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READING: 2 Timothy 1-4 – Paul’s Last Letter                     Archives are here  

Paul wrote this letter from a prison in Rome. Seeing the end first, he sounds deserted needing friends. Demas forsook him because he loved the present world. Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke was with him. He told Timothy to bring Mark with him when he came “for he is useful in my ministry.” He asked Timothy to “bring the cloak left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.” (More writing?) In his first defense, “no one came to his support, but all deserted him.” He prayed it would not be counted against them! “The Lord stood by him and gave him strength.”  

His last words to Timothy were, “Do your best to come before winter;” he would need his cloak. Looking at the end gives us an idea of his state of mind. Yet, even in what we call depression, he gave Timothy good instructions from 1:1–4:8. He worked for the Lord in all he wrote. 

He loved Timothy and wanted to see him in chapter 1, and where he spoke of the faith that was first in Timothy’s grandmother and mother – and which was certainly in Timothy. He encouraged Timothy not to be ashamed of Paul’s suffering for the Lord but u him to join in suffering for the gospel. He spoke of the grace given in Christ before the world began, which has been revealed through the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. 

He challenged Timothy, “Hold to the sound teaching you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Favorite passages: 

  • “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” 1:7. 
  • “I know the one whom I believed, and I am sure He will guard what I have entrusted to Him” 1:12. 
  • “What you heard from me, entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others” 2:2. 
  • “Do your best to present yourself to God, approved by him, a worker with no need to be ashamed” 2:15. 
  • “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly, patient, correcting with gentleness” 2:24-25.  
  • “From childhood, you knew the sacred writings instructing you for salvation through faith in Christ” 3:15. 
  • “Preach the word; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable” 4:2. 
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not to me only, but to all who have longed for His appearing” 4:7-8. 

Paul was a great mentor for Timothy from Timothy’s teens about a.d. 50 until Paul’s death in Rome c. a.d. 66. 

I wish each believer would mentor at least one “Timothy” in our lives; one of our children, a convert we taught, or a friend we meet along the way. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF  

Father, I pray that I may have someone to teach me as Paul taught Timothy; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each pour ourselves into the lives of a few who will be able to do the same for another few. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Titus 1-3 – Good Works & Sound Doctrine


Except for Philemon, Titus is the shortest of Paul’s epistles. Paul calls Titus “my loyal child in the faith we share.”  

There are two major themes in this book: the importance of good works and sound, healthy, doctrine or teaching. He charges Titus to appoint elders in every town. He talks about the sort of man to appoint. “He must have a firm grasp of the trustworthy word in accordance with the teaching, so he may preach with sound doctrine and refute those who contradict it.” 

In Crete there were rebellious people, especially Jews, who needed silencing. One of their own said, “Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.” Paul said, “That testimony is true.” They needed sharp rebuke, “so that they may become sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths.” 

Sound doctrine = healthy teaching. Without healthy teaching a church will not function as the Lord intends. Chapter two has much healthy teaching. Older men must be temperate, serious, prudent, and have healthy faith, love and endurance. Older women must be reverent, not slanderers, or “slaves to drink.” They were to teach what is good, and “encourage young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, being submissive to their husbands, so that God’s word may not be discredited.” Misbehavior is detrimental to the gospel! 

These admonitions overlap, for all ought to have the principles of sound teaching. Young men also need self-control. Titus himself was to be a “model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured.” Slaves were to be submissive to their masters. They were “not to talk back, nor to pilfer, but to show complete fidelity, that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.” Good behavior helps spread the gospel! 

I discovered grace when I began to understand Titus 2:11-15. Grace is not license to sin; instead, it teaches us “to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly.” We do not wait until the Lord returns to become righteous and godly. “He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us and purify for himself a people who are zealous for good deeds.” 

In chapter three Paul says to remind the church of the basics of Christian living as he also reminds them of how all formerly lived. When “the goodness and loving kindness of God appeared, He saved us, not because of works of righteousness we had done, but according to His mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” 

Paul tells Titus to insist on these things (that God has done), “so believers will be eager to devote themselves to good works.”  

