Today's reading in our daily plan is Mark 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.
SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In the first story some guys do whatever they have to do to get their friend to Jesus.
- The second story features Jesus calling Levi (also known as Matthew) to be one of his disciples. Levi was a Jewish man (like Jesus) who had betrayed the Jews. He took a job as tax collector, siding with the Roman government who were oppressing the Jews. The Pharisees (the religious leaders of the day) can't believe this, and that Jesus would hang out with "tax collectors and sinners" but Jesus explains that he came for sinners, to help them find their way to God.
- Next the Pharisees condemn Jesus and his followers for (what they perceive to be) them breaking Old Testament laws about fasting and keeping the Sabbath (a set day of rest).
- Jesus uses an analogy about wineskins to make the point that he is the fulfillment of the law, and that what's important is keeping the heart of the law, not the letter of the law.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to do whatever it takes to get to Jesus, and to get our friends to Jesus.
- Even if we have betrayed God and his people, we are not beyond the love and forgiveness of God. Jesus came to help us sinners find our way back to God.
- We need to have high standards, trying to live