Wednesday, July 18, 2018

When His Hometown Rejected Him

By Mary Vee
Mark 9



From Mark's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee
Taken in Israel
My name is Mark. I was among the crowd watching what Jesus the teacher said and did each day, standing with his close disciples, witnessing the most amazing miracles, and hearing teachings filled with such wisdom.

Only moments ago, Jesus healed some blind men. Seeing the joy fill these men, giving them new life, reminded me why I wanted to follow Jesus.

While we were going out of a house, a man was brought to Jesus, guided by others. The one who needed help was demon-possessed and could not talk.

Jesus took pity on the man and cast the demon out, freeing him of his torment. 

When the crowds witnessed this action, they said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel." They longed to hear him speak and to see more miracles.

Near that same crowd, a group of Pharisee stood. Their faces had anger. They said, "It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons."

Well, that just didn't make any sense. Why would the prince of demons want his own demons cast out. I laughed quietly, not wanting to stir the Pharisees' anger.

Jesus didn't comment to them this time. He often spoke to the Pharisees about their focus on themselves. He left the city and walked to his hometown, Nazareth. Those dedicated to following Jesus's teachings went with him there. 

On the Sabbath day, Jesus entered the synagogue and sat. At the time for teachings, He stood and taught the people wisdom from God. 

The people were so surprised at what He said. "Where did this man get these words? What's this wisdom that has been given to him that he even does miracles? It couldn't be true. Isn't this the carpenter? He's just a carpenter. What right does He have to speak like this? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us? What makes him any better than us thinking he can teach us these things?"

The people continued saying rude and offensive words about Jesus for a time. 

Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 

Although Jesus wanted to help the sick and hurting people in his hometown, he couldn't do more than put his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And even those few did not have a strong faith like Jairus, or the woman healed by touching his garment, or the blind men that he'd healed yesterday near Capernaum.


 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

They Told More Friends Who Told More Friends

By Mary Vee
Mark 9



From Mark's Journal 


Photo by Mary Vee
Taken in Israel
My name is Mark. I was among the crowd watching what Jesus the teacher said and did each day.

Jesus left Jairus' home and walked farther away from the sea. I enjoyed seeing Jairus and his wife rejoice over their daughter's healing. 

Others had seen or heard what Jesus did. His miracles amazed men and women so much so, words spread far and wide, which brought many more people who traveled great distances to hear Him speak and watch him help those in need.

Shortly after we left Jairus's house, two men called out to Jesus from the back of the crowd. A few men helped make a path for these men so the could reach Jesus.

They called out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!"

Jesus walked on until he went inside a home.

The men helping the two blind ones, encouraged them to follow Jesus.

Inside the home, Jesus said, "Do you believe that I am able to help you?"

The blind men turned toward the voice and said, "Yes, Lord."

Jesus touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith, it will be done to you."

The men blinked.

They looked at Jesus, staring at his face.

They held their hands in front of their eyes then looked at each other.

That's when they laughed. And jumped. And laughed some more.

They looked around the room, and introduced their eyes to all that was around them.

Jesus said, "See that you tell no one about this."

But they couldn't help it. They left the house and immediately shared their experience with everyone they met. They told more friends who told more friends what Jesus did for them.




 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Jairus's Men Reported His Daughter Was Dead

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From Jairus's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Jairus. I am a Jewish ruler of the synogogue. The other rulers don't want anything to do with a man named Jesus who has been walking throughout the land and talking with crowds. They are bothered that His teachings will lead the people away from following them.

We as rulers have expanded the sacred laws written and given by God to Moses to help the people better worship God. We want to hold the people to a high standard and by doing the things we say, God will love them more.

But this man, Jesus. Though he is a Jew, he is different. I'd heard he has healed people from their diseases. My daughter is close to death. Immediately after hearing that news, I didn't care that He didn't follow our rules, I only cared that He could heal a sick person and maybe, my daughter.

I love my sweet little girl so very much. I ran from my house to the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Capernaum to watch for Jesus' return and to beg Him to come heal my daughter. 

Moments ago he returned by boat with his disciples. Shortly after they stepped onto the shore, I ran to him, fell at his feet and begged him to come heal my daughter. I offered to do whatever he asked in return. He said he would help my little girl and turned to follow me. The crowds who came to see what Jesus would say today, followed us. 

We had a slight delay on the way. A woman apparently touched Jesus' garment. He stopped walking and called out to her. She came forward. I saw nothing wrong with her. She and the people around her affirmed she'd had a blood disease for many years. When I looked at her, she seemed completly healed. That is what I want for my daughter.

While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, some men from my house ran toward us. They craned their necks to see me. I waved to them. They broked through the crowd and delivered this message: "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher any more."

I'd hardly had a chance to think about their message when Jesus turned and said, "Don't be afraid. Just believe."