Paul closes his admonitions by saying, “Avoid stupid controversies” for they are “unprofitable and useless.”  

After two admonitions, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father, I pray that I may always be eager to do good works because of what You, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have done to save me, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we pay close attention to Paul’s instructions to Titus that he be careful to stress the things that will make us eager to do good works. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: 1 Tim. 4-6 – Asceticism vs. Godliness, Duties to Believers, True Riches, & Good Fight of Faith


Some renounce the faith, paying attention to doctrines of demons, forbidding marriage and demanding abstinence from foods, which God created for us to receive with thanksgiving. All God’s creation is good, and nothing must be rejected, if received with thanksgiving and prayer. 

True godliness is nourished in faith and healthy teaching. Physical training, meaning asceticism, has some value, yet godliness is valuable in every way because we have set our hope on the living God. 

Let no one despise your youth. At the time, Timothy was probably in his twenties but was charged with setting an example in speech and conduct, in love, faith, and purity. Paul told him, as part of his example, to pay attention to the public reading of Scripture. 

Paul tells Timothy how to treat people. Treat older men as fathers and younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. 

Honor widows. Much of chapter five is devoted to caring for widows. If she has a family that can care for her, they should do it. If there is no family, the church should put her on the list of widows – if she is over sixty years old, a one-man woman who is well attested for good works. I believe the Catholic Church developed their nuns from this text – except their nuns usually enter the nunnery as young women, which is the opposite of what Paul is talking about. 

Elders who rule well are worthy of double honor, especially those who work at preaching and teaching. Never accept an accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or more witnesses. If they persist in sin, they should be rebuked before all so others will fear. He adds, “Keep these instructions without prejudice… Do not ordain anyone hastily.”  

You are to teach and urge these duties. “Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words.” A friend of my father once said to him, “I do not feel as if I have been to church unless I have a good argument.” He was a perfect example of what Paul warns Timothy against. 

True riches are those that are stored up in heaven. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” There are other roots of evil, but the love of money is one, and when we love money too much we do fall into evil practices. As a godly person, shun such and pursue righteousness faith, love, patience, and gentleness. “Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of eternal life,” which is to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. 

Warn the rich to trust God, not wealth. 

This is why it is hard for a rich man to enter heaven. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father, I pray that I may ever walk in the paths of righteousness and godly behavior, always trusting You. Keep me from arrogance and judgment of others, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we may pay attention to Paul’s instructions to Timothy. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: 1 Tim. 1-3 – Warnings, Gratitude, Prayer, Bishops, Deacons, and Mystery


Paul’s first letter to Timothy explained why he left him in charge of the Ephesian church when he went into Macedonia. He was charged with instructing certain people not to teach any different doctrines nor to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that lead to wild speculation. These speculations were replacing the divine training that is known by faith. 

“The aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Some have deviated from these, desiring to be teachers of the law without understanding what they are saying nor the things about which they make assertions.” 

Paul expressed to Timothy his gratitude toward Christ “because he judged me faithful, even though I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief.” Paul said that he had been the chief of sinners. 

Timothy received these instructions in keeping with prophecies made about him, so that he may “fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience.” Certain persons have rejected conscience and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith – including Hymenaeus and Alexander. 

Prayer, intersessions, and thanksgiving should be made for all; kings and all in high places, so we may lead a quiet, peaceable life with godliness. This pleases God who wants all to be saved and know the truth. 

Chapter three lays out the qualities of character and experience needed in one who aspires to the work of the episcopoi, or the overseers who care for the church. This word is applied to those who care for widows and orphans (James 1:27). His character must be impeccable. He must be married to one woman (literally he must be a “one-woman-man”). He must have a temperate disposition, not a drunkard or violent temper, but gentle. He is to be hospitable, sensible, and respectable. He must manage his household well, and keep his children submissive and respectful. How can he manage the church if he cannot manage his home? Nor should he be a recent convert, lest he be puffed up. He must be well thought of by outsiders, so he will not fall into disgrace and the devil’s snare. 

