Day #33: When No One Else Can Help, Jesus Can

"Do not be afraid; only believe."

Mark 5:36(b), NKJV


The 5th chapter of Mark reveals an important fact that all who seek God need to learn: When no one else can help, Jesus can. I first heard this lesson from a wise preacher over 25 years ago, and he made it while studying this very chapter in Mark. Just look at the three main events of Mark 5:


First, Jesus comes across a demon possessed man in a graveyard. For years people had tried to help him, and even bound him in chains when it was evident that they could not. Then along came Jesus, who drove the demons out of the man and changed his entire life: And the demon possessed man and all of those in that region learned the vital lesson: When no one else can help, Jesus can.


Next, we come across a woman who had suffered from a terrible disease for a dozen years. She had sought out many doctors and had spent all of her money trying to find some relief, but no one could help. Then along came Jesus and she timidly approached Him, thinking to herself that if she could only touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. And she was able to touch him and she was healed and she learned that beautiful lesson: When no one else can help, Jesus can!


Finally, we find a man coming to Jesus whose daughter was sick unto the point that she died before he could bring Jesus to her. Upon learning of the child's death, Jesus comforted the man by telling him not to be afraid, only believe. And the man did believe and Jesus did bring that little girl back to life and the great lesson was once again made abundantly clear: When no one else can help, Jesus can! 


Is there something in this lesson that could help you with your own struggles of life? This is why we read!


Today's lesson is from the 5th chapter of Mark, and it will help us all to remember that when no one else can help, Jesus can!



Day #32: Wilting in Times of Trouble

"Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. Whenever trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away."

Mark 4:16-17, NIV


One of the reasons that it is so vital to become a regular reader of God's Word is explained perfectly in the parable above. Jesus pointed out that there are some people who receive the word with joy, but they just don't make it; why not?


He gives the answer to that very question, when He explains that some will wither during times of persecution and trouble because they simply have no root. In other words, they are shallow of heart.


A great benefit of being a daily Bible reader is that the practice will give you depth, and depth is just what is needed for any who would begin a task as noble as becoming a disciple of Christ.


Today's reading is from Mark chapter 4. How are you doing, so far?

Day #31: Why Was Everyone Against Jesus?

Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath:  to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill? But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Mark 3:4-6, NIV


Imagine that: Jesus healed a man and the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Him. As if that wasn't bad enough, when Jesus drove out the demons from people who had been held in bondage by their evil, the "experts" in the law said that it was by the chief of demons that He did so. To make the unreasoned attacks on Jesus complete, even His own family thought that Jesus was out of His mind and sought to take charge of Him.


Why was everyone against Jesus? All that He ever did was to bring healing to the sick, relief to the demon possessed, and the promise of freedom to those who all their life had been held captive by their fear of death... but there was something else that Jesus did - He made people uncomfortable!


And, most people when they become uncomfortable go into attack mode, and that is precisely what we see throughout Christ's ministry. After years of opposing Jesus because they could not accept His simple teaching of repentance, they finally killed Him. It's true that a few would eventually recognize Him as the promised Messiah (including His family), but many continued to reject Him until the day that He died.


What about you?


Today's reading is the 3rd chapter of Mark. It contains much to think about.

Day #30: How Far Would You Go?

Some men came bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

Mark 2:3-5, NIV


I really like this particular event in history because it shows just how far people will go to help someone that they truly love. Imagine being so intent on bringing a friend to Jesus that nothing could stop you. These men had carried their friend no telling how far to get to the house where Jesus was staying. Upon arriving, they saw that there was simply no way to get their friend to Jesus in an easy way, because the crowd was simply too great.


So they went the hard way. They literally dug down through the roof of someone's house to get their friend to Jesus. Imagine that! These people loved their friend so much that nothing was going to prevent them from bringing him to Jesus, because they believed that Jesus was the only one who could help him. And when Jesus saw that kind of faith, He not only healed the man of His physical bondage, He also healed him of his spiritual ailment. Only Jesus could do that, but please don't miss this important lesson: It still took people who loved the man to bring him to Jesus in the first place.


How far would you go, to bring your loved one to Jesus?


Today's reading is Mark chapter 2. The truths contained in this chapter will truly bless your life and the lives of those you love if you will let them.



Day #29: Two Different Baptisms

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19, NKJV


John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Mark 1:4, NKJV


"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" Romans 6:3, NKJV


And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized? So they said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:3-5, NKJV


One of the reasons that we not only read the Bible, but that we study it as well, is because of teachings like we find in the four passages above. Just reading from Matthew 28:19 to Mark 1:4, encompasses only six verses of Scripture so, if we are not careful, we might miss something very important. In this instance, the important thing to remember is that Jesus' command in Matthew 28:19 is made after the cross and after His resurrection. The events recorded in Mark 1:4, on the other hand, are written several years before the cross.


So, what's the difference? It is clear that both baptisms were baptisms of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and both baptisms were a full immersion in water (The very word "baptism" refers to an immersion, a submergence, and an emergence). However, this is where the similarities end, for Christ's baptism was a baptism into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and it was a baptism into Jesus' death. Why is that so important? We don't have to speculate, for we are told in Romans the following:

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also shall walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection."

Romans 6:4-5, NKJV


That is why the 12 men that we read about above in Acts 19 had to be baptized again. Even though they had received John's baptism (a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins) they had not been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus and, therefore, they had not been baptized into His death. And we are told in Romans 6 that all who have been baptized into His death will also take part in His resurrection.  


One other thing: Many people argue that baptism is not needed because "the thief on the cross wasn't baptized, and He was saved". Hopefully these few verses looked at today will reveal to you the fallacy of that argument, for the thief on the cross could not have been baptized into Christ's death at that time for Jesus had not yet died, and the commandment to be baptized into His death had not yet been given. Further, as to whether or not the thief had ever been baptized into John's baptism, we simply are not told.


Do you see, now, how important it is to not only read the Word, but to also study the Word and think about what it says?


Today's reading is from Mark chapter 1. I pray that God will richly bless your studies!