Mark XI: Only Believe - Mark 5:21-43

When Jesus crosses the sea back into Judea, He is surrounded by the crowd once again when a synagogue ruler named Jairus came and fell at his feet. His daughter is dying, and her only hope is Jesus. And so no matter what happens to Jairus’ reputation, he puts his trust in Jesus, and Jesus responds by going with him.The crowd follows too, and here Mark gives us another one of his famous sandwich stories: we start with Jairus, but then Jesus is interrupted by a woman with a flow of blood, and then we return to Jairus. This isn’t…

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by CJ Bowen

Mark X: The Fear of the Lord - Mark 4:35-5:20

Does Jesus make you afraid? We talk about loving Jesus, knowing Jesus, or being amazed by Jesus, but do you fear Jesus? You ought to!We are still in the first section of Mark’s gospel, where the main question that Mark seeks to answer shows up in 4:41: “Who is this?” And what Jesus does in these two stories from Mark 4:35-5:20 moves us closer to an answer, but it’s not a safe or comfortable answer.What ties these accounts together is the response that Jesus gets. The structure of both stories is similar, and you can see it clearly when…

Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by CJ Bowen

Mark IX: Kingdom Parables - Mark 4:1-34

Same message. Same kingdom. Same Jesus. Different responses. Wildly different responses. Why? If this message is good news, why isn’t that obvious to everyone? If God’s kingdom really is breaking into our world, how can so many people not see it? If Jesus is the Son of God, as Mark has said, then why do some people think that he’s an insane demoniac?The first parable that Jesus tells in Mark 4 illustrates the different responses that Jesus gets, but it does so in a way that ensures that those differing responses continue. Calling forth these different responses is what His…

Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2018 by CJ Bowen