your ears."

I love this! I also like the idea of the "love moment" where Papa just couldn't contain Himself but had to shout out how much he loved Jesus, and Holy Spirit filled the moment with Himself. Wow. Good Post!Big Hug!

Quote
The Message
Mar 1:7 As he (John) preached he said, "The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will change your life.
Mar 1:8 I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism--a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit--will change you from the inside out."
Mar 1:9 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
Mar 1:10 The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God's Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him.
Mar 1:11 Along with the Spirit, a voice: "You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life."

John must have felt very fulfilled at that moment, yet he said, "I must decrease and He must increase". Now, that's love too! Something else follows next after that verse that we wouldn't normally associate with love. He was driven by the Spirit out into the wilderness to fast and be tempted by satan. BECAUSE OF LOVE He experienced the dregs of the human experience so that we could identify with Him. He also proved His love for Father and for us by not giving into the temptations to the world, the flesh and the devil.

LoveLuv
LoveLuv
LoveLuv
LoveLuv
LoveLuv


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2010 05:46PM by Phoebe.
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 01, 2010 07:35PM
Quote
Phabulous Phoebe
He experienced the dregs of the human experience so that we could identify with Him. He also proved His love for Father and for us by not giving into the temptations to the world, the flesh and the devil.
Good one, I was having trouble seeing Love in the temptation of Jesus.

Another place I see Love is in Jesus' calling his first 4 disciples. What made them leave their nets, boats, careers, families, everything familiar? Not coercion, not guilt. He didn't hypnotize them or possess them. When Jesus called them, he wasn't a complete stranger; they knew him from John's ministry. Maybe they were there when Jesus got baptized? So they had some time to see what he was about, and I think they NEVER would have left all if he wasn't loving. One way he showed that is by relating to them on their level - "fishers of men". If he'd said, Come and be preachers with me, they'd probably have yawned. He cared enough about them to know what their area of interest & expertise was and related to them there. Just like he does with each of us.

Example: I've loved to read and to write since I was little. So that's where he meets me the most, when I'm reading something or writing in my notebook. I'm not much good at prayer or worship in the sense of singing & praising. Used to feel real inferior about that when I went to church. Now I see that Father relates to me where I am, not where I'm not.
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 01, 2010 11:08PM
Prepare the way for the Lord .

Jesus had to know what it was to be like us . so the way for Him to learn who He was had to be prepared .He had to be able to learn just like us . He just had a different kind of inner make up . being God and all ..

Hope you all are well .



Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 02, 2010 02:40PM
Re: the leper in chapter 1.

He was desperate. How did Mark know Jesus was "moved with compassion"? It had to show. So maybe Jesus had tears in his eyes as he saw what it was like to be this guy who nobody would touch. How long since somebody had touched him? years? I think Jesus felt the man's loneliness, his sense of being disgusting and gross and rejected and a danger to everyone, as he looked into the man's eyes And something showed on Jesus' face that made the onlookers say "compassion".

Why did Jesus tell the former leper not to tell anyone? What might have happened if the leper hadn't spread the word? The crowds wouldn't have been as full, Jesus might not have been confronted by the Pharisees as soon -- but it still would have turned out the same way. Maybe Jesus told the man not to tell for THE MAN'S own good, not Jesus'. Telling everyone who healed him might prejudice the priest against declaring him clean, might complicate his life in ways that only Jesus could foresee. Once again, love.
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 03, 2010 03:02PM
January 3 & 4 - Mark 2.

Here's love, shown by the friends of the paralyzed man in taking apart the roof to get their friend down to Jesus. The guys didn't bring him to be forgiven; they brought him to be healed. But Jesus saw the deeper illness. Jesus has the authority to forgive sins and he also has the desire. What prompts the desire? Love. He wants us free from our chains because of how they weigh us down and hurt us, not because he can't stand to look at them.

"How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"

Jesus answers that he goes to those who need him. Does he NOT go to those who don't need him?
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 05, 2010 01:12PM
January 5 & 6 - Mark 3.

Jesus is angry and grieved at their hardness of heart (The Message: "their hard-nosed religion"winking smiley. For them. law and traditions trumped love and compassion; for Jesus just the opposite. I can't recall very many times when it's recorded specifically that Jesus was angry, but it always seems there's grief mixed with his anger. As if he's not "snotted that they're such jerks" (as I would be) but sorrowful that their hardness is keeping them chained and far from him.

Interesting. Jesus says the word and demons flee, stretches out his hand and lifelong illnesses are cured. Yet he instructs his disciples to have a boat ready to get him out of the crowd "lest they should crush him." Did he not have the power to protect himself?
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 06, 2010 05:08PM
Quote
C Shell
As if he's not "snotted that they're such jerks" (as I would be) but sorrowful that their hardness is keeping them chained and far from him.
Very cool. I love this perspective. I want to have this perspective on other people's weaknesses / failings / "sins".
Quote
C Shell
...Yet he instructs his disciples to have a boat ready to get him out of the crowd "lest they should crush him." Did he not have the power to protect himself?
I wonder if this is LOVE too? What I mean is that he COULD have put up a force-field to protect himself, but what would that have done to the hearts of those so in need / in want of his touch?
Perhaps the boat was the most loving way to be with them.
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 12, 2010 10:03AM
Thanks for this, Shelley Excited I like treasure hunts!

Mark 6
Teaching at Nazareth
1Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him.

2When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?

3"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him. Interesting few verses here...The people know Jesus is displaying wisdom and performing miracles...yet they actively choose to take offense just because they know where he comes from in the natural realm...a carpenter; eldest of seven or more children whose father is deceased (otherwise we'd be reading 'son of Joseph').

4Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." Jesus lays out simply what is happening here; reverse parochialism; where the known is despised in favour of the mystical. I have seen this happen in families too.

5And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.

6And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.
Whoa! The Lord God UNABLE to do miracles, even though He was willing...because of the UNBELIEF. Yet He displayed his love for them in going around teaching them instead...building their belief...note that he didn't stay put, sitting on a prominent chair in a Synagogue, waiting for the people to come and be taught; He went to them!

The Twelve Sent Out
7And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits;
He called together his students, and entrusted them with a mission, giving them the power/authority to accomplish it, and instructions on behaviour...just as we do to our own children...
8and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff--no bread, no bag, no money in their belt--

9but to wear sandals; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics."

10And He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town.
I am guessing that he is talking about working out any differences you might have with the people of the house amicably, so that you may stay in the town until you are finished...
11"Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them."
If the town does not receive you or listen, then don't stress out about it...just move on, having nothing more to do with the place
12They went out and preached that men should repent.

13And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.
How beautifully exciting Excited for the pairs of disciples; that they would see the reality of the power and authority in Jesus' name, and seeing the miraculous occur because they were acting on his command.

John's Fate Recalled
14And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, "John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him."

15But others were saying, "He is Elijah " And others were saying, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old."

16But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, "John, whom I beheaded, has risen!"

17For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.

18For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."

19Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so;

20for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.

21A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee;

22and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you."

23And he swore to her, "Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom."

24And she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist."

25Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."

26And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.

27Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison,

28and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.

29When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.

30The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.
Note that the scripture changes from calling the outgoing disciples 'disciples'...now they are 'apostles';ἀπόστολος apostolos, one sent forth as a messenger.
31And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) After the apostles returned, Jesus wanted to spend some time with them; debriefing and resting...they were excited and tired, and he understood that.

32They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.

Five Thousand Fed
33The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them.

34When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Here He is, looking for a bit of peace and quiet, and the crowds won't leave him alone! Does he blast them? Nope...he has compassion, and gives them what they are asking for!

35When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and it is already quite late;

36send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."

37But He answered them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?"

38And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish."

39And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass.

40They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.

41And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all.

42They all ate and were satisfied,

43and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish.

44There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.
This fantastic miracle is yet another teaching opportunity; about the miraculous bounty of God, giving us just what we need.

Jesus Walks on the Water
45Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away.

46After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. Why go to the mountain to pray? To be alone with God, I think.

47When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. Amazing eyesight...remember it's night time, there are no lights, they are in the middle of the sea, and he's at the top of a mountain!

48Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.

49But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out;

50for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." Laughing He must have been just about wetting himself, seeing their reaction...yet he takes pity like a parent to a child...

51Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished,

52for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

Healing at Gennesaret
53When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore.

54When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him,

55and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was.

56Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured. He did not in any way cast away any who came to him, but knowing that healing was there for them through faith, let them touch him. Given that he was already going to them, and that more were coming from other places, there must have been crowds and crowds of sick people there!

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Anonymous User
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 12, 2010 02:16PM
Thanks for reading this scripture with us. I loved your comments.
I always have thought of this as Jesus' "Long Day". He hears the news of John's death, and is grieved in His heart just like any of us would be at the news of the passing of a friend. He seeks some solitude, alone, away from the crowds, to grieve and to talk to Papa about it and receive His comfort. The crowds follow Him, pressing in on Him with their needs. With love, He gives up His right to solitude and goes to them with a heart full of love and ministry....then after meeting their needs and teaching them, he again goes off by Himself...only to be interrupted again by the knowledge of his fearful disciples in the storm. He goes to them...they go across to the other shore...He is met there by more hungry, needy crowds of people, to whom He gives His heart in ministry. SUCH LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 13, 2010 01:19PM
I agree, Phoebe, what a long, intense, emotional day that was for Jesus. When I have days like that, I get cranky. I'm thinking, "I need some time for meeeeee!" Jesus didn't have any of that "meeeeeee" in him. He and his Father were one, so there was always "we". On those days when I have a clear sense of God and me being one, of his love and support of me, I can do the Energizer Bunny thing too grinning smiley It's only when I think I have to do it all by myself that I get cranky.
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 18, 2010 09:28AM
Mark 7:
32They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.

33Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;

34and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!"

35And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.


This is just one passage in this chapter...that shows that faith is not only INDIVIDUAL, but CORPORATE too...a crowd from the Decapolis brings Jesus a DEAF MUTE, who must have had very little understanding of what he was getting himself into; but the crowd knew Jesus could heal him. Yet Jesus takes the man aside, and goes through an odd little sequence, obviously for the man's benefit. Then he commands the MAN "Ephphatha!", not telling the devil nor anything else. Interesting, eh? Given that the man was deaf, He must have been speaking directly to his spirit and commanding his body.

What does this mean for you?

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 18, 2010 11:36AM
Doesn't it seem like Jesus' movements were exaggerated, like he was doing a pantomime for the deaf mute, so he would know what was happening to him? or maybe for some other reason, but knowing Jesus, it's just like something he would do to ease the man's fears (Jesus being loving again). Because like you pointed out, Onyx, the man was probably very out of touch with who Jesus was or what was going on around him and was probably scared to death.

I hadn't thought before that the man couldn't HEAR him say Ephphatha. Duh! how did I miss that? Jesus "bypassed" the man's brain. Which says to me that you don't have to consciously know when Jesus is touching you; it can be picked up by your spirit. This gives me hope that when I don't think Jesus is speaking to me, it may be just that he's communicating with me on a deeper level.
Re: Looking for Love in Mark
January 18, 2010 01:40PM
Remember the gospel is a particular genre . so the way Jesus did long winded speeches where there was no dialogue or the mode of narrative . . . may be just a representation the culture then would have understood it in .

Hope you all are well .



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