We walked the rest of the way to my house. Jesus stopped at the door and told the crowds who were weeping and wailing, "You must stay outside." He then said, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." The crowds laughed at him as though he was crazy. Jesus only let three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John come into my house after they said that.

I led them inside. My wife was weeping. Her eyes stained red. I put my arm on her and said, "All will be well. This is Jesus." She greeted him and pointed to our daughter's room. She led the way.

Jesus turned to those weeping in our home. "Do not follow us into the child's room."

We entered my child's room. There my darling daughter lay. Only twelve years old. Her eyes closed. Pale in skin. I could not see her breathe. She appeared dead. I drew in a breath and held back tears.

Jesus reached for my daughter's hand and wrapped his around hers. He said, "Talitha koum!" These words mean, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!"

Immediately my little girl's eyes opened. She looked up at Jesus and smiled. Her color returned to her face. She allowed Jesus to help her sit up then stand, but then she slid her hand away from his and walked around the room.

My heart raced with joy! I turned to my wife and hugged her. Her eyes still wide. Her smile, more joyful than I'd seen in a long time. 

Jesus smiled too. He had such peace on his face. This man who had stopped all he planned to came to my home and showed such kindness by healing my daughter said, "Don't tell anyone about this. Get your daughter something to eat right away."

My wife hurried out of the room to get her food. While she was gone, I hugged my daughter. My sweet daughter who was healed by Jesus.

We served Jesus and his men a meal. It was the least we could do. Actually, it was nothing compared to what Jesus did for us. He saved our daughter's life, and I will never forget.




 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Woman's Faith Pleased Jesus

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From A Woman's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is not given in the Writing, and so I won't leave it here. Just know that I am a woman who had heard Jesus the Healer had returned to the shore of my city.

I desperately wanted to see Him. Touch His clothes. If only I could reach His garment through the crowd, I am sure I could be healed. 

For twelve years I have suffered from a blood disease. I am weak. I've been to every doctor in our area. Followed their medical directions no matter how painful or miserable it made me feel and felt no relief. The treatments and doctor costs have depleted all my money, and my symptoms have grown worse. I don't know what else to do.

I stood by the shore with the large crowd and watched Jesus' boat dock. He climbed out and barely took a step on the shore before Jairus, one of the synagogue rulers, broke through the line of people and fell at Jesus' feet. 

He begged Jesus to go to his house and heal his daughter. Jesus agreed. They turned, walking away from the shore. The crowd went with them. They pressed so close to Jesus, I thought I wouldn't be able to even touch his garment.

Even in my weakened state, I wouldn't allow this moment to pass. I squeezed through the tightly packed men and women, determined to just reach my fingertip close enough to touch the fabric of his garment. 

Suddenly, the moment came. I stretched my arm between two people and touched his robe. 

I stopped.

Letting the people walk past me.

A weird and wonderful sensation came over me, one that I had not felt for a long time. I didn't hurt. I felt no pain. I was healed!

Jesus stopped walking. The crowd did as well. 

He turned around and looked at the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?"

His disciples looked confused. "Master," they said. "You see the people crowding against you. Why are you asking, 'Who touched me?'"

Jesus craned his neck, looking at the faces in the crowd. 

I knew I had to confess. Maybe I did something wrong. I ran to Him feeling so guilty and fell at his feet. My body trembled because I was afraid. I told him the whole story about my illness and how I waited for Him to return. I wept. "I thought, if I touched your garment, it would be all I needed to make me well."

He took my arms and helped me stand. "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

I hardly knew what to say. After all these years of pain, Jesus came to my city and He healed me. 





 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jairus. My Daughter Is Dying

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From Jairus's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Jairus. I am a ruler of the synagogue and am standing near the shores of the Sea of Galilee waiting for Jesus to return. I'm taking a risk being  here. 

Many of the other synogogue rulers don't like seeing the crowds following Jesus or spending their days listening to His teachings. The rulers feel they are losing control of what is being taught to the people. Maybe they are.

Jesus and his disciples crossed the sea yesterday. A few other boats filled with people wanting to see what Jesus would do went along. 

There was a terrible storm the night they left. We don't know yet how the ships fared. Many have sunk in the Sea of Galilee in the past. I hope He makes it back safely.

I mean, it seems He should be safe. I've heard so much about Him. 

The whole reason why I am here is to speak with Him about an urgent personal matter. I don't know how long He will be gone, but I'm willing to wait.

"Look!" 

I turned and saw a man shading his eyes against the sunlight and pointing toward the sea. In the distance several boats sailed toward our shore. It's HIm. He's coming back! 

I could barely restrain myself. 

In this crowd waiting for him, I have to be one who gets an audience with Jesus. Oh, please let it be so.

It took some time for the boats to arrive at shore, and the passengers to get out. News had spread that Jesus was coming back which only drew more people. I was determined, though. I had to speak with Him.

Jesus stepped out of the boat onto the shore.

I pressed through the crowd until I stood face to face with Him. I fell to the ground at Jesus' feet and pleaded with him, "My daughter is sying. Please come and put hands on her so that she will be healed and live."

