On Mount Zion, Jesus promises that his disciples can pray to God and move mountains out of their place and into the sea. The greatest mountain we all must move is to forgive those who have offended us and hurt us. The good news is that because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, his disciples can know how to pray so that God will help us move that mountain of forgiveness.
The crowds in Judea celebrate the coming of King Jesus, as they should. The story challenges disciples of Jesus in America to remember that Jesus is our King. He has promised - and proven - that he will provide everything we need. He is worthy of our celebration every time we gather to worship in his name.
Jesus leaves Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. As Mark tells the story, nothing of importance happened in Jericho at that time. Jesus is focused on getting to Jerusalem for the showdown with the authorities of the Jewish establishment. He plans to reveal himself at last as the Christ, the long awaited savior, the "Son of David."
Mark has been careful so far to preserve this secret identity of Jesus. Anytime demons proclaimed his authority and divinity, Jesus silenced them. Those who were healed were often admonished to say nothing about it. It has only been very recently (Mark 8) that even the Twelve began to put things together and understand Jesus is "the Christ."
Why, then, does this blind beggar, Bartimaeus, already know that Jesus is "Son of David"? The answer directs us to know how to be faithful disciples in our own time when so many blind their eyes to the truth of Jesus.
2021 has already been off to an eventful start. For those who love the truth, Big Tech censorship of anyone questioning election integrity, for example, seems to set the tone for much more trouble ahead (2 Thess 2:10). How should disciples of Jesus Christ respond? How should we engage the challenging times ahead? In a capstone lesson on discipleship to The Twelve apostles, Jesus calls us to see cross-shaped opportunities to serve others, rejoicing in the chance to drink the "cup" of Christ, being baptized in the fire of the emerging Kingdom of God.
Why does Jesus teach the disciples that it is impossible for a wealthy person to enter the Kingdom of God? What hope is there for Americans who are all wealthy compared to many places around the world? In this study we learn that Jesus can save even wealthy people, if we will humble ourselves to receive from him the gift of salvation.