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Category Archives: Epiphany

Jesus Blesses Children

13People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16, NRSV)

Little children trust and believe in things they can not see or understand so much easier than adults do. That is why we must be like little children. We have to give up the need to know everything and just believe.

So believe and trust. Allow God to give you the best life ever.

 

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Healing a Possessed Child

14When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23Jesus said to him, “If you are able! —All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.” (Mark 9:14-29, NRSV)

All things can be done for the one who believes. So the question is do you believe?

I love this passage because it so describes me. I am the father, who would have said to Jesus, “if you are able!” And when Jesus replied, “All things can be done for the one who believes.”

And again I would say, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Because that is an everyday occurrence for me. I believe but I don’t. I wonder how it will happen and I question, and I have moments of unbelief even in the midst of my belief!

I struggled as I typed that above paragraph because I wanted to say I doubted, but doubt is not the opposite of belief, unbelief is and that is not doubt. doubt is questioning and wondering, it is not not having faith.

Live in the belief that Jesus is who He said He is and do not be unbelieving That is what Jesus said to Thomas in the upper room the week after he appeared to the 10. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe. (John 20:27) That last sentence is not translated correctly, the Greek is actually “do not be unbelieving but believing.”

Beleive!

 

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Elijah has Come

9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. 11Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? 13But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.” (Mark 9:9-13, NRSV)

Elijah is coming before the Messiah, and Elijah has already come. But didn’t we just see Elijah on the mountain with Moses and Jesus?

How has Elijah come?

God works in mysterious ways and we wonder how and why things work, but it really isn’t for us to know how or why but to trust in God’s plan.

We don’t have to understand it, we need to trust and follow.

Elijah has come and the Messiah must suffer and die…

Have faith!

 

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Transfiguration

And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” 2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. (Mark 9:1-8, NRSV)

Jesus went up the mountain with Peter, James, and John and as they were there Jesus became dazzling white, whiter than anything Peter, James, or John had ever seen. And they were amazed and scared.

So Peter started babbling and God cut him off and said Jesus is my son, listen to HIm.

Then everything was gone.

What would you have done if you were Peter, James, or John?

I have no idea, I would be babbling like Peter I am sure, but Jesus does this to us every day, and we get another chance every day.

 

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A Misunderstood Messiah

27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” 34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:27-38, NRSV)

Have you ever thought God’s plan was not the way it should go? Peter told Jesus that it wasn’t going to happen the way Jesus was telling them it was going to happen.

So Jesus told Peter to get behind him. Which is interesting, because Jesus actually told all of the disciples to get behind him. You see the words here in the Greek are the same words Jesus used when He called the disciples to come and follow Him. οπισο μου. Get behind me. You see Peter forgot his proper place. When Jesus calls us to follow it is about us following, not leading, or walking alongside, but letting Jesus show us the way.

So get behind Jesus and follow where He is leading.

 

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Healing a Blind Man

22They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. 23He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” 24And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.” (Mark 8:22-26, NRSV)

My first question from this reading is how did this man know what trees look like?

Well, the reading doesn’t say he was blind from birth, so he could have gone blind. But isn’t it interesting he said the people look like trees?

I actually understand what he is saying because, without my glasses, people can be blurry and tree-like. But Jesus touched him again and healed him completely.

And Jesus sometimes does this for us, heals us with a touch from a friend, or partly gets us there and then sends in others to complete the work. You see we are all part of the plan of His kingdom.

So allow God to work in and through you.

 

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Yeast of the Pharisees

14Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” 16They said to one another, “It is because we have no bread.” 17And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? 19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20“And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21Then he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” (Mark 8:14-21, NRSV)

Yeast is not always about bread. But once you put the yeast in, you can not take it out…

It is like pouring salt and sugar together and then trying to separate them. It isn’t possible. We need to be aware of what is happening around us and who the people are that are influencing our life.

Do not let those who will bring you down have an effect on you.

Let God permeate your life and work in and through you.

 

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