Contributed on Dec 12, 2011
In a world held captive by an evil enemy, Jesus Christ comes rushing in like a super hero to do battle with evil and rescue us from the tyrant of sin. In this introduction to the gospel of Mark we learn who is behind the stories and some amazing things ab
How significant are our teen years? Can events that take place between 13 and 19 impact us for our entire lives? Surely. Take John Mark, for instance. As a young man he witnessed the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. The Last Supper may have taken place at his home. Some speculate that he ...read more
Contributed on Dec 19, 2011
Wanting to do something and actually being able to do it are two entirely different things. Jesus may have been introduced as the ultimate action hero but without action it's just a good sound bite. In this study the hero demonstrates His authority and ab
It is one thing to claim you can do something and it’s quite another to actually accomplish it. When I was four years old, like a lot of kids my age, I was enamored with Mighty Mouse. One day I remember grabbing a blanket and running around the neighborhood with it wrapped around my neck like ...read more
Contributed on Jan 9, 2012
Every super hero has a secret strenth and a hidden vulnerability. Jesus, the only real superhero, has a strength to help guide Him in every situation and a vulnerability that each of us should possess.
Every superhero has a secret to their great strength, and a hidden something that some might call a vulnerability. For the Green Lantern it was the special ring he wore that gave him the ability to form things out of nothing; for Superman, Kryptonite was the only thing that stopped his superhuman ...read more
Contributed on Jan 16, 2012
In Mark 2 we meet two outcasts: a paralyzed man and Levi. Each had a decision to make that mirrors decisions that we as humans must make as well with the presence of Jesus.
Whereas in Chapter 1 we saw Jesus, the ultimate action hero, begin his battle against the enemy, Satan, in Chapter 2 He takes the war to a new front and begins battling the religious establishment in Israel, which was just as much an impediment to entering God’s kingdom as Satan. He does this ...read more
Contributed on Jan 23, 2012
When it comes to living life which rules you, law or love? Jesus brought this into sharp focus when it came to healing on the Sabbath and it brings us to confront just who is actually Lord of our lives.
Jesus, our Ultimate Action Hero is waging a battle against enemies who are keeping us captive and away from a relationship with God. He is in the middle of battling the Pharisees, members of the religious establishment of the day who desired power and control. They were oh so good looking on the ...read more
Contributed on Jan 31, 2012
When the religious authorities fail in their attempt to trip up Jesus with the Scriptures they descend to character assassination. They come dangerously close to eternal separation from God. How can that happen?
No one could deny that Jesus was different than anyone who had ever walked the earth. The words He spoke rang true and reamed His opponents. His actions were unmatched—healing, setting people free from possession and disease. His enemies, the Jewish leaders of the day, tried to trip Him up ...read more
Contributed on Feb 13, 2012
What happens after you hear the words of Jesus? Is your life different? Today as we study Mark's gospel we see how the Lord gives the disciples an opportunity to test how much the words of Jesus became life in them.
When I was 15 I took a course at high school in how to drive a car. Drivers Education featured movies, texts, and lectures. At no time during this course did we set foot inside of an actual vehicle. Later, I took driver’s training where we tried out our skills behind the wheel. All this was ...read more
Contributed on Feb 20, 2012
As humans we have been taken prisoner by a strong opponent who wants nothing but to destroy us. We see this captivity and torture revealed graphically as Jesus takes on not one but thousands of demons at once. It is a powerful picture of how our ultimate
Just prior to Chapter 5 Jesus calmed the wind and seas and the disciples said “Who then is this?” As the disciples approach land they find out in spades. In a way, all of chapter 5 involves people imprisoned and the ultimate action hero who comes to set them free. In verses 1 through 20 ...read more
Contributed on Feb 26, 2012
Many times the things that affect us the most are inside, beyond our ability to reach and heal. Such was the case with the woman we meet in this study. How she approached Jesus and what He did in response speaks to how we desire to be healed of infirmity
As I mentioned last time, Mark Chapter 5 is all about setting prisoners free. In verses 1 through 20 we see Jesus release a man who had been held captive by thousands of demons. This time we see Him set free a woman held in the bondage of an incurable disease for more than a decade. Next time He ...read more
Contributed on Mar 12, 2012
In Mark chapter 5 we find three different situations, and Jesus using three different methods to bring release to prisoners. The man who was demon possessed was helpless and couldn’t reach out, and was in fact hostile to Jesus because of the legion. So Je
In Mark chapter 5 we find three different situations, and Jesus using three different methods to bring release to prisoners. The man who was demon possessed was helpless and couldn’t reach out, and was in fact hostile to Jesus because of the legion. So Jesus came to him. The woman with the ...read more
Contributed on Mar 12, 2012
So what do you think of Jesus? You've heard about Him from the culture and even from the church but is that really Jesus? Some people are afraid of sharing their faith knowing the possible rejection they'll receive - so is it worth it?
