Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mark 15:1-20 (DB of 29/3/2018)

key verse: 2


Mark tells of the morning assembly of the Jewish Council, the interogation in the praetorium and the exchange between Pilate and the crowd. Pilate finally gave Jesus over to be crucified, while Jesus himself kept silent.

1. Jesus kept silent (1-5)

Wrongdoers rise early to conspire against an innocent man. They were not tired from the previous night's trial and rose early. They bound Jesus and sent him to Pilate, since his permission was needed to put a man to death. Thus, Jesus stood before Pilate. When he asked if he was the King of the Jews, Jesus replied in four words, "You have said so". It was a dangerous answer to give the Roman governor because it could be interpreted politically. Yet, Jesus identified himself as the King of the Jews. Spiritually, it was the title of the promised Messiah. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Pilate pressed Jesus to defend himself in face of several accusations. But Jesus no longer answered. Before his accusers, he kept absolutely silent. Pilate was astonished, since whoever is on truth's side has no need to defend himself. Pilate was someone with an ethic of circumstance.

2. Crucify him (6-20)

During the Passover, a custom of national amnesty was observed. Perhaps the Jews had imposed this rule on the governor to commemorate God's delivery of Israel from captivity in Egypt. Thus, people asked him to release one person. Pilate thought the crowd would ask for Jesus the King of the Jews, since he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had asked for the death of Jesus. Yet he was mistaken because the leaders had already stirred up the people to ask for Jesus' death. Pilate was stuck, even more so because he hadn't formed his own opinion. "What evil has he done?" It was his desperate cry in face of the injustice that he would have to uphold in spite of himself. He finally gave in and sent an innocent Jesus to be crucified. The soldiers treated him arbitrarily with all kinds of physical and moral violence. Jesus was struck and mocked more than he had been by the religious leaders. He was treated that way in order to save sinful men like you and I. Thank you, Lord. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Mark 14:1-11 (DB of 22/3/2018)


key verse: 8

Today's account tells how Jesus received annointing from a woman. Jesus gave this memorable moment meaning. Judas was a traitor who betrayed Jesus for a few pieces of silver.

1. The woman poured the ointment over Jesus (1-7)

The cunning Jews were looking for a way to kill Jesus. They always used plots in order to eliminate their enemy without trace or proof. As hypocrites, they were instruments of Satan, and they were themselves devils. Jesus entered the home of Simon, whose purpose was surely tied to this tentative. Then a woman appeared from nowhere, with a flask on her shoulder. She was so determined that they could say nothing. She approached Jesus, broke the flask and poured all the contents over his head. His clothes were covered in mucous and he could have been very annoyed. This nard-filled alabaster flask represented the woman's dream of marriage. Yet, she broke it without sparing in order to bless Jesus who had saved her from all her sins. The others complained about the price of the ointment, going so far as to criticize her. Yet, Jesus saw things differently and praised the woman. This woman was full of devotion and engagement. Above all, she knew how to reciprocate grace received from God.

2. Truly, wherever the gospel is proclaimed. . . (8-11)

Seeing her actions, Jesus honored the woman through the spread of the gospel. In a word, she was a protagonist of Jesus' redemptive work. She simply responded to his grace, and God, who knew her humble and sacrificial heart, wanted to raise her to the level of protagonist in his story. If we bring our sacrificial offerings, God never neglects them, but honors them in his redemptive work. Sometimes the offerings are poor, but God knows the heart and lifts up every action for him in memory of the gospel. Our preaching on the campuses and one-to-one Bible studies are our offerings of great value in God's eyes. Judas did not understand this sacrificial life for God. His philosophy was "every man for himself" and he followed Jesus to improve his status and achieve his own dream of a messianic kingdom in Israel. He finally turned his back and became an enemy of God. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mark 13 : 14-27 (Daily Bread of 20/3/2018)