I looked up at Him. He said, "Yes. I will go with you." 

And he did. He followed me away from the shore!

There is nothing else in this entire world that could have made me any happier.






 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Pig Herder's Story

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From Pig Herder's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
I am a pig herder. I've lived on the far side of the Sea of Galilee my whole life. I take my large herd to the hills and let them feed. 

In my village, there was a man who for a very long time had demons possessing him. The man seemed crazy all the time. 

The entire village was afraid of him. His eyes were wild. We didn't want him to harm our children or our wives so we hired guards to capture him and tie chains to his arms and legs. Big iron chains. But the man had the strength of a ... well, I don't know any man so powerful. He ripped the chains apart then escaped. 

After many years, the possessed man stayed in the tombs. Living like an animal. We left him alone since nothing could hold him prisoner.

Were we still afraid of him? Yes. We were.

This morning, I took the herd out to the hills to feed. From where I stood I watched several boats dock. One man seemed to lead many who followed him.

The most amazing thing happened after He and his followers stepped on to the shore. The crazy man from our village ran to the leader, falling to his knees. I couldn't hear what was said, but the man seemed desperate. Why he went to this leader, I didn't know.

Moments later something odd happened to our crazy man. He stood without thrashing. He didn't scream or flail his arms. It was the first time I had seen him this way.

At the same time, my pigs acted oddly. They squealed like they were attacked but there wasn't any other animal near. They ran in a pack, all two thousand of them, down the steep hill toward the water. 

I yelled my signal to them to come back, but they didn't obey. The entire herd ran into the sea and sank under the water. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had never seen such a thing. 

I ran to the village, calling for everyone to come and hear what had happened. I told them about the pigs running into the sea and the wild man from our village who no longer was wild. 

"Let's go see," they said.

I took them out to the place and showed them the leader who came ashore from the boat. They looked at the wild man from our village sitting on the ground, dressed, and in his right mind. 

We were terribly afraid. How could he have changed so much?

The people who had traveled with the leader told my villagers what had happened. Their leader stepped out of the boat onto the shore. The wild man from our village came and fell on his knees. Jesus told the evil spirits to leave him. The evil spirits asked to go into the pigs and Jesus allowed it. That was when the pigs ran into the sea and drowned.

The news frightened us. Such power in our presence. We hardly knew what to do. "Please leave our region," we said to Jesus.

Jesus didn't argue. He climbed back in the boat. As he did, our village man who had been healed ran to Jesus and asked to go with him. 

"No," Jesus said. "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you. Tell them how He has had mercy on you."

Our village man watched with great sorrow on his face as Jesus left. 

But, I am a witness, that the village man did as Jesus said. He went throughout Decalopis and told everyone what Jesus had done for him.

Everyone who heard his story was amazed.

It made me curious about this man called Jesus.



 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.


*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Herd of Pigs That Ran Into the Sea

By Mary Vee
Mark 5



From Matthew's Journal 


On the Sea of Galilee facing the shore where
this story takes place.
Photo by Mary Vee
My name is Mark, I am a follower of Jesus. I have recorded some of what I witnessed in this post. 

I and other of Jesus's disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee last night. A terrible storm rose up during the journey threatening to sink the ship and drenching everything. We woke Jesus, and He calmed the storm instantly.

We were all so thankful. Had He not done that, we all would have drowned. 

We landed on the other side of the lake in the region called Gerasenes and docked the boat. Not long after we stepped onto land a man ran to Jesus from a distance. He was not any ordinary man. 

This man had strong arms and legs. He was unkept with wild hair that had grown unreasonably long. He screamed and jerked his head. I could see where chains had once dug into his wrists and ankles. His power had broken them. None of his words could be understood. The man was a frightening sight.

Someone near said this man had lived in the tombs and rampaged like a possessed man. At one time the townsfolk could subdue him but he grew too strong. Now iron could not hold him. Night and day he would run through the tombs and the hills crying out and cutting himself with stones.

Jesus looked at the man and said, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

The man fell on his knees in front of Jesus. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?"

The voice did not sound like a normal man's voice. He then said, "Swear to God that you won't torture me!"

Jesus said, "What is your name?"

"My name is Legion," the man said, "for we are many." The strange voice coming from the man begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

Off to the right and in the distance a large herd of pigs fed on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs. Allow us to go into them." 

Jesus gave them permission.

Instantly the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank squealing and grunting. They ran as fast as they could into the lake. The herdsman ran after them shouting for them to stop but they didn't. They ran into the water where they drowned.

Shocked, the herdsman turned away and ran toward the town, yelling and raising their fists. 

The story will continue next time.



 Come back to read the next story.

*Author of blog's note: If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I will see them  and will answer as best I can or direct you to a source.



*********************************************************************************************


sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary
*My notes from my trip to Israel.
*Photos from my trip to Israel.