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Bible Study Notes on Mark 12:1-27 – 20180420

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Bible Study Notes

Mark 12:1  “…He began to speak to them in parables…”
During passion week.  Looks like the parables He’s using are all pointing to the Messiah’s death and resurrection, not just general living teachings.  This seems to have been His focus since at least Him healing the blind man outside Bethsaida.

5  “…many others, beating some and killing some”
Wonder if the servants began to see the pattern.  Represents the prophets and teachers sent to Israel over the years.  Some knew the cost they would pay for telling the truth and did it anyway.  What is most desired in a servant is obedience.

7  “…let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours”
Interesting point.  Religious leaders were so intent on killing Jesus.  Did they ever have the slightest idea that they could somehow mold, shape, or change the mind and desire of God by killing His Messiah, if they somehow recognized Jesus as such.  Could they have actually recognized Jesus was the Messiah and killed Him anyway because He wasn’t the one they wanted.  And could they have in any sense thought they could get away with it.  It’s a believable plot in the parable, but in real life we’re talking about God, not just a land owner.  Had they really been lulled into disbelief that God wasn’t watching since they hadn’t heard from Him in so long.  Can understand them killing Jesus if they only thought of Him as a teacher with whom they didn’t agree and who made them feel guilty regarding their sin.  This thought adds a new level to their evil behavior.

9-12  “…He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others…they knew He had spoken the parable against them…”
He warned them what was coming, and they continued on their way.  I don’t see how they couldn’t have known the truth by this time.

13  “…the Herodians…”
Secularists.  Since they asked about taxes, they probably thought they might find something in the secular world to use against Him.  If He were just a regular insurrectionist, He might speak out against the Romans.

14  “…You are true, and care about no one…You do not regard the person of men…”
Not just flattery, but trying to appeal to His vanity as an insurrectionist if He were one.  Insurrectionist would have considered himself above the law which he was fighting against.  They’re trying to puff Him up as one so He might speak out against the government.

15  “…Why do you test Me?…”
Get the feeling this irritated Jesus more than their usual foolishness.  He was teaching about what was coming, and they were throwing secular arguments at Him.  If they had only been listening to what He was saying, they would know He wasn’t the type of malcontent they were attempting to catch Him as.  Overthrowing the Roman government had never been part of any of His teachings.  Their line of questioning showed their ignorance.

22  “…the seven had her and left no offspring…”
Was the seventh person supposed to raise up offspring for the other six.  Their whole premise was convoluted, but their true purpose wasn’t hidden from Jesus.

26  “But concerning the dead, that they rise…”
Jesus knew why they were asking such a weird question, and He answered them directly.

27  “…You are therefore greatly mistaken”
Slammed the door on their argument.  Something this simple should not be missed by supposed teachers of the law.  They were allowing their own ideas to contradict what God had said.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Mark 11 – 20180418

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Bible Study Notes

Mark 11:1  “…near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives…”
Small villages along the road to Jerusalem from Jericho.  Pretty close if they were counted at or near the Mount of Olives which is just across the valley from Jerusalem.

13  “…perhaps He would find something on it…it was not the season for figs”
Figs arrive before or along with the leaves.  When Jesus saw the leaves He assumed the fruit was already there, albeit early for the fig season.

18  “…scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him…”
Had quite a racket going.  I would imagine they got a cut from the buying and selling if it wasn’t they who were doing the actual dealing.  Jesus had also referred to them as thieves so they weren’t happy about that either.  Biggest deal is they saw no problem taking up the temple space given for the Gentiles to worship.  They had no respect for God’s house and no compassion for those who needed to worship Him.

19  “When evening had come, He went out of the city.”
Going into Jerusalem each day, and spending the night back in Bethany.

24  “…whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them
Name and claim, blab and grab.  Jesus wants us to trust in God, that He wants to provide for us and that He will.  So when we ask, we need to have faith that God will answer.  But we also trust Him that He won’t give us what may be bad for us, what we don’t need.  We may ask for the wrong things or something below what He intends for us.  We need to be sure our requests are aligned with His will as much as possible.  But we can always trust Him whether we ask correctly or not.

25  “…whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him…”
God is interested in our spiritual condition and maturity.  We don’t forgive others for their benefit, but for our own.  It’s not pleasant when someone does something to us, but God is more concerned with our reaction to it than what was done.  It’s an indicator of our character.  Are we becoming more like Christ or are we still focused on ourselves.  This also goes to explain what Jesus said in verse 24.  Our hearts must be right before Him for us to expect Him to answer.  We don’t have to be perfect.  God puts up with a lot of our garbage.  But we must have a spirit of contrition toward Him.  We must be willing to repent when confronted.

