Mark XII: Responding to the Shepherd - Mark 6:1-44

This collection of episodes gives us a whole list of options to answer Mark’s big question: “Who is Jesus?”. As Mark retells the story of Jesus’ ministry, we’re given a front row seats to watch these various groups of people try puzzle it out through different answers. And in the way Mark reveals these events, these various answers are put to the test: which answer really captures who Jesus is? Which answer changes your life?To the people of Nazareth, Jesus is a handyman who’s gotten all high and mighty. And what happens as the result of this belief? Because of…

Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2018 by CJ Bowen

Good Stewards of God's Varied Grace - 1 Peter 4:10-11

1 Peter 4:10-11 gives a word of instruction and encouragement for both speaking gifts and for serving gifts. God’s grace is given in a variety of ways, but God’s goal for all of His gifts is the same: that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.The great risks of failing to understand this are that instead of embracing this God-given variety, we will flatten everything out into a boring sameness, and instead of speaking for God and serving in His strength, we will speak our own words and serve in our own strength. The first error downplays the…

Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by CJ Bowen

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