Daily Bible Reading: June 16th - 22nd
Date Added: 6/17/2008 9:29:54 AM
Sorry for the delay in getting this week's Daily Bible Reading to you.
This week we head back to the New Testament and begin reading through the Gospel of Mark!
Date: June 16
Reading: Mark 1:1-22
Congratulations on your Bible reading diligence. You have just finished the Old Testament Book of Leviticus (the third Book of Moses) and now have begun the second book of the New Testament – the Gospel of Mark. By gospel, we mean that they are books that focus exclusively on the life and message of Jesus Christ. They are like biographies of Jesus.
There are four gospels in the New Testament. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The first three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are called “Synoptic Gospels.” Synoptic literally means “seen together.” Matthew, Mark and Luke are written in a very similar manner, in that they walk through the life of Christ, tell similar stories from His life, and even use similar wording.
In these early verses, Mark declares His position outright, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” From there, he quickly tells of the ministry of John the Baptist and moves the gospel story along to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the main figure of his writing. As you read each one of the gospels, even the synoptic gospels, you will see how each has its own uniqueness. Though Matthew, Mark and Luke bear the title, “The Synoptic Gospels” because of their similarity, they also are marked with their own distinctness and differences. This is all a testimony to how the Holy Spirit maintained the personalities and characteristics of each of the writers of Scripture, yet guarded the accuracy of all that was written.
Pray that God would use this second Gospel writing to further your understanding of Jesus Christ.
Date: June 17
Reading: Mark 1:23-45
Today’s reading picks up with Jesus ministering in the synagogue in Capernaum. After astonishing the people with His teachings, a man with an unclean spirit began to cry out. The spirit, or devil, inside the man knew who Jesus was and made it known. He said, “I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.”
Jesus Christ is the Son of the Only, Living and True God. All creation knows Who He is. The spiritual realm, both good and righteous angels and devils know Who He is. But, to be saved, you have to know more than just Who Jesus is. He must be the one on Whom you believe and trust for the forgiveness of your sins. This is what the devils will never do, though they know Who Jesus is.
Jesus, as God the Son, has complete mastery over all creation, including the actions of devils. Jesus demonstrated this by rebuking the devil, silencing him and casting him out of the man. Jesus demonstrated to those around Him that He was the ruler of all things.
Date: June 18
Reading: Mark 2:1-28
Chapter 2 of the Book of Mark has 4 great stories from which we can learn. This time through we will look at the first two. These are the stories of Jesus healing the man with palsy and the astonishment of the scribes and Pharisees when they see Jesus eating with sinners.
The story of the man with palsy brings out two important facts. First we see Jesus moved because of the faith of those who brought the man to Him. We must remember that Jesus is capable of healing whomever He will and whenever He will. However, typically Jesus moves in the lives of those who come to Him in faith that He can and will work in their lives, whether it is for personal healing or some other need. Anytime we have a need, we should seek God, in faith, for our answers.
Secondly, this story is used to bring out the divinity of Christ. The word divinity refers to Jesus being God. When Jesus first spoke to heal the man, He said, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” That statement really made the scribes that were present very angry. Only God can forgive sins, they said to themselves. And, they were right. Jesus, in order to demonstrate His divinity (that He is God), then said what I consider a most profound statement. In one sentence He both asserts His authority to forgive sins and He demonstrates His power to heal. Read again what Jesus told these scribes, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house” (vss. 10-11). And, the man did just that.
Finally, we will take a look at verses15-17. Here is the story of Jesus having a meal at the house of Levi the tax collector. Tax collectors of that time were especially known for their dishonesty. And, here is Jesus sitting in the house of one of these notorious government sanctioned thieves, eating with him and other noted sinners. The scribes and Pharisees can’t understand how Jesus could ever associate with such a crowd.
We need to pay close attention to the answer Jesus gives them. Read again what He says in verse 17. “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” These sinners we are told “followed him” (see the end of verse 15). They wanted what Jesus had to offer because they knew they were sinners, they knew they were sick.
The Pharisees believed they were well and that they were righteous. They did not want what Jesus had to offer. They did not see themselves as having any need of Jesus or His gospel. They are the one’s Jesus was referring to as the “whole” and the “righteous”. He wasn’t saying that they were actually that way. He was saying that they thought they were.
We need to recognize our own state of being sick and trapped in sin and needing the Great Physician Jesus Christ just as Levi the Tax Collector and the sinners that came to eat with Jesus at his house.
Date: June 19
Reading: Mark 3:1-35
In Mark chapter 3, Jesus chooses His 12 close disciples. They are named in verses 16-19. In the process of naming the disciples, Mark gives us some insight into the character of some of these followers. For example, we are told that Jesus called the sons of Zebedee, James and John, the sons of thunder. And, of course, there is Judas Iscariot, who is already identified as the one who betrayed Jesus.
Having called these twelve, Mark tells us that Jesus “ordained” them, “that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” Jesus, also, gave them power to heal sickness and cast out devils. We will see that this came to pass in their lives.
Jesus, as you have read, was already performing such miracles and such events attract crowds. And, there were large crowds coming to Jesus. In the last chapter we read how so many people pressed into a house where Jesus was that no one else could get in. So, the men trying to get a sick friend to Jesus went on the roof and let the man down through a hole they made. In this chapter, we read that so many people came to Jesus by the sea shore that He had to use a small boat to go out into the water to speak to them (see verse 9). Also, there were so many people pressing into the house where Jesus was meeting with his 12 disciples that no one could sit to eat.
Yes, people get excited when miracles start happening, and they should. However, not everyone was overjoyed by Jesus’ popularity. Jesus’ friends and family members think He is “beside Himself” to put up with all these people. And, the scribes, Pharisees, and Herodians are so upset, that they are plotting ways to destroy Jesus (see verse 6).