Servants (diakanoi, transliterated as deacons) are to first be proven, then let them serve. They must be serious, not two-faced, not a winebibber, nor greedy for money. The deacon must hold fast to the mystery of the faith. Deacons must also be one-woman-men (or one-man-women, if women serve as deaconesses, here maybe and Phoebe in Romans 16:1-2). 

The Mystery of Godliness is shown in Christ. He was revealed in the flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, and taken up in glory. “There is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humans, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all.” 

Hallelujah! What a Savior! 

Can we fathom this mystery of Jesus? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF

Father in the Heavens, I marvel at the mystery of the godhead, and that Jesus is human and divine! His mystery is great but so meaningful to me. This is my prayer of thanksgiving, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my mediator between You and me, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we may be thankful for your goodness, merciful kindness, love, and grace plus being thankful for Your gift of Your Son for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Mark 15-16 – Jesus Before Pilate, Crucified, and Risen


They brought Jesus to Pilate to try Him. They accused Him of claiming to be a King. Pilate asked, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say so.” Pilate was amazed Jesus was silent and didn’t answer any of the accusations the Jews made.  

Pilate customarily freed a prisoner at the Passover festival. He asked, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” There was another prisoner who committed murder during the insurrection named Barabbas. This name means “Son of a father.” The choice was releasing the Son of God or the murdering son of a father. 

The priests stirred up the crowd to call for Barabbas’s release. Pilate asked, “What do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” The crowd shouted, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate asked, “Why? What evil has He done?” The crowd shouted louder, “CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!” Had the crowd that accompanied Jesus on His triumphant entry into Jerusalem deserted Him? With huge numbers in Jerusalem for Passover, there were plenty of people for multiple crowds. We know some of Jesus’s followers watched His crucifixion. Pilate wanted to please the Jews and those in his court early that morning wanted Jesus crucified, so he turned Jesus over to be crucified. 

Jesus was crucified at 9:00 o’clock, the hour of prayer. The inscription on the cross read, “The King of the Jews.” They crucified two bandits, one on His right and the other on His left. Mockery abounded – until darkness covered the whole land from noon until 3:00 o’clock. It was not an eclipse, for Passover was always in the time of the full moon when the earth was between the sun and moon.  

At three o’clock (also the hour of prayer), Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He gave a loud cry, “It is finished!” and breathed His last. The Centurion overseeing the crucifixion said, “Truly, this man was God’s son!” There were women who followed Him watching. Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the council and a secret disciple, asked Pilate for his body. Pilate was surprised Jesus was dead in six hours. He learned from the Centurion He was dead, so Pilate released the body. Joseph put the body in his own tomb as Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched. 

Friday, Sabbath, and Sunday, three days, and the Son of God arose, the firstborn from the dead never to die again. 

When the women came to anoint His body, they found the tomb empty, except for a young man in a white robe who showed them where He had lain and told them He was alive. His disciples did not believe them. Later, He appeared to the eleven and upbraided them for their unbelief. He sent them into all the world to preach to every creature. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved. Then He ascended back to the Father. 

How would we react to the Great Commission?

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, I thank you for giving Your Son to die for me. I do not know how you could do that, except that You loved us sinners. I thank you again, for this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we meditate deeply on how Barabbas reacted after being released. Did he change his life and become a Jesus follower? Or did he continue his insurrectionist ways? I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Mark 14 – Anointed, Judas Offers Betrayal, Passover Becomes Lord’s Supper, Scattered Sheep, Gethsemane, Arrested, Condemned, Denied


The chief priests wanted to arrest Jesus, but “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot.” Judas offered to betray Him, solving their problem. 

Judas said, “Why this waste? This ointment could be sold for more than 300 denarii and given to the poor.” Jesus said, “She did a good thing for me. She anointed my body for burial.” This sent Judas to the priests who wanted his arrest. 

The first day of unleavened bread, two disciples were told, “Follow a man carrying a jar of water to his home.” They asked the owner, “Where is the room where Jesus can celebrate Passover?”  

At the Passover, Jesus said, “One of you will betray Me” He made Passover the Lord’s Supper to be celebrated with bread as His body, and the fruit of the vine as His blood. He said, “You all shall desert me; it is written, ‘I will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.’” Peter said, “Though all desert, I won’t.” Jesus said, “Tonight before the cock crows twice, you will deny me thrice.” Peter said, “Though I die with you, I will not deny you;” all said the same. 