30  “…was it from heaven or from men…”
Was a legitimate question.  Of course Jesus knew they were only trying to find an excuse to accuse Him, but it could have led to a revealing discussion.  If they’d been honest and said John’s baptism was from heaven, Jesus could have shown them John was the forerunner and He was the Messiah.  If they had only considered John’s baptism as earthly, He could have given evidence to the contrary.  But they weren’t looking for the truth so there was no reason to oblige them with it.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Mark 10:23-52 – 20180416

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Bible Study Notes

Mark 10:23-24  “…those who have riches to enter…those who trust in riches to enter…”
Jesus repeated the statement a slightly different way to convey what He was saying.  Riches aren’t the problem.  Trusting in them is.  Part of self reliance.  Commentaries make a big deal out of the fact that the manuscript NU doesn’t contain the phrase for those who trust in riches.  But if you leave it out you have how hard it is to enter the kingdom, which isn’t true.  I don’t think Jesus was teaching that.

26-28  “…Who then can be saved…we have left all…”
To have riches appears to have God’s blessing and thus must be closer to God or more righteous.  Disciples thought if a rich person in that state couldn’t be saved who could.  Jesus assures them God can open a person’s eyes to his lost state and help him give up self reliance to accept salvation.  Peter seems to have caught some of it at least.  But from Jesus’s answer it appears Peter was asking more about what they would receive since they had forsaken much.  Matthew even adds the words what shall we have.  We must come to the point of realizing nothing on this earth is worth more than what God can and will provide when we accept Christ.  If nothing else, we must realize everything on this earth is temporary.  It won’t last.  We lose it the day we die.  If we don’t have Christ we have nothing.  And while He doesn’t promise earthly riches, He does promise we’ll have what we need.  Doesn’t seem that way sometimes, and I don’t fully understand it, but that’s why we must trust Him.  He is trustworthy and faithful and good all the time regardless of what we see.

32  “…they were amazed…they were afraid…”
No reasons given.  I imagine the fact they were headed to Jerusalem was the issue.  They may have picked up something of what Jesus had been telling them about what was coming.  Probably amazed they would be going in this direction if disaster awaited them.  Commentaries agree as much.  Then Jesus tells them again.  The fact they didn’t understand why He must go through what was coming would have made it that much harder.  Present course made no sense.

34  “…the third day He will rise again”
Example of the time phrasing.  Same thing as three days and three nights.  Important to understand to get the timeline correct.

39  “…You will indeed drink the cup that I drink…”
History bears it out.  James was killed by Herod in Acts 12.  John lived much longer, but was at one time exiled to Patmos where he received the Revelation visions.

45  “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”
Greatness comes from becoming like Christ.  Benefits others as much as ourselves.

47-48  “…when he heard that it was Jesus…but he cried out all the more…”
Faith and persistence.  Jesus always responded to acts of faith.  Calling Jesus the Son of David, a reference to the Messiah, would also be a sign of faith.  Not just a good teacher, but the Christ.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Mark 10:1-22 – 20180413

Writing

Bible Study Notes

Mark 10:2  “…testing Him”
Not interested in learning more about the truth, but only in tripping Jesus up.  Finding some reason to accuse Him of wrongdoing.

3  “…What did Moses command you”
They were the teachers of the law.  They should know the answer.  Threw it back at them.

6  “…made them male and female”
Two distinct genders.  Not multiple.

11  “…divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery…”
Point being, in marrying another the man would have sexual relations with his new wife which would be adultery against his first one.  Same for the woman.  Act of marriage, becoming one flesh.  A consummated marriage isn’t broken by a document, but by death of one spouse or intercourse with another person.

14  “…Let the little children come to Me…”
How we all must come to Christ, as little children.  Heeding the call of a loving Father.

17  “…one came running…”
With a purpose.  His question was important to him.

18  “…Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God.”
Question is why.  To flatter Him or to recognize that He is the Messiah.

21  “…looking at him, loved him…”
Wondering how this was shown.  A smile, a reaction of satisfaction in the answer the man gave.  Commentary suggested rabbis would kiss the foreheads of disciples showing promise.  Perhaps a hand on the shoulder.  Something that showed Jesus was pleased with the man’s answer.

22  “…went away sorrowful…”
Riches weren’t his problem, but his love for them.  He loved his riches more than God.  They were more important to him than his relationship with God.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Mark 9:30-50 – 20180411

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Bible Study Notes

Mark 9:30-32  “…He did not want anyone to know it…after He is killed, He will rise the third day…they did not understand this saying…”
Another indication Jesus was turning the focus of His ministry to His death and resurrection and away from any idea of Him becoming an earthly ruler.  He doesn’t want the people knowing He’s around, and He reminds His disciples of what is to come.  I imagine the weight of what was to come was beginning to weigh on Him.  Can’t imagine what that was like.

