Mark 9

Vs. 1, “And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”  Jesus was talking about the very next event we see in this chapter, the Transfiguration (vs. 2-12).  In a way, this was Jesus’ moment of validation and preperation before he would enter into Jerusalem.  It is not coincidence or bad luck that Jesus would come back down from the mountain to see all the chaos in the valley.  The people were agruing (vs. 14) and there was a poor boy who was demon-possessed.  When Jesus casted out the demon, It’s interesting to note that it wasn’t just a command to the demon, but Jesus had to also pray (vs. 29).  Instead of rebuking the disciples about their selfish desires for greatness in the midst of our Lord’s anguish…Jesus patiently teaches them about kingdom truths (vs. 33-37).  We also see a twinge a jealousy from the disciples that Jesus quenches from their emotion (vs. 38-41).  And lastly, We must realize the ultimate ending of those who have turned from God and do our best to further his kingdom (vs. 42-50).

 

Regarding application…Everything is Possible!  Vs. 23, “If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  Question: How is everything possible?  If you believe.  At some point, we all must make a leap of faith in trusting completely in Jesus.  And don’t misunderstand what Jesus is implying here.  The context shows us that the disciples lacked faith in carrying out something under the umbrella of “God’s Will”.  “Everything” certainly than corresponds to that which would be under the realm of what God can do and will do through us.  This is not some magic, hocus pocus…wave a wand like Harry Potter.  God does not answer our beckon call like genie in a bottle.  But, God can do things our doubt may think is impossible!  Question: What are things in your life that seem impossible?  God is bigger than all of our troubles.  Cast your burden’s upon the Lord and He wil lift you up!

Matthew 9

Vs. 6, “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”  As Jesus continues his ministry, we see the power that he has over this dark world of sin and Satan.  The paralyed man in Matthew is the same one that was lowered from the roof from Mark’s account.  Matthew goes on to talk about his own first interaction with Jesus.  Remember that tax collector’s were despised because often they were corrupt and collected more than they needed.  It’s interesting to note that Jesus came to where the sinner’s were, not the sinner’s to the temple.  When Jesus was challenged on the topic of fasting, Jesus explain that a new time is coming that is entirely different than the old…of course, there is still importance in fasting (vs. 15).  We then read on about more miracles Jesus would perform.  Raising the twelve year old girl, healing the woman who suffered for twelve years and healing the blind and mute.  While all these miracles are wonderful, Jesus would remind us of an even more important task: To go out into the harvest field.  Question: Why?  To seek and save the lost.  We may not have physical miraculous healing gifts, but we have a spiritual ability to heal through the Gospel!  There is always work to be done and we have the priviledge of being a part of that!  Jesus doesn’t need you, but he sure would love to have you be a part of this!

 

Regarding application…You Are Forgiven.  Vs. 2, “…Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”  When this paralyzed man came to Jesus, I don’t think anyone expected to hear that Jesus would say, “You’re sins are forgiven”.  They hoped that he would be healed, but forgiveness is reserved for God.  Question: Who does this Jesus think he is?  The Phariesee’s would accuse Jesus of blaspheming.  But Jesus was no ordinary man, He was the God-man!  Because of this type of example, the Pharisee’s would find a way to ensure they would exact revenge on such a person claiming that He was God.  Question: How does this apply for us?  In all of our lives…we walk with wounds and scars that need healing.  A broken relationship, addiction, low self-esteem, etc.  But Jesus has come to tell us that He has the power to forgive us and make us healed.  There is power in forgiveness because Jesus takes all that heavy sin and bears it on the cross for us.  Put a smile on your face because, YOU are forgiven today!  PTL!  Turn to Jesus and pour out your heart to the Lord!

Jeremiah 9

Vs. 6, “You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the LORD.”  God’s people were putting their confidence in everything except the Lord.  They were putting confidence in relationships, family, friends and unfortuately they were putting confidence on being circumcised…but God wants circumcision of the heart first (vs.26)!  Just because they were direct recepients of God’s covenant, did not give them the right to sin.  No matter your standing or upbringing…this does not guarantee your success as a Christian.  Sometimes we hear of street kids living powerfully for the Lord and PK’s rebelling from the Lord.

 

Regarding application…Crying.  Vs. 1, “Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears!  I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.”  Whew…this is a hard topic.  I would venture to say, no one wants to cry in front of others.  We are taught at an early age that crying is for cry-babies.  Boys don’t cry and girls are sissies if they do.  If something would trigger us to cry…we more than likely would want to avoid it.  Yet, Jeremiah would not avoid it even though it made him literraly weep.  I’ve found this to be true…the older I get, the more I cry.   Yet, perhaps there should be more crying in the church.  “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  James 4:9-10.  Remember, there is always a time for everything and perhaps we don’t give enough time to mourning and weeping.  When we cry, I believe the Holy Spirit is softening our hearts.  It’s okay to weep and feel the sadness of this world we live in.  Take courage one day that when we reach eternity, there will be no more sorrow.  But until then, perhaps we also should be known as weeping servants for the Lord.

Hebrews 9

Vs. 14, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.” In the past we have talked about how Jesus is superior to angels, Aaron’s priesthood, the old covenant and now we discuss Jesus being superior over the old sanctuary. The old sanctuary cannot compare with the new sanctuary in Christ. Let’s do a little comparing and contrasting….The first reason is that it was simply on earth (vs. 1), it was a shadow of what is to come (vs. 2-5), it had limited access (vs. 6-7), it was only temporary (vs. 8), and ultimately it could not change the heart condition (vs. 9-10). But the new sanctuary was heavenly (vs. 11), it was the real deal, not a shadow (vs. 23-24), it gave access to all, it is permanent and most certainly can change lives!

Regarding application…Waiting. Vs. 28, “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” When you think about it…we wait for many things in life. We wait in traffic (especially Southern Califonia), we wait in bank lines, we wait in food lines, we wait for class or work to be over, we wait for our favorite food in restaurants, we wait for our favorite television show, podcast or book, we wait for webpages to load, we wait to find a spouse, we wait for children we wait for others to come for an event, etc. Whew~~~and that’s probably just brushing the surface. Especially in a time when we want things NOW…waiting is not such an easy thing to do. I must confess that I don’t particularly like waiting in lines.

When Hyojin & I go to Disneyland, one of the things we know NOT to do is to go on the weekends. The lines are exponentially longer and wait times increase threefold. But if you go on a weekday you can really spoil yourself as you barely have to wait to go on Space Mountain, Soarin, Indiana Jones, etc. My favorite is the Toy Story ride. The point is…let us not grow impatient in this life that we live. Sometimes I find myself longing just to finally be in Heaven and get this crazy life we live on earth completed. But, God has us alive on this earth to do His will. Let us wait patiently but also with an eager excitement for helping everyone else know why we wait with joy!