In Gethsemane, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him, saying, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and KEEP AWAKE.” He went a little further, threw Himself on the ground, and prayed, “Abba, Father, remove this cup from Me; YET, NOT MY WILL, BUT YOUR WILL.” He found the three disciples asleep. He said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you’ll not come into trial.” Jesus prayed again as before, and again found the three asleep. He woke them, but they did not know what to say. A third time Jesus prayed and came to the three and said, “Are you still sleeping? Enough! The Son of Man is betrayed into hands of sinners.” 

Judas arrived and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. All the disciples fled. Jesus was arrested and taken to the High Priest. Peter followed at a distance and entered the courtyard where he stood near the guards by the fire. 

The Priests sought two witnesses to testify against Him, but their witnesses did not agree. The High Priest asked Jesus, “Are You the Messiah?” Jesus said, “You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” The High Priest tore his robes and said, “Why do we need witnesses? You have heard His Blasphemy yourselves?” All said He deserved death. 

In the courtyard by the fire, a servant-girl said you were with Him. Peter denied it. He went into the forecourt and the cock crowed. The girl told others Peter was with Jesus. Again, he lied. Then several said his accent betrayed him, and Peter cursed and swore he did not know Him – and the cock crowed. 

Then Peter remembered what Jesus said. 

He went out and wept bitterly. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, I am too much like Peter in his weakness. Help me remember what I should do or not do before I should have done it or have already done what I should not do; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we meditate deeply on the difference between Judas and Peter. Both sinned, but only one was redeemed. I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!


READING: Mark 10 – Divorce, Children, Rich Ruler, Death & Resurrection, Zebedee’s Sons’s Request, Blind Man                   Archives are here  

Pharisees tried to draw Jesus into controversy over divorce; instead, He talked about marriage as it was from the beginning. God made male and female. A man should leave his parents and join his wife; two become one. In every divorce, someone sins, though it was permitted by Moses “Because of your hardness of heart.” Some are stricter than Moses. Listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 as well as to Jesus. 

The disciples asked about this privately. As they talked, people in the house brought children to Jesus. The disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let children come to me; don’t stop them; the kingdom of God belongs to them.”  

A man ran to Jesus, knelt before Him, and asked, “Good Teacher, how can I inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked why he called Him good; only God is good. Did Jesus ask to see if he would confess Him as God.) Jesus added, “You know the commandments,” and listed murder, adultery, theft, false witness, fraud, and honoring parents. The man said, “I kept these from my youth.” Jesus said, “You lack this. Give all to the poor and have treasure in heaven, and follow me.” He went away, preferring earthly treasures over heavenly. 

Jesus said it is difficult for a rich person to enter heaven; “It Is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.” Peter said we left everything to follow You. Jesus said they would be richly rewarded now, with persecutions, and have eternal life in the age to come.” 

The sons of Zebedee asked Jesus to do for them whatever they asked. He said, “What do you want me to do?” They said, “For one of us to sit on Your right hand and the other on Your left in Your glory.” Jesus said, “You do not know what you’re asking. Can you drink my cup and endure my baptism?” They said they could, but Jesus said it is not mine to give; “It is for those to whom the Father gives it.” 

The other ten were indignant when they heard of this. Jesus said, you are all thinking like the Gentiles. “Among you, those who want to be first must be the servant of all. Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

Jesus showed His service as they passed through Jericho and a blind man called, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” Some tried to shut him up, but he cried louder. Jesus said, “Bring him to me.” They said, He is calling for you. The blind man jumped up and threw his cloak aside (something no blind man does!) and came to Jesus, who asked, “What do you want?” He replied, “Let me see!” Jesus gave him his sight. 

Jesus was still serving as He approached Jerusalem to die. 

