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Category Archives: Christmas

Jesus Heals a Leper

40A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” 42Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, 44saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 45But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. (Mark 1:40-45, NRSV)

Jesus healed the leper and told him to go and show himself to the priest. This was so he could be restored to the community. His disease took him out of the community. Being healed could restore him as long as the priest said he was clean.

Jesus followed the law that was for the good of community.

What do we do for the good of the community?

 

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Simon’s Mother-in-Law

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1:29-39, NRSV)

Today we read the beginning of this passage and wonder why Simon’s mother-in-law had to serve them after Jesus healed her. She didn’t have to. Maybe she wanted to. Remember that was society norms for that time.

They wouldn’t focus on that but it’s funny that everytime I read this passage that is what I wonder. Not about all the others who heard about the healing come to be healed or that Jesus leaves to go to other villages.

Let’s focus on the miracles. When you focus on the miracles you will see more around you.

 

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As One With Authority

21They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. (Mark 1:21-28, NRSV)

Jesus was there at the beginning with the Father and the Spirit and everything that was made was made through Him.

Jesus has control over all of creation. But the question today is, does Jesus really have control of you?

Can Jesus command you?

 

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Sermon on the Plain, Part 3

43“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. 46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? 47I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. 48That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.” (Luke 6:43-49, NRSV)

Good trees don’t give bad fruit and bad trees don’t give good fruit.

You can’t follow Christ and do bad things. We are known by the fruit we give. We are known by the actions we do.

Actions really do speak louder than words. So preach the gospel at all time through the actions you do.

Don’t merely say you follow God but show the world you follow God.

 

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Sermon on the Plain, Part 2

32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” 39He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. 41Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 42Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. (Luke 6:32-42, NRSV)

Why do we focus on others sins and not our own? It is easy to see what is wrong with someone else and point it out. It is so much easier to bring others down because of their faults than to work on ourselves.

Once we get our own lives together then we can point out others faults which will be never. The only one who can set out lives straight is God and only if we will follow after God.

Look at your own faults and repent of your weaknesses to God and allow God to make you perfect as only God can.

 

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Sermon on the Plain, Part 1

17He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. 20Then he looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. 22“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. 23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. 25“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. “Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. 26“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. 27“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:17-31, NRSV)

Do you feel blessed when you are poor, or hungry, or people hate you? Seems backwards. Jesus has a way of turning what the world sees as blessing on its head, which is where he goes with the woes.

Woes are you who are rich, or full, or when people speak well of you. These are all worldly blessings and do not matter to God.

We need to love everyone especially our enemies. So that God’s love will be known by all.

 

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Jesus’ Ministry Begins

14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” 16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. (Mark 1:14-20, NRSV)

I love this verse. We think Jesus saw these men and invited them on a journey that would change their lives forever and he did, but it’s not a come along with me as a friend and partner it is a follow in behind me and know who the leader is. οπισω μου (opiso mu) means get behind me. Not walk along side me, but follow me.

Jesus is calling all of us to leave our old lives behind us and to stare at the back of His head. Follow where He leads, trusting where He leads.

 

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