Isn’t it great to go home? You get to see family and old friends—visit old haunts and places you played as a child. Well, not everyone likes going home. For some, memories of the past are bleak and painful. For others, it isn’t the past only but the present which brings pain and ...read more
Contributed on Mar 19, 2012
Sometimes in our zeal of serving God we begin to take the reigns and can actually not really trust and rely on Jesus for the very work He has called us to.
Some Christians find themselves in a never ending quest to earn the right to deserve their relationship with God. We feel so bad about ourselves and feel that God had to do so much to save us that we need to spend our lives trying really hard to please Him so He’ll feel better about what ...read more
Contributed on Mar 26, 2012
The saying "It's all in your head" is truer than we would like to admit. What can start out as something done with good intentions can lead us very far astray save for one crucial ingredient: God's Word.
Jesus, our Ultimate Action Hero came to planet Earth to do battle against a host of enemies in order to set us free. He battled Satan and his hordes of demons, he battled the religious system that had kidnapped people from being able to find God, and today we see him battling even the human mind, ...read more
Contributed on Apr 2, 2012
What is the real nature of faith? We often think it is blind trust in Jesus to give us what we ask for. In reality faith means a transformation of how you think of life, needs, and your relationship with Jesus.
In this portion of Chapters 7 and 8 Jesus puts His men into several situations to show them what it means to rely on Jesus. Sadly, they don’t get it, but it gives us some great direction on how to trust Jesus in our lives. We leave a situation where Jesus encountered the Pharisees who thought ...read more
Contributed on Apr 9, 2012
Jesus asks a crucial question of His disciples - a question that every single person in all of creation and all of history must answer. How you answer may be influenced by a crucial lack in your life - a lack Je
Resurrection Sunday is a day of celebration. Today, in the 21st century, we sing upbeat songs, we put out lilies, and we exchange greetings like “He is risen. He is risen indeed!” It is a day of great joy. Such was not the atmosphere on the very first Resurrection Sunday. For most ...read more
Contributed on Apr 16, 2012
Probably one of the most common questions people have when evaluating Christianity is: "Why should I follow Jesus Christ?" He made a lot of claims, and might even have come back from the dead, but so what? In Mark 8 and 9 we see the two reasons why you sh
With the multitude of philosophies, religious systems, and spiritual leaders present in our age, why follow a man who lived a short life 2,000 years ago in Palestine and then died? In fact, in today’s portion of the gospel of Mark, Jesus even suggests to His disciples that if they want to ...read more
Contributed on Apr 30, 2012
Face it, we humans like to be in charge of ourselves and as many others as we can. Though we aren't all power mongers, this default human behavior causes major problems when we see how God's universe really operates. The lesson comes home in this portion
We as humans have various default behaviors that we engage in. I know that we as Christians don’t like to think that we are that way, but unless energy is expended in seeking healing from these default human behaviors, we will continue to do them naturally. Paul said in Philippians 2:12 ...read more
Contributed on May 7, 2012
What influences you and what kind of influence are you on others? In the final portion of Mark Chapter 9, Jesus describes a common substance: salt. It is either salty or flavorless. When it comes to you affect on your environment are you salt or unsalt?
Leading up to this portion of Mark 9, Jesus has taken a young child and put them into his arms. Somehow I picture him placing the child in front of Him and wrapping his arms around their front. The disciples can see both the child and the Messiah standing together. That stance of loving protection ...read more
Contributed on May 14, 2012
As humans we naturally try to do what is in our own best self interest. This doesn't always coincide with the character of God. Such is the case with divorce. Jesus shocks His men and the Pharisees with a refreshing look at relationships. As we look at th
In one of the rides at Disneyland, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, there is a holding room that resembles an archeological dig deep under a Southeast Asian jungle. A covered well sits in the center of the room with a rope extending down into the well. A sign clearly says “do not pull ...read more
Contributed on May 21, 2012
Our idea about success involves three things - all of which were possessed by a man who approaches Jesus. What is he looking for and why? The answers should affect your outlook on this life and the one to come.
As human beings there are four main things we rely on for security: money, control, intellectual power, and our abilities—including the ability to be good. But these four things also work to keep us away from real security. Today we delve into the story of a young man who had it all, but ...read more
Contributed on Jun 4, 2012
What image comes to mind when you think about a hero riding in to save the day? Jesus, our ultimate action hero, rides into Jerusalem to save the day for humanity, but not in the way you would imagine, not this time anyway.
