God Made Visible

Ears You Have Dug for Me

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Ears You Have Dug for Me

Mark 7.31-37

When Jesus heals a man who is deaf and mute, there is much more going on that the simple fact that Jesus can heal. The Old Testament has many promises about a coming time when God would start to open ears to hear his voice, and loosen tongues to speak about him. This story is a symbol of God’s work in the world, and his work in you, and therefore it is powerfully relevant to us.

The Faith of a Nobody

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The Faith of a Nobody

Mark 7.24-30

In one of the more shocking and offensive interactions in the gospels, Jesus tests a woman’s faith and she emerges as one of the great models of what faith ought to look like. Despite being a Gentile and outside the scope of Christ’s mission, her gritty determination, humility and reverence capture Jesus’s attention and admiration.

The Way of Man and the Way of God

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The Way of Man and the Way of God

Mark 7.1-23

Jesus was deeply critical of the way the religious teachers practiced their religion. When he criticised them, he didn’t hold back. Why? And what was he teaching that was different? We need to keep learning about Christ’s way as opposed to man’s way, because doing religion man’s way is miserable, exhausting, and self-deluding. Jesus offers us something better.

Jesus Is with You

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Jesus Is with You

Mark 6.45-56

The gospel of Mark shows us Jesus’ method of making disciples who go from being raw material to being able to walk in their calling. How does he do this? He exposes them to trials of increasing intensity that would prepare them for their mission when he was gone. This storm on the lake is one other such occasion, and in it we discover the very truths we need to face the trials of life: that Jesus is praying for us, revealing himself to us, and that he’s right there, with us.

Dangerous Calling

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Dangerous Calling

Mark 6.7-32

The Christian life is a missionary life. As Jesus sends his disciples out on their first missions journey, tasked with preaching the gospel from town to town, there’s a sense of risk and impending danger. The death of John the Baptist is a stark warning that even though the gospel is good news, there will always be resistance to God and his messengers.

Dealing with Doubt

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Dealing with Doubt

Mark 6.1-6

Some of the first sceptics Jesus meets are the people he grew up with. They find it the hardest to accept him as anyone but the carpenter, and the illegitimate son of Mary. They prove the saying that familiarity breeds contempt. This can be true today also: that people who’ve grown up in the church can be afflicted by strong doubts, and often walk away. How should we deal with doubt in this situation?

Stormlord

Life is fraught with situations that make us feel out of control, anxious, vulnerable, and afraid. When the disciples were caught in a vicious storm, we see the way Jesus deals with the storm, but also the way he deals with them – exposing fear and teaching them to have faith. Christ wants to show us that he is both with us in our suffering, but that he is also Lord over our suffering.