TELL EVERYONE THE GOOD NEWS

MUSINGS – December 18, 2018

TELL EVERYONE THE GOOD NEWS

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Mark 16:14-20
Still later Jesus appeared to the eleven apostles while they were eating. He put them to shame for their unbelief and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive.

Then Jesus said to them, “So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. “These are the miraculous signs that will accompany believers: They will use the power and authority of my name to force demons out of people. They will speak new languages. They will pick up snakes, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them. They will place their hands on the sick and cure them.”

After talking with the apostles, the Lord was taken to heaven, where God gave him the highest position. The disciples spread the Good News everywhere. The Lord worked with them. He confirmed his word by the miraculous signs that accompanied it.

Jesus appeared to the disciples and was angry with them because they were too stubborn to believe the witnesses he had sent to them. He then commanded them (and us) to tell everyone the Good News.

Notice that he didn’t make it a suggestion that we might occasionally mention the good news to someone in passing. Nor did Jesus say to tell people about your denomination, your church, your pastor, and Sunday school. Those are secondary to telling people that Jesus has paid the price to release them from the sins of there old life and create in them a new life. In short, tell others what Jesus head done in your life.

< This ends our study of Mark’s gosple. Stay tuned.

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DIDN’T BELIEVE

MUSINGS – December 17, 2018

DIDN’T BELIEVE

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Mark 16:9-13
After Jesus came back to life early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary from Magdala, from whom he had forced out seven demons. She went and told his friends, who were grieving and crying. They didn’t believe her when they heard that he was alive and that she had seen him.

Later Jesus appeared to two disciples as they were walking to their home in the country. He did not look as he usually did. They went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.

There was a lot of disbelief going on that Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead. The women who went to embalm him encountered an angel who told them that Jesus was alive, but they didn’t believe and fled in fear.

When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene she ran to tell the good news to the disciples, they refused to believe her.

When Jesus appeared to two of his disciples they ran to tell the others but were not believed.

When I was first told of a risen savior, I didn’t believe. Much later I had my eyes opened and believed.

Jesus has commanded his followers to spread the good news where ever we go. We can only tell. We can not force belief upon them. However, by telling others the good news, we’ve opened the way for Jesus to appear to them also.

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TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS

MUSINGS – December 16, 2018 TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Mark 16:1-8
When the day of worship was over, Mary from Magdala, Mary (the mother of James), and Salome bought spices to go and anoint Jesus. On Sunday they were going to the tomb very early when the sun had just come up. They said to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. It was a very large stone. As they went into the tomb, they saw a young man. He was dressed in a white robe and sat on the right side. They were panic-stricken.

The young man said to them, “Don’t panic! You’re looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been brought back to life. He’s not here. Look at the place where they laid him. Go and tell his disciples and Peter that he’s going ahead of them to Galilee. There they will see him, just as he told them.”

They went out of the tomb and ran away. Shock and trembling had overwhelmed them. They didn’t say a thing to anyone, because they were afraid.

What a difference between this angelic announcement of Jesus’s resurrection and the announcement of his birth.

On the night Jesus was born a host (literally an army) of angels appeared to some shepherds out in the countryside at night. Though they were not given a command to go to him nor to tell anyone, they ran to find him and then told everyone that they met.*

Here the women are quietly met the day after the day off worship (Friday night through Saturday night) by a single angel who commands them to go and tell his disciples of Jesus’s resurrection. However, they run away in fear and tell no one.

*Luke 2:8-20

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THE FAITHFUL FEW

MUSINGS – December 15, 2018

THE FAITHFUL FEW

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Mark 15:42-47
It was Friday evening, before the day of worship, when Joseph arrived. He was from the city of Arimathea and was an important member of the Jewish council. He, too, was waiting for the kingdom of God. Joseph boldly went to Pilate’s quarters to ask for the body of Jesus. Pilate wondered if Jesus had already died. So he summoned the officer to ask him if Jesus was, in fact, dead. When the officer had assured him that Jesus was dead, Pilate let Joseph have the corpse. Joseph had purchased some linen cloth. He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in the cloth. Then he laid the body in a tomb, which had been cut out of rock, and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary from Magdala and Mary (the mother of Joses) watched where Jesus was laid.