Jesus came to show us God’s truth and love. However, in doing that He exposed the fallacies of what the religious leaders of His day were teaching. He corrected their teachings on the Sabbath, and even declared Himself to be “Lord of the Sabbath” (see Mark 2:28). He has demonstrated His divinity by forgiving sins and healing. All this is more than the scribes, Pharisees, and other leaders can tolerate.
We may not be troubled with the teachings of Scripture in the same way the scribes and Pharisees were, but there will be things taught that will make us uncomfortable and challenge us. We always need to pray that God would give us a teachable heart and that we would not respond with a haughty heart and an un-teachable spirit.
Date: June 20
Reading: Mark 4:1-29
The portion of Mark chapter 4 that you read today is filled with teachings from Jesus. These teachings are called parables. A parable is a teaching in story form that takes something from real life and uses it to illustrate a moral or spiritual truth. The first parable in this chapter is the well known “Parable of the Sower.”
We encountered this parable when we read the Book of Matthew and I am sure you remember much of its teaching. This parable, like so many that Jesus taught, is about the teaching and growth of the kingdom of God. It tells about the different situations and types of people that will hear the gospel message.
I am sure that you have experienced a time when you had something to say that was exciting and not everyone wanted to hear it or were as excited as you. Maybe it was a time when you received a gift, a game or toy, that you had really been wanting. You might have called friends or told relatives about it. Some of the people you told were excited for you and others really were not interested. You may have received all kinds of reactions. The reactions to your exciting news could have ranged from complete disinterest to being too busy to hear about it to being excited for you but not interested themselves to being excited and wanting to come and see your gift or play your game with you.
Well, all those kinds of reactions happen when it comes to hearing the truth of God’s Word. Some people don’t care to hear at all. The seed of God’s Word just lays on the ground, never takes root, and eventually is stolen away by the birds (i.e. the Devil). Others hear the Word and are excited, but they are not really prepared for all that it entails and the consequences that may come from the world’s reaction to them. These people get discouraged quickly and turn away from the Truth. A third group is too caught upin the things of the world. Even though they hear the truth and have an interest, the distractions of the world keep them from growing in God’s truth.
The last group are people whose hearts are ready. The soil of their life is prepared to receive the seed of God’s Word and it grows in their life. It not only grows, but it bears fruit. Bearing fruit, in this case, means at least two things. First, it means that the person’s life is changed. Ungodly things that once were a part of his life begin to go away. Godly characteristics begin to take shape in his life. You will read about the fruit that should be a part of a Christian’s life as you continue to study the Bible. A second aspect of bearing fruit is that the person tells others about God’s Good News. In other words, he becomes a sower himself.
Are you growing in your Christian walk? Are you becoming a sower? Ask God to cause you to continually grow in Him.
Date: June 21
Reading: Mark 4:30-41; 5:1-20
Today’s reading begins with a very insightful and inspiring parable – the parable of the mustard seed. Yesterday we read the parable about the sower and the different types of ground on which the seed is sown. Because only one of the 4 types of soil receive the seed of the kingdom of God, we might conclude that God’s kingdom will always remain small. This parable dispels that thought.
The parable of the mustard seed teaches the great growth in the earth that should be expected from God’s kingdom. To teach this, Jesus uses the analogy of the mustard seed, which is one of the smallest seeds. One would not expect such big things from such a small seed. Yet, when the mustard plant grows to full height, it is one of the largest of the herb bushes. It grows so large that even birds can find rest in its branches.
This is what we should expect from the growth of God’s Kingdom in the earth. It started with one man – the God-man Jesus Christ. He shared God’s truth with a handful of timid men, who became bold for the truth. They journeyed forth to share with their families, friends and strangers. The number of believers began to grow and over the years the gospel of God’s kingdom has circled the globe and we find believers one every continent and in most every country. The mustard seed planted by Jesus Christ has become a great herb.
Thank God for the great growth of His kingdom in the earth and ask Him to direct you as you seek to find your place in His kingdom.
Date: June 22
Reading: Mark 5:21-43
Your reading today is the wonderful story of Jesus raising a little 12 year old girl from the dead. Along the way, a woman is healed of a disease that she had been afflicted with for 12 years. Her healing came from simply touching the garment of Jesus. There are many wonderful things that we can talk about. But, this time through I want to step back and take a big picture view of this story and consider the fact that Jesus has power over death. We will look at the details of the story in future readings.
This little girl was about the same age as many of you who are reading this study. The thought of dieing is not a pleasant thought for us. It is not something that children spend much time thinking about. But death will come to all of us at some point. For some of us, it could come when we are young. But this story teaches us a very important thing about who Jesus is and especially the authority He has in relationship to death.
Jesus started toward Jairus’ house after being told that his daughter was ill. However, along the way, a messenger comes from the house to inform Him that the girl had died. What a grievous thing for a father to hear right when the One who he knew could have healed her. I am sure that Jairus’ heart fell and he became very sad. Jesus, however, hardly gives Jairus a chance to react to the devastating news. For He turns to Jairus and says, “Be not afraid, only believe.”
What amazing words to hear from Jesus at that time. I am sure that Jairus’ hopes raised that Jesus would somehow make things right again. Those are words we should remember as well as we consider that fact that we can die at any time. Additionally, we should remember how the story of Jairus’ daughter ends. For that is what gives those words great power. You know the end of the story, Jesus, even in the face of scoffers, raised the little girl from the dead.
Jesus demonstrated that He has the authority over life and death and He will raise those from the dead that He desires. As you read through the gospels, you will learn, that those who put their trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, will be those that He will desire to raise from the dead. Because of what we read here about the raising of this young damsel, we can be assured that Jesus has the power to raise us from the dead at the final resurrection.