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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 9:32-35 bible study (April 29, 2024)

April 29, 2024

Monday Morning Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 9:32-35

May the blessings of the Easter season be with you today and each day of your life. In His Resurrection Christ has broken the burden of sin and death. We no longer need to be burdened by the brokenness in our lives, nor by death at our life's end. God has answered our every concern and given to us healing and hope in all circumstances. Please continue prayers for Pastor David, Jeff, and Kandice, all who are battling cancer. Pray for their comfort, peace, and hope in Christ to sustain and keep them each day of their journeys with this difficult disease. Pray for Katie too as she begins her physical therapy to regain her strength, and to continue her healing. Continue to pray for her as she faces coming health concerns from her extreme dehydration. May our Lord be with each of these people, surrounding them with comfort and hope in these tough times in their lives.

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Bible Study: exploring scripture together

Today we continue on in the 9th chapter of the Gospel of Mark, verses 32-35.  In this passage we are confronted with the lack of understanding which the disciples are carrying in their lives, even after several years of experience, and teaching from their Master. Here they argue in a most human way, which of them is the greatest. They are seeing the coming death of the Master like any great person would see it. Someone must be handed the lead position to carry on. We know that Peter is named the Rock on which the future church must be built, yet we come to understand the frailty of Peter who still has human fears for his own life, and then Christ undoes their conversation by indicating to them in their thoughts of greatness, that it will be the one who is humble of heart, and whose life is given in service to others, not because of assignment, but because such humility and a caring, compassionate heart is who they have become through the teachings of Jesus.

We can see how seriously Jesus took all of this conversation that the disciples were having. Jesus often taught the disciples on the run, so to speak. They took a walk, or moved away from the crowds in some way, as difficult as that was to do. They spoke around meals, and the disciples listened as Christ taught the masses of people who gathered around Him. However, in this passage it becomes obvious that Jesus needs to nip this conversation in the bud. He sits down, taking precious time, to confront the disciples, and to teach them immediately what true greatness is really about. The signal to the disciples that this was really important was in Christ taking the rabbinical style. He didn't need to tell them how important this was, the physical style of the space was a complete indication for them that this message was to be regarded with the strictest importance.  We must also remember where Jesus and the disciples were at this moment. They have left the relative safety of the north and are now in the places in which the detractors and enemies of Christ had power. Jesus needed to be certain that the disciples understood how important their lives were with regards to continuing Christ's ministry truly were. It is important that those who are humble of heart are able to acknowledge others in their community who are greater than they are. As the pastor of our congregation, I am constantly amazed at the many gifts of the Spirit that are shared by our members. There are those who are amazing at speaking the Truth of God, others whose gifts for discernment certainly outshine mine, some have courage and faith strength that is quietly, yet powerfully present in their lives every day, those who can teach the Gospel to a variety of age groups effectively, those whose lives shine with the hospitality of the Spirit,  and more.  Jesus knew that He must draw on these amazing gifts of the disciples, that they might be shared after His death. He just needed the disciples to know, and in what mode, their gifts would be most successful for the work of the Church. And above all, they must be used with humility, providing for God's in-breaking love for all people.

I will be with you tomorrow to offer my thoughts on Mark 9:36-37.

 In Christ's love, Pastor Kim

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