JUNE & JULY Themes

Following Jesus - Through the Gospel of Mark

As we approach the days of Summer, it is a great time to read along, follow along together, through the Gospel of Mark. We find our Savior Jesus leading us in the ways of His ministry. This is indeed what we seek to do, follow Jesus as His ministry continues even today.  

June 6 - The Stronger Man

The strength of evil, the strength of Satan, fills people with fear. As Jesus did His work of casting out demons, the teachers of religious law, claimed that Jesus gained His power to do these things from Satan himself. Of course this accusation displayed their fear, and caused even more fear among the people. In His denial of this accusation, Jesus simply explains that He is the stronger man. He has the strength to bind up Satan, beat him, and take what he has claimed as his own.          

Readings: Gen. 3:8-15, Mark 3:20-35  

June 13 - Planting Seeds

While Jesus did His work of teaching, He often taught using parables. It seems that the people would hear stories about things that they were very familiar with, but the topic of the stories would teach about things that were very foreign. Something as familiar as planting seeds, would teach about something as mysterious as planting the powerful seeds of the Gospel.               

Readings: Ezek. 17:22-24, Mark 4:26-34  

June 20 - Storm Chasing

There are people that chase after severe storms, in order to warn others, document the science, and learn for the future. But they only chase, they cannot overpower a storm or even change it’s course. With simple words, Jesus did His work, He calmed the storm that terrified those around Him. In the process, He added to their terror. “Who is this man?” “Even the wind and the waves obey him!”               

Readings: Job 38:1-11, Mark 4:35-41  

June 27 - Commanding Sickness and Death

Jesus‘ work of healing was becoming well known. People in need came looking for Him, others crowded around to witness the miracles. But today’s reading describes something even more amazing. He could make people better, He could take away their illness, He could make them well. But He could also command death. Sickness and death were forced to obey Him.               

Readings: Lam. 3:22-33, Mark 5:21-43  

July 4 - Speaking the Hard Truth

The message that Jesus proclaimed was not always well received. Obviously, the truth about sin, and a call to repentance can be very uncomfortable to hear. We have experienced this ourselves. Yet, what is most interesting, is Jesus response to those who refuse to receive His words. He doesn’t chase them, or concede to their refusal. He continues the work of speaking the hard truth, and even displaying the truth.            

Readings: Ezek. 2:1-5, Mark 6:1-13

July 11 - Who’s The Boss?

The people certainly held Jesus in high regard. Some said that He was a prophet, others described Him as a miracle worker. Still others believed that He was Elijah himself, or in the case of Herod the king, John the Baptist raised from the dead. These are great titles and important servants of God from the past, but they fall terribly short of His actual identity. He is not a prophet, but the One the prophets speak about. He is the true King, the Ruler, the Creator - The Boss - God Himself.                   

Readings: Amos 7:7-15, Mark 6:14-29  

July 18 - He Feeds the Crowds

The work of Christ is incredible, important, beyond valuable, even essential. It is the most important “work” in the history of humankind. Because this is true, we can become so serious as we speak of every word and every act of Jesus. But consider His action of feeding the crowds of people. Was this a simple gesture of love? Was this done with a smile? Did He sit with people and enjoy time to have a meal? While He worked, did He also have a little fun?            

Readings: Jer. 23:1-6, Mark 6:30-44

July 25 - He Walks on Water

Why were the disciples “terrified” when they saw Jesus walking on the water? Why didn’t they cheer Him on, and celebrate His command of the elements? Could it be that we understand their fear, because we are also filled with fear, when His miraculous works are revealed? What about His miraculous work today, can you cheer and praise Him, or are you terrified?          

Readings: Gen. 9:8-17, Mark 6:45-56