Verse Key 13 : 26
Here are described the two crises to come. Jesus speaks first of the signs of the last time and of His second coming to judge heaven and earth, in His perfect glory in heaven.       
1.     The abomination of desolation (14-20)
First, there will be the desecration of the temple. This refers to the phenomenon of the 2nd century BC when the Greek emperor Antichos Ephiphanes had the pig offered as a holocaust in the temple at the same time as he abolished the Torah, which provoked the revolt of the Machabee. But this applies to all acts of idolatry in history, which inspired a sense of disgust and horror in the Jews. This verse 14 refers first of all to the desecration of the Temple by the Romans in the year 70 AD. J.-C. But the meaning goes beyond that, that is, Jesus, for the instruction of the Church to come, probably alludes to this phenomenon that will take place at the same time as the antichrist appears. At this time of crisis, the people will have to flee, renouncing material attachment. God's people must always adopt this way of life in expectation of the coming kingdom of God.
2.     Beware (21-27) 

First, after the appearance of the Antichrist, there will be the upheaval of nature. The stars will fall and there will be no more sunlight, and deep darkness will reign. It is a phenomenon announcing the coming of the true great event which is the second, and which is as it is written in verse 26, nothing but the return in glory of the Son of Man on the cloud. This is the direct reference of Daniel 7:13, the Son of Man being the title of this prophet. This event, which stands out most clearly in this chapter, is the final triumph of Jesus. The suffering Messiah will ultimately enter into his glory. While Jesus gives us the impression that his present disciples will not attend during their lifetime, it is certain that, Jesus did not lose sight of his future Church that she be firmly established with this vision of last time where he will triumph perfectly by destroying all the enemies of God and his people. The gathering of the elect by the angels in v.27 presupposes that the divine plan of verse 10 will have been realized in the meantime. For the elect will bring the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth, as Jesus Christ commanded them.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mark 12: 28-37 (DB of 16/3/2018)


Verse Key 12: 30
Jesus taught the greatest commandment to one of the scribes, then he taught that he is the son of David, though he clashes with chronology.      
1.     You will love the Lord your God with all your heart (28-34)
One of the scribes saw how Jesus could refute the adversaries who attacked him with their malicious questions. Then he approached Jesus and asked him the question about the greatest commandment. First, he drew the attention of all the people, saying,"Listen." It was Moses who said this way to say that the God of Israel was the one and only God on earth, therefore he is the Creator whose word is worthy to be heard. Even if he works in three persons, it is notorious that he is the one and only God. We must first love this one and only God in a way worthy of his name, that is, that he is worthy to receive all our being. We must love him with all our heart and soul and with all our thought and strength. Jesus added the second commandment, but as great as the first, is to love one's neighbour as oneself. Then the scribe summarized Jesus' teaching in an excellent way, even adding his commentary which was also excellent: for example, God is one, and there is no other, and replaces soul by intelligence, etc. He said,"God is one, and there is none else. He was an excellent man, so when Jesus saw him, he saw him with great admiration. Jesus says he is not far from the kingdom of God. By his intelligence, he has almost arrived in the kingdom of God. What does he miss?
2.     Christ is the son of David (35-37) 

Now it is Jesus' turn to ask the question. It happened that there is some chronological discrepancy, for Jesus is the son of David. But Jesus is the Lord of lords, therefore he is the Lord of King David. David himself confessed his filial relationship with the Messiah, that he is one of the Messiah's subjects. His Messiah is the mighty God who destroys the enemy and puts him in show, and puts them under his footsteps. He knew that the Messiah would come as his descendant, but he knew as a prophet that he too was a sinner redeemed by the coming Messiah. People listened with joy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mark 12:1-12 (Daily Bread 13/3/2018)


Key verse 12:8

In reply to the leaders' question about authority, Jesus gave a parable, that of the winegrowers. The vineyard's authority was greatly underestimated The owner of the vineyard had authority, but it was not well known. The action of the winegrowers was very serious before God.      

1.     They killed the envoys (1-8)

A man had a beautiful vine. He took great care to establish an environment conducive to fruit bearing. Then he rented it to winegrowers before going on a trip. In the coming season, he sent his servants to receive the harvest from the winegrowers. Now the winegrowers had become extremely proud and arrogant, so much so that they put every envoy to death . Finally, for the owner, only his own son remained. Thinking that that they would have the minimum of conscience to respect his son, he sent him. However, the winegrowers were treated him more violently that they did the others. They were very wicked, for they thought that if they killed him, the heir, the vine would be theirs.  They threw his body out of the vineyard, and he would surely have fallen prey to predators.What happened to them, those men and the vines they had coveted so much.  

2.     The rejected stone became the main stone (29-33) 

Jesus quoted the word of Psalm 118:22 to indicate how he who is martyred by the wicked becomes a very important person. His tribulation and martyrdom are not in vain. God sees his pain and suffering, and He will reward such a man. Those who unjustly suffer atrocity and mistreatment from the wicked will receive the just reward from God.  This only son so unhappily killed and thrown out of the vineyard refers to the Son of God sent by God to save sinful humanity. He only had the will to receive a little bit of  fruit in exchange of the life that he gave man. It is the will of our master. The problem of the persecuting winegrowers was that they considered the field not as rented property, but as their own. They were not thankful for their fields where they could work and earn a living, but they thought the owner was exploiting their labour. Man blames God who gave him many things, including his life. As soon as he returns, the owner will take the vine away and give it to the others. The leaders grinded their teeth to grasp Jesus, but his hour had not yet come.

Mark 11:1-10 (Daily Bread 9/3/2018)


Key verse : 11:3

This part is called Jesus' the triumphal entrance. Whatever we do, the way we enter is a great sign to indicate what would happen next. Let us study how Jesus humbly entered this city , even though he is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Why is his entry triumphant?    

1.     Say: The Lord needs it (1-3)

Jesus called 2 of his disciples and commissioned them to prepare the entry into Jerusalem. Their mission was to bring a colt so that Jesus could ride on it to enter the city. It was a test of faith for the disciples, for they had to detach an animal of burden from another, which was theft. However, Jesus said that the owner would let the animal go when they said,"The Lord needs it". Yet it will be no less difficult to follow this direction, because they would have to detach the animal as if they were going to steal it. In this case they would just have to believe that what Jesus said was true and that the people would let the animal go as he said. In any case they left and experienced faith through their obedience. This event teaches us that Jesus is the ruler of the world and everything on earth. We also learn that whatever it is, if we do it by faith, Jesus will bless it. Therefore, let us listen to the word of Jesus, however unreasonable it may be, because God always blesses the one who obeys his word unconditionally.

2.     Hosanna, blessed be...! (4-10)  

When Jesus went up on the colt, the people gathered around him and began to shout: "Hosanna, blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord." Hosanna means, come save us. Jesus is the one who saves us. He can save us from our enemies, but what he truly saves us from is the yoke of sin.Sin is  like a club that keeps knocking on our backs. However, when we come humbly before Jesus and lay down our sins with a contrite heart, he saves us from all injustice and makes us pure and healthy. In the past we were sold to sin, but now by the blood of Jesus poured out on the cross, we are redeemed and healed of all our sins. We are saved from our sins and we are heirs to the kingdom of God. From Satan's slave, we become beloved children of God. On the other hand, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, Satan's head will be crushed. Hence the name "triumphant entry" for this part of the beginning of the passion. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mark 11: 11-26 (DB of 10/3/2018)

Key verse: 22


Today's account describes the moment when Jesus cursed the fig tree. He uses this moment to teach about faith. Let's learn the true faith that Jesus teaches and clothe ourselves with this faith so we can be victorious in our lives and missions.

1. May your fruit no longer be eaten (11-19)

After the triumphal entry, Jesus visited and examined the temple. Jesus is the Creator of heaven and earth. God made the temple so that people could worship Him there. Jesus left the temple, and while walking out of the city, he saw a fig tree. Being hungry, he looked for fruit. Since it was not the season, there was no fruit. Jesus then cursed the tree, saying that never again would people eat from that tree. This curse seems unfair, since it was not the season. However, Jesus wanted to show the future of the nation of Israel, which had not fulfilled its mission. This mission has no season, just as Timothy says to preach in season and out. The tree is a creation and its purpose is to satisfy man's appetite. In the same way, the temple is created by God to be a pleasant house which bears fruit. However, in becoming a den of thieves, it lost all purpose. It was supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations, but Israel and its leaders lost this purpose. He who has lost the meaning of his existence becomes an object of curses. Jesus, overwhelmed with anger because of the corruption in the temple, turns over money tables and releases the animals.

2. Have faith in God (20-26)

The disciples were troubled because the fig tree had been dried to the root. Peter exclaimed, "Rabbi. . .!" It was frightening to witness such a scene. Peter was astonished, not because the tree had wilted, but because of the power of Jesus' words. He wanted this same power in his mission and in life. Yet Jesus says this kind of thing can never happen without faith. Jesus says, "Have faith in God". It is said that prayer is the measure of faith. So, if we have faith, we can pray. While praying, we must believe that our requests are accepted and answered. If we pray by faith, a miracle occurs. But before praying, we must forgive those who have sinned against us. Prayer is not a rite, but a personal relationship with God.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mark 10: 46-52 (DB of 08/03/2018)


key verse: 48

Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus healed a blind man. It was the last miracle and he would do no others. Jesus offered healing to this man because of his cries. There is something to learn here concerning faith.

1. Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me (46-50)

Jesus heard the cry of a blind man on the way. Though he was busy and hurried on the way to death, Jesus heard the cry of a desperate man. He wanted to help him. Thank you Lord Jesus who hears our cries and is always ready to help us. A lot of people keep silent, thinking that Jesus knows everything, but it is not so. Jesus wants us to cry out desperately in order to receive blessing. A lot of people are too used to their status quo and fear what others will say. Thus they do not cry out and do not experience the power of God through which Jesus answers. We must not keep silent and in spite of any blocks or prohibition, we must be audacious in order to dare the impossible. Healing was a question of life or death for Bartimaeus. We must repent for having long since lost the desire to be healed. Otherwise, Jesus cannot answer. Look how this man, who doesn't even have his own name (Bartimaeus means "son of Timaeus"), desperately fights for healing. Heaven is moved when the heart beats.

2. Go, your faith has made you well (51-52)

What do you want me to do? Jesus knew what the blind man wanted him to do. Yet, he wanted him to verbally express his desire, "Yes, I want to". Romans 10:10 says that if we confess with our mouth, we are saved. Here again, we see how much speaking aloud is important for the believer who desires an answer to his prayers. Let's communicate our needs to God in clear words. On other words, we have to clearly state the subjects of our prayers and clearly bring them out loud before Jesus. Jesus, who saw in the blind man a clear subject and the absence of doubt, decided to heal him. "Go, your faith has made you well." The blind man recovered his sight immediately. Truly, it is faith which triumphs in the end in our lives. There is no illness which cannot be healed, if we have the will to be healed. This is true if we pray humbly, believing in the power of Jesus and persevering in spite of many obstacles. 

Mark 10:17-31 (Daily Bread 6/3/2018)


Key verse 10:21
The word of this morning teaches us the way for mankind to reach the kingdom of God. Many have the desire to do so, but few recognize the path. This path is far from an easy life. 
1.     You're missing one thing (17-27)
When the young man came to Jesus, he called him "good master." Jesus says that only God is good. Jesus is God, he is good. He is full of kindness, so he sacrifices his body for us. The goodness of God is great but hidden, but the goodness of Jesus, Son of God, is concrete and tangible. Man must accept his goodness and give himself to him. This young man was adorable, for he kept all the commandments from his youth. He was so pleasant that Jesus loved him with all his tenderness. He was really perfect in appearance, but inside there was no faith. Jesus told him to sell his goods and give the price to the poor. But he refused because he had a lot of good. He went away sadly, therefore, Jesus said that it is easier for the camel to pass through the needle hole than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Man cannot divide his heart between wealth and the kingdom of God. The disciples could not easily accept this fact because of their material and selfish desire that remained in them.  
2.     Jesus comforted the disciples (41-51) 