When you picture the hero coming in to save the day you probably think of a tall guy in a tall hat riding in on tall white horse with a couple of shotguns off of his saddle and two in his hands. Well, our ultimate action hero, Jesus, rides into Jerusalem all right—but on a tall white horse? ...read more
Contributed on Jun 11, 2012
In this portion of Mark we get a clearer picture of what it means to rely on God for things, and what it means to rely on the government. Here the religious leaders try to trip Jesus up, but they fall right into His trap.
After the episode in the Temple on the previous day, I guess Jesus should have expected the religious leaders of Israel to react. In fact, the Lord is trying to get them to react and eventually figure out a way to arrest and condemn Him. In the end of Chapter 11 and into Chapter 12 we see a series ...read more
Contributed on Jun 18, 2012
Jesus had to answer some very complicated questions designed to trap Him. But being the master chess player, Jesus turned the traps into times of teaching and revealing much about His true identity.
Jesus is in the middle of debating the religious leaders who have come to challenge Him after He cleared the Temple. Last time they demanded that He prove His authority (He wouldn’t because they wouldn’t admit where John the Baptist got his authority) and then they tried to trap Him ...read more
Contributed on Jun 25, 2012
What is the most important thing in the universe? The answer might surprise you but goes right to the heart of both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus reveals it to us in Mark 12 as we go in depth into loving God.
During the course of a heated debate between Jesus and the religious leaders, something happens that is like an oasis in the midst of the desert. A scribe approaches the group as the Sadducees are trying to trip Jesus up with some theological argument coming out of their misinterpretation of the ...read more
Contributed on Jul 2, 2012
Mark wrote nothing by accident in his gospel. Just prior to the arrest of Jesus, he presents a stark contrast between those who think they have it all and those who have nothing. Which group is which? The answer may surprise you.
As we begin this portion of Mark 12, Jesus has just finished his series of debates with the religious leaders. They’re done, but Jesus isn’t. He came to Jerusalem to first proclaim His hostile takeover—retaking for God the thing man had conformed to his own image. He proclaimed ...read more
Contributed on Jul 9, 2012
There is a lot of excitement generated in the Christian community around the return of Jesus. Jesus' men were excited too, but what Jesus tells them is not a timeline or series of events, but how they should act while waiting. It's good advise for us too
There’s one thing that is pretty clear—no one understood Jesus’ mission as the ultimate action hero. The people that followed Him closely were starting to get that He was the Messiah—but what did that mean? As I’ve mentioned several times in our journey through Mark, ...read more
Contributed on Jul 16, 2012
It is at the darkest part of the night that a light shines the brightest. As we come to Mark 13 we see hope at the end of a terrible time in earth's history, when the lights will dim for the coming King. Then we see the path to that event beginning as the
We pick up the story from where we left off—Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the destruction of the Temple and, presumably, when He, as the Messiah, would take over the world. Jesus told them that many events would take place prior to His return but that His disciples should not focus ...read more
Contributed on Jul 23, 2012
How do you handle impending doom? You know, those times when something bad is happening and it's about to get much worse? Jesus faced the ultimate in impending doom in the Garden of Gethsemane. How He handled it is a model for us in times of difficulty.
The stage has been set, the lights have dimmed. The players have taken their places and learned their lines. All the blocking is complete and the production of Jesus’ crucifixion is ready to begin. From Chapter 14 verse 12 the action is nearly non-stop leading to the betrayal, arrest, trial, ...read more
Contributed on Jul 30, 2012
Many times when we look at the portion of Mark 14 involving the arrest and trial of Jesus we focus on Judas - the betrayer. But Mark shows us that many more than Judas betrayed Jesus that night, and it shows us how short we fall and how great our Savior r
Beginning in Mark 14:43 we shift from Jesus being the source of the action to Him being acted upon by others. He becomes very passive except at a few key moments, on His way to the cross. In a way, what we see in this portion of Mark 14 is the failure of mankind. In several key ways, man abandons ...read more
Contributed on Aug 8, 2012
The death of Jesus Christ is at the same time the deepest darkest day in human history and the beginning of the most promising era in human history. Though the physical agony great, the spiritual agony was even greater for our Lord.
Mark chapter 15 contains three main elements—the time before Pilate, the crucifixion, and the burial. All of Jesus’ life and His entire three-year public ministry focused toward this point. It is mankind’s darkest hour but is the beginning of a turning point in the history of the ...read more