Several things should be noted here: Joseph was an important member of the Jewish council. However he had arrived after the mockery of a trial and the execution.

It was normal for the bodies of the crucified to be left hanging on the cross, so it was necessary to plead with Pilate, the Roman official, to break with the custom and grant permission to take the body. Before granting permission, Pilate double checked that Jesus was dead.

Had Joseph not been a wealthy* and important person, Jesus’s body would not have been removed nor intombed prior to the beginning of the Sabbath (Friday night). Because it was such a hurried affair, there was no time for a proper embalming. The body was quickly wrapped in linen and sealed in the tomb.

Also note: had not Mary from Magdala and Mary (the mother of Joses) watched where Jesus was laid, the disciples would not have known where his body was placed.

It was the faithful few, not the apostles, who cared for our Lord’s body.

*Hundreds of years before the event, Isaiah had foretold in chapter 53 and verse 9, He was placed in a tomb with the wicked. He was put there with the rich when he died, although he had done nothing violent and had never spoken a lie.

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THE WOMEN ALSO FOLLOWED

MUSINGS – December 13, 2018

THE WOMEN ALSO FOLLOWED

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Mark 15:37
Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died.

Mark 15:40-41
Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary from Magdala, Mary (the mother of young James and Joseph), and Salome. They had followed him and supported him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him were there too.

What an interesting side note in Mark’s account. Many women were there at Christ’s execution. By some accounts a few of the disciples relatives were among them.

Remember that I was the time of the Passover and the men were expected to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the holy days, however women were not required to do that. So that means that some of these women were tagalongs with their spouses or sons. However there were many who had been following Jesus for some time.

It is remarkable that Mark even accounted for them since women in that society were so little worth that they were not counted in most things. Yet here they are at the execution, near enough to see but far enough away to not be caught up in the riot near the cross. In the meantime the brave men that had followed him were in hiding.

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THIS MAN WAS THE SON OF GOD

MUSINGS – December 12, 2018

THIS MAN WAS THE SON OF GOD

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Mark 15:33-39
At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” When some of the people standing there heard him say that, they said, “Listen! He’s calling Elijah.” Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink. The man said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died. The curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom. When the officer who stood facing Jesus saw how he gave up his spirit, he said, “Certainly, this man was the Son of God!”

It had always amazed me that in this whole narrative of the crucifixion only one man saw Jesus for who he truly was/is. An officer in the army of Rome currently identified Jesus as the Son of God. It wasn’t because of Christ’s mighty works of power or his incredible revelation of the true meaning of the scriptures that convinced this soldier. It was Jesus death, how he gave up the spirit that demonstrated to this man the righteousness if Jesus. Mark doesn’t record the words that Jesus spoke from the cross that other gosples do. They show Christ’s strength and compassion. They show how even in death he asked God to forgive his tormenters and executioners.

It is for us to live lives that reflect the face of Christ’s to those around us so that they might also believe.

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THAT WE MAY SEE AND BELIEVE

MUSINGS – December 12, 2018

THAT WE MAY SEE AND BELIEVE

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Mark 15:22-32
They took Jesus to Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). They tried to give him wine mixed with a drug called myrrh, but he wouldn’t take it. Next they crucified him. Then they divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice to see what each one would get. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. There was a written notice of the accusation against him. It read, “The king of the Jews.” They crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and the other on his left. Those who passed by insulted him. They shook their heads and said, “What a joke! You were going to tear down God’s temple and build it again in three days. Come down from the cross, and save yourself!” The chief priests and the scribes made fun of him among themselves in the same way. They said, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. Let the Messiah, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now so that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with him were insulting him.

How ironic that the chief priests and scribes would say, “Let the Messiah, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now so that we may see and believe.” He had been a very public figure for around three years. They had heard his words and seen his power. That is exactly why they needed to be rid of him … his power was greater than their and his teaching more meaningful. Mockingly they said, show us just one more and we’ll believe.

How many wondrous signs are enough for your belief? After his resurrection Jesus appeared to many of his followers. Thomas was not present and wouldn’t believe the others when they told him what they had witnessed. Later Jesus appeared to Thomas and said, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me but believe.” (John 20:29)

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