Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-39; Mark 5:21-43; Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56
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Mark: I love the parable of the growing seed in Mark chapter 4 verses 26-29. This parable only occurs in the Gospel of Mark. I equate the seed to be the Gospel, which is filled with so much power and truth and life that "the seeds sprouted and grew without the farmer's help, because the earth produces crops on its own." The Gospel message is so powerful on its own that it will produce a bountiful crop. Or - maybe the Bible is another way to look at the seed. Reading and studying the Bible will ultimately produce a bountiful crop in our lives. It can't help but not do so. What do you think the seed represents in this parable? I'll share with you that I have been thinking more and more about farming these days - and the wisdom in how farming works. You plant, you water, you care for the soil, you wait, the plant grows. And this takes time. You reap what you sow. And I contrast this with our society today - or myself - and how everything moves so fast. We want instant gratification. Now! :) We don't like to wait on anything. We don't like the concept of farming... and I'm afraid that this speed of life today can really be unhealthy - or maybe superficial is the word I'm looking for. In any case, I think the patience and process of farming is something that has so much value for us still today. If we are struggling with sins or sadness or whatever, I think we absolutely need to take these things to Jesus for healing - but, we would do well to realize that Jesus may want to do some farming in our hearts. He may want to plant some seeds, and give the seeds some time to grow. Sure, maybe sometimes we'll get an instant gratification healing or answer. But I think more often than not we should be ready for some farming to occur in our hearts. And to thank God for the wisdom of this process!
I think my little tangent on farming and being patient during the process, above, might play in well to Jesus' next parable of the mustard seed in verses 30 through 32: "Jesus asked, "How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed. Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can come and find shelter."" I think if we can have faith in the seed that Jesus plants in our hearts - be it the Gospel, the Bible, healing, patience, faith - we will see an amazing plant grow that will ultimately bless others. From the tiniest beginnings, with patience and faith, can come the largest of plants. Will you let Jesus plant a needed mustard seed in your heart? And will you be patient and allow the seed time & space to grow?
Commentary from Bob Deffinbaugh at Bible.org on Mark chapter 4 titled "The Meaning of the Miracles" is at this link. Commentary from Bible.org on Jesus healing a demon possessed man in Mark chapter 5 titled the "Gerasene Demoniac" is at this link. Below is an image for the end of chapter 4 where we read about Jesus calming the storm:
The structure of today's readings in Mark chapter 5 are amazing! The narrative starts with Jairus asking Jesus to heal his daughter who is about to die - but, then, in the middle of the narrative Jesus' journey is stopped by a woman who simply wants to touch Jesus' robe so that she will be healed from a 12-year suffering. And verse 34 in this portion is just so beautiful as Jesus says to the now healed woman: ""Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed.""
Then, the narrative cuts back to Jairus, but it sounds like it's too late for Jesus to come to the house. Messengers report that the little girl has died. Jesus simply tells Jairus in verse 36 - "Just trust me." (which is something so powerful that I believe Jesus says to you and me today too - "Just trust me." Don't worry about anything else in this passing life. "Just trust me.") And then in verses 40 & 41 we read: "Then he took the girl's father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, "Get up, little girl!"
Commentary from Bob Deffinbaugh at bible.org on today's readings in Mark chapter 5 entitled "Where there is Death there is Hope" is at this link.
Worship God: Today's readings in Mark reminded me of the Jeremy Camp song "Jesus Saves." Here is a great video KLOVE radio and its listeners put together, with signs sharing what Jesus saved them from. What has Jesus saved you from?
Worship God: Today’s readings reminded me of the Rush of Fools' song "Undo." This is one of my favorite songs! "Jesus, you are the only one who can undo what I've become..."
Have you been Undone? Click here for a spiritual "Undo!"
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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