How are we serving those around us? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, how can I inherit eternal life? The rich man who asked this of Jesus was not willing to have treasures in heaven; he preferred to have his treasures on earth. I am tempted in this as well; but I ask for Your guidance in this to keep me honest with you. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we meditate on all that is said in the Scriptures about divorce. We are told that God hates divorce, yet Ezra and Nehemiah insisted that those who had married pagans separate from them. Paul said to remain with them IF they are willing to live with you; if they leave, you are not bound to that marriage. There are so many ramifications to the Scriptures that address divorce and remarriage, we need the wisdom of Solomon to sift through all passages. God created marriage for the benefit of man and woman. Let us live together in peace. I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!  

READING: Mark 7-8 – Tradition, Syrophoenician Faith, All Things Well, 4,000 Fed, Why That Way? 


Pharisaic traditions trumped God’s commandments. Jesus’s disciples were eating with defiled hands, a no-no with Pharisees. Jesus accused them of setting aside God’s command to honor parents by telling them what I might have given to them was Corban or devoted to God. The Pharisees did not allow Corban to be kept from his parents. 

Ritual hand washing before eating was a command of men, not God, as was the Corban tradition. God’s command to honor parents was trumped by the Corban tradition. Jesus said, “Nothing outside a person can defile because it passes through the stomach and into the sewer; it does not affect the heart, but from the heart comes defilement – evil intent, immorality, murders, thefts, deceits, pride, and folly.” 

Jesus went into Tyre, a Gentile city to teach his disciples away from the crowds and did not want any to know he was there. But he could not be hidden. A Syrophoenician woman whose daughter had an evil spirit begged Him to cast it out. Jesus said to her, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Jesus said, “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.” Faith is where you find it, was his message to His disciples. 

Back in Galilee, they brought a deaf man to him with an impediment in speech. Jesus put his fingers into his ears, spat, touched his tongue, and said, “Be Opened!” The man could hear and speak plainly. People said, “He’s done everything well; he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” 

Again, a large crowd gathered around Jesus where there was no food. Jesus had compassion because they were with Him three days. He took seven loaves, a few fish, and fed 4,000 people.  

In Dalmanutha, the Pharisees asked for a sign. Jesus sighed and said no sign would be given. Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod. They thought, “We have no bread.” Jesus reminded them of feeding 5,000 and 4,000 with scant supplies and the basketfuls they picked up. 

In Bethsaida, they brought a blind man to Jesus. Jesus took him aside, put saliva on his eyes, laid his hands on him, and asked if he could see anything. He said, “I see men, but they look like trees walking.” Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again, and he saw clearly. (See committedtotruth.wordpress.com; search “Why did He Do It Like That?”) That healing was a parable in action. 

Jesus asked, “Whom do you say that I am?” Peter responded, “You are the Christ.” Jesus then began to tell them He was going to Jerusalem where he would be killed and rise again.  

Peter rebuked Jesus. He knew He was Messiah but didn’t know what that meant. 

Do we know what we need to know? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, my prayer is that I have the faith of the Syrophoenician woman. But I can if I put my trust in Jesus. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we focus on Jesus’s encounter with the Pharisees and their tradition. What traditions do we have that we expect others to follow to be one of “us” (whoever “we” are). I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!  

READING: Mark 5-6 – Legion, Woman, Jairus’s Daughter, Rejection in Nazareth, 5,000 Fed


On the other side, a naked, crazy man came running at them. He bowed before Jesus, shouting “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of God? Do not torment me,” for Jesus said to the demon, “Come out!” Jesus asked him his name. He replied, “Legion, for we are many.” The Demonic spirits begged Jesus not to send them away but asked if they could go into the herd of swine feeding nearby. Jesus gave permission. When the demons entered the swine, they ran down a steep hill into the sea and drowned.  

The swineherds went into the city and told what happened. People came and saw the crazy man sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. This frightened them; Jesus had more power than demons, so they begged him to leave their neighborhood. As Jesus and his disciples got into the boat, the man who had the legion of demons begged to come with Him. Jesus told him to go home and tell everyone what Jesus did for him. Instead of following Jesus, the Lord gave him a mission – proclaim in Gentile cities what Jesus had done for him.  

