Monday Bible Study on the Gospel Mark 5:21-24
Blessings and Love through Jesus Christ be with you, in you, and around you in these last days of Advent as we come to the celebration of the birth of Christ!
I am sorry for the late bible study today. My computer was not only slow getting started this morning, but then I got hit by a fake Microsoft action that said I had opened my computer to being taken over by someone else, and that I would not even be able to turn it off without damage. Guess What? Not True, but it did take a long time for my computer to start up again after the fake message. I do have my own McAfee security, and it never showed up to indicate that my computer was threatened. If you ever get into that kind of message, hit and hold your power button until your computer shuts down. The good news is that I did not lose anything on the computer. So.... I was unable to get to the study this morning, and instead set about taking care of other business like working on the preludes, hymns, 15 or so, for Christmas Services, getting the final services for Christmas finished with changes, and more. So here we are in the afternoon again.
Today we are on chapter 5 of Mark verse 21-24. The Gospel tells us a story about a leader of the synagogue who comes to Jesus in what we must believe to be desperation over the illness of his 12-year-old daughter. We need to realize that age 12 was the age of transition into adulthood for young Jewish women. She would likely be a good "catch" for some young man, having such a father of authority and position in the synagogue. In all likelihood this man was the head of everything at the place of worship for the Jews in this community. Though unnamed in Mark, it is the circumstances around this leader of the synagogue that make this such an important revelation about Christ Himself. Prior to his daughter getting critically ill, this man was probably a doubter with regard to Jesus, to His Power, His kindness, and His compassion for all people. Imagine being this Ruler of the synagogue, and having to let go of how you have felt about Jesus because He is the only One who is able to do what you desperately need to have done. But when a child is this ill, it is really any port in the storm. If you have a critically ill child, it no longer matters which hospital you prefer to get help, it is the closest possible, no matter what your other experiences may have been. So this man forgot his prejudices. Only one thing was important any more!
Now this man was a person who was in all likelihood kind of full of himself. That is so often true of leaders in the church who continually rise to positions of more and more authority. I suspect this man was no different than the ones who have I witnessed personally become too full of themselves and their power of oversight. So dignity be darned. Out of love for his daughter and his need to save her life, this sacrifice of ego and self would be made too. He had to humble himself before Jesus to let the Lord know that he was sincere in his pleading for help. Now he was in the same position as those who came to him with their needs and concerns. How often people of faith, and people with little faith, must submit to Christ in humility and prayer for His help in this life. Our own compassion grows out of the many times that we have humbled ourselves before Christ seeking His Forgiveness, though if we forget that Christ always keeps His promises to us, then we may well reassert ourselves over others.
We have a saying, "Pride goes before a fall" I wouldn't exactly say that this Ruler of the Synagogue was taking a fall, but his pride after coming in public to Jesus for help was going to be greatly diminished, and after all of this he might become the kind of ruler that God had created him to be, humble and compassionate.
And in all of these "losses" for the psyche of this man, Jesus reveals Himself to be humble and Serving the One True God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with a willingness to enter into the life of every person, bringing the hope and healing that can only come for knowing the Father in Heaven, and living each day in His service. This is exactly who Jesus was, and is today in all of our lives.
Christmas Eve Services will be on Sunday at 7PM . There is a morning 4th Sunday in Advent service too, and it will use primarily Christmas Carols for music. Please remember that New Year's Eve is also a Sunday of Christmas. With service at 10AM. I hope I get the chance to be with you in worship over this Christmas season.
With Love and Hope in the Babe of Bethlehem, God's only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ,