Mark's story about Jesus' resurrection ends with the primary witnesses of his death, burial, and resurrection scared speechless. Yet, when we think about it, Mark's story calls each of us to live fearlessly in the light of Jesus' authority over all things.
Joseph of Arimathea proves to be a disciple of Jesus by the way he treats Jesus' body. In three ways, Joseph teaches all of us about faithfully following Jesus, the Lord.
Fred Willmon presents Paul's letter to the Colossians. This is a letter that sets forth in a clear way what all Christians must be in light of who Jesus is and what he has done in redeeming us.
Jesus was arrested and given an initial "trial" at the house of the high priest. It was a kangaroo court. They had a verdict and were searching for evidence to back it up. There was no evidence available until Jesus provided it for them with his confession: "I am" the Christ, the Son of God.
That would not be the last time that the ungodly world system would condemn a Christian for the good confession of the Christian faith. Today, we can feel the pulse of a new time of trouble for Christians in America. Marxism has suddenly emerged in a variety of forms, all with a common spirit: the destruction of American society, traditions, and values--especially the destruction of Christianity.
On trial for his life, because of his faithful service to the Father, Jesus provides an example of how we--his disciples--should respond in our own approaching crisis. He teaches us how to fight like The Lamb.
A Pharisee scribe receives a favorable response from Jesus, that he is "not far from the kingdom of God." What the scribe lacks instructs all disciples in the all-important truth of the lordship of Jesus.
Jesus teaches those who would be disciples in the Kingdom of God to pay their taxes and to let God use life experiences to stamp his own image on our heart.
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.