On the first side, a crowd gathered. Jairus, a synagogue ruler, came, begging Jesus to come to heal his twelve-year-old daughter. As He went, a woman hemorrhaging blood for twelve years came behind Him to touch His clothing, thinking that would heal her; it did. Jesus, feeling power leave him, stopped to ask who touched Him. She came trembling, fell at His feet, and told all she had done. Jesus said, “Your faith healed you; go in peace.” 

About that time, messengers from Jairus’s home came and said not to bother Jesus anymore, for his daughter had died. Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not fear; believe!” Jesus continued to Jairus’s home where mourners were wailing in grief. He said, “She is not dead but is sleeping.” With three disciples and her parents, He entered her room, took her hand, and said, “Little girl, get up.” She got up and walked. Jesus said, “Give her something to eat” and said no one was to know this. 

Chapter six tells how Nazareth rejected Jesus, how John the Baptist died at Herod’s order, and how Jesus took His disciples to a lonely place to escape the crowds around Him, but the people saw where He was going and got there ahead of him.  

Jesus had compassion on the crowd; they were like shepherdless sheep. He taught them until it was late, when His disciples urged him to send them away to find food. Jesus said, “You feed them.” They found five loaves and two fish; Jesus blessed the food, broke it into pieces, and His disciples passed it to the people; all ate as much as they wanted, about 5,000 men plus women and children. 

Can any doubt that Jesus was the central character of the gospels? 

None could match Him then, nor can they now! 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, my prayer is that I have the faith of the woman with the hemorrhage of blood. But I can if I will put my trust in Jesus. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we focus on Jesus’s encounter with the Gadarene demoniac, who became the first missionary to the Gentiles. By the time Mark wrote his gospel, Judaizers were hounding Paul, but the church had the demoniac’s example to draw on. I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

READING: Mark 3-4 – Sabbath Healing, Beelzebul, True Kindred, Parables, & Peace, Be Still  


One Sabbath, Jesus entered a synagogue; a man with a withered hand was there, and “They watched to see if He would heal him, so they might accuse Him.” Jesus attacked. He spoke to the man, “Come forward!” Then He asked the Rulers of the Synagogue, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath? To save life or to kill?” He looked around at them with anger and grief; they were silent. He spoke to the man, saying, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was as whole as his other hand. Was it unlawful to speak? Or to stretch out a hand? These Pharisees began to conspire with the Herodians how to destroy Jesus. 

The crowds coming to Jesus grew as people came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He cured many, including demoniacs who shouted, “You are the Son of God.” He had to teach from a boat when He was by the Sea of Galilee.  

He went up the mountain, prayed, then named His chosen Twelve to be apostles. 

The crowds were so dense he could not even eat. The Jerusalem scribes said He was possessed by Beelzebul, prince of demons. Jesus called those scribes to Him and said, “How can Satan cast out Satan? A divided kingdom cannot stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided, and his kingdom cannot stand.” He said, “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven” because they said Jesus had a demonic spirit. 

Chapter four tells the story of our friend, the Parable of the Sower; it also recounts the parable of the growing seed – a blade, a stalk, the head, and the full grain in the head. The earth produces this by itself after the seed is sown, but the farmer does not know how. But when the grain is ready, he puts in the sickle to reap it. At what stage are you since the seed of God’s word was sown in your heart?

The final paragraph of chapter four relates the storm at sea. Jesus was tired after a day of teaching and healing. He suggested that they go across the sea to the other side. The disciples all came in the boat and other boats came along as well. Jesus fell asleep in the stern of the boat. As he slept, a fierce storm came up and the waves beat into the boat so that they were in danger of sinking. The frightened disciples woke him and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still” The wind ceased and there was a dead calm. He said, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 

They said to one another, “Who is this? Even the wind and sea obey Him!” 

He who stilled the sea can still storms threatening you – if you believe. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, my prayer is that I wish I could have lived in Galilee when Jesus was there. I would like to have seen the miracles he performed. Many who lived then did not see them, but all heard of them. I wonder if they scoffed at the reports they heard? Or did they believe? My prayer is that if I had been there, I would have believed as well as been amazed. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN! 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we meditate on the number of times Jesus said to his disciples, “Where is your faith? If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could ask what you desire, and it would be given to you.” Does lack of faith hinder our prayers? Do we need to pray, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

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