33  “…Capernaum…He was in the house…”
Probably Peter’s home.

35  “…If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last…”
Not a formula for getting ahead.  The idea that greatness in the Kingdom of God is love and compassion for all, to be like Jesus.  You don’t do it for placement, but to grow to be more like Him.  And as you do that, it becomes less a personal ambition and more what you do out of love for Him.

36  “…when He had taken him in His arms…”
Picked him up.  The gentleness of Jesus.

37  “…receives one of these little children in My name receives Me…”
Example of what He’s teaching them.  If you can come to the place of receiving, caring for one of these little ones, the least, you’ve come to the place of becoming like Him.

39  “…no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me”
Appears pretty straight forward as it is.  One would apparently need to be for Christ in order for God to use him to work a miracle.  Yet, in Matthew 7:22, Jesus speaks of those who call Him Lord and cast out demons in His name, but don’t know Him.  Seeming contradiction which I know isn’t there so need to find the correct path for both.  Checked commentaries on both passages.  Nothing to really connect them.  Perhaps I’m assuming too much.  In verse 40, Jesus says he who is not against us is on our side.  He didn’t say the person was a true Christian.  Those He mentions in Matthew were obviously followers, just not true believers.  They’d never completely repented and surrendered to Him.  The movement of God is the same regardless of who He chooses to use, so we don’t have to worry about the presentation.  Paul said some preached the true gospel out of spite for him.  Yet he was grateful that the message of Jesus was being preached regardless of the motivation of the speakers.  Here Jesus must be saying as long as God chooses to move through the people, what they’re doing is OK.  Obviously the power is of God and not of them.  But we should make sure they understand they must have a personal relationship with Jesus in order to be saved.  Works, even those of the power of God, won’t save you.

42  “..whoever causes…”
Obviously any sin is enough to warrant Hell.  I think Jesus is emphasizing the importance of little ones, impressionable people, in the kingdom.  They are trusting by nature.  Of the utmost importance that we tell them the truth of Jesus and not lead them astray in any way.

43  “…It is better for you…”
Not a command to cut off limbs or pluck out eyes.  Reminder of the severity of sin.  And the fact that nothing is worth going to Hell over.  As Jesus mentioned in a previous chapter, what does it profit to gain the whole world and lose your own soul.

48  “…And the fire is not quenched”
To me, the most dreadful thing about Hell is that there is no hope, it never ends.  I wish there was some sense that we’ve misunderstood what Jesus said about Hell and it’s eternal existence, but every mention of it speaks of it never ending.  I would wish that all in Hell would someday simply be wiped out of existence rather than remain in that state forever, but that’s not what we’re told.  Such information should goad us on to warn others of the danger coming.

49  “…everyone will be seasoned with fire…”
Commentaries have trouble with this section.  Can’t say for sure, but it just seems to me to be a reference to purification.  Sort of a reference to how our works will be tested in the end.  What is worth something will make it through the fire.  And we should have the salt of seasoning within ourselves to make ourselves worth something to others in helping them and point them to Christ.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Bible Study Notes on Mark 9:1-29 – 20180409

Bible Study Notes

Mark 9:1  “…there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” Should have been attached to the end of chapter eight.  Man’s divisions of the text are just that, but it does make it easier to find small parts.  Question . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Mark 9:1-29 – 20180409

Bible Study Notes on Mark 8 – 20180406

Bible Study Notes

Mark 8:2  “…three days…” Jesus has been teaching for three days, and the crowd that is with Him has been there the whole time.  Would be interesting to know all the details of where they were and exactly how this took place.  But we have what God wanted us to have.

. . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Mark 8 – 20180406

Bible Study Notes on Mark 7 – 20180404

Bible Study Notes

Mark 7:3  “…wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition…” Ceremonial washing.

6  “…This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me” So concerned with traditions and ceremony, but nothing with real repentance or change of heart and life.  Ceremony was supposed to show . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Mark 7 – 20180404

Bible Study Notes on Mark 6:30-56 – 20180402

Bible Study Notes

Mark 6:31  “…Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest…” Common problem among ministries is the idea someone has to give everything 24/7.  Jesus Himself didn’t do that nor did He require it of His disciples.  I guess we think because God doesn’t sleep, we shouldn’t either.  That’s a . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Mark 6:30-56 – 20180402

Bible Study Notes on Mark 6:1-29 – 20180329

Bible Study Notes

Mark 6:1  “…came to His own country…” Nazareth.

3  “…brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?  And are not His sisters here…” Jesus had at least four half brothers and at least two half sisters.  We forget He was raised in a normal Jewish family.  Not sure of the age difference . . . → Read More: Bible Study Notes on Mark 6:1-29 – 20180329