Jesus saw that the disciples were perplexed. If it is so, who would enter the kingdom of God. But they didn't know what sacrifice they made. If a rich man sold his material was difficult, for them too, abandoning the family was also difficult. But they didn't know him. So Jesus comforted his disciples. When Peter claimed that he had left everything, Jesus recognized him and appreciated his sacrifice. The same was true for all the disciples. Truly, they have abandoned everything, even their most intimate members of the family, their wealth, even if it is so small compared to that of the rich young man. Still, it was quite a sacrifice. It was for the name of Jesus and His glory that they did all this. Some of us have abandoned their families to gain the citizenship of God. They are great before God. Jesus says that if they did so, a reward is given to them in heaven. They will also receive persecution at the same time, but their reward will be much greater: new home and new family, and finally eternal life. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Mark 9:30-37 (PQ 2/3/2018)


Key verse 9:31
Today's word teaches us about the second proclamation of Jesus' death and resurrection, and disciples' desire to become great. This desire is not necessarily bad, but in this context, it was not appropriate.

1.     Jesus announces his death (30-32)
Jesus departed from the area north of Caesarea of Philip where there was the mountain of transfiguration, and passed through Galilee. It was his native land, but Jesus behaved anonymously. After receiving Peter's confession that Jesus is Christ, Jesus began to say that he must be put to death and be resurrected on the third day. For whatever reason that Peter did not accept this, which revealed his immaturity, Jesus scolded him and realised that the time to announce his death and resurrection had come again. Yet, despite the message repeated in this way, the disciples did not accept it, or rather they had decided not to accept it. They were torpored and paralyzed with fear. They were even afraid to question him (32).     

2.     The greatest (33-37) 

Jesus had just announced his death and resurrection. Given the seriousness of this matter, the disciples should have had a very serious posture and asked themselves questions about it. However, their questioning was not of this kind, they were wondering, a journey that milled together with Jesus, who will be the greatest. They always had this sense of comparison with others. Then in the house Jesus began to teach about true greatness among men. Men seek to be great from the point of view of wealth, education, ability, etc.. However, true greatness is that someone serves others. Here, the conception of true greatness is totally at odds with what is the greatness of the world. If someone serves someone else, people will neglect him, but from God's point of view, he is the great one. Jesus gave the audio-visual teaching through a child. People neglect such small existences, but it is precisely through them that greatness flows. The one who serves as a small task, God will give him the responsibility to govern ten cities. The disciples had to repent of their desire to be great, especially since Jesus was about to face death through crucifixion.

Psalm 50:1-23 (PQ 27/2/2018)


Verse Key 50:14

God hates those who are filled with his own righteousness. Today's words speak volumes. Israel is like modern legalist believers who imagine themselves to obtain salvation by their own strength.

1. God is the Judge (1-13) The appearance of God is dreadful. In the midst of storm and fire devouring and with a thunderous sound, he will appear and summon the earth to judge. He summoned Israel, who was the people of the Covenant, and never ceased to offer burnt offerings. The problem was not really sacrifice, the problem was the disposition of heart with which they brought and offered sacrifice. What were they like? They offered many of the burnt offerings, thinking that they would satisfy God. Nevertheless, what they did was not what God wanted to have. God pushes people to look at heaven and earth and all the animals that they lock up. Who owns all these animals and birds? Doesn't it all belong to God? Does God eat animal flesh? But they acted as if God were eating him and giving him a meal to please him. They were so humanistic and carnal. God did not rejoice in it.

2. Sacrifice of gratitude (14-23) God says,"I'm tired of your sacrifices." What God wanted was not such sacrifices, however abundant they may be. What God wanted was the contrite heart and recognition in the heart. Then, the personal relationship with God matters most. When we pray in the name of Jesus, he listens to us. God really rejoices in having a relationship with his people and this relationship is established when man repents and asks for God's mercy and offers the sacrifice of gratitude. From v. 16 to 21, the Bible says what the activities of the wicked were. They were the pseudo-believers, having fun with the word of God. But they didn't put it into practice. They never learned and despised the truth. They ally themselves with the guilty such adulterers and hate brothers. God keeps silence, so that the wicked thought that God would tolerate them, but this silence will not last that long. God will judge their life double. One thing we should not forget is that God wants to sacrifice, not animals, but the heart. We must watch out for our path, which so quickly risks turning away from the truth.