March 21, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Mark 3-4
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Context:Chapter 3 begins with Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath. The Pharisees accused Jesus of working on the Sabbath! The Pharisees were so caught up in their rules that they refused to acknowledge that human needs trumps religious laws. Jesus begins to draw a crowd no matter where He goes. He appoints the 12 Apostles, so that they may assist and also go out to teach and heal. In an attempt to discredit Jesus, the Pharisees first say He is Satan and when Jesus refutes that claim, they continue to say that Jesus is possessed by an evil spirit. While Jesus loves His mother and brothers, He has entered into His ministry, which is more important. Jesus uses the parable of the Sower to describe the condition of the receiver of God's word. Read an in-depth study on this parable here. Jesus is to be a light within us that shines so bright other people can recognize it. Through the parable of the growing seed, Jesus explains that after we sow the seed of God's word and move on, He will continue to work and the seed will continue to grow. God can use anyone for His purpose, not matter how small or insignificant the person may think they are. While Jesus is sleeping in the boat, a storm rises up and the disciples, fearful, awaken Jesus. Jesus calmed the storm and questioned the faith of the disciples. Did they think His ministry so unimportant that a storm could end it? Jesus was able to sleep peacefully through the storm, knowing His Father would protect Him. Interestingly, Mark is the only Gospel to record that there were other boats around during the storm. Mark's recording of the other boats only further demonstrates the greatness of Jesus' faith in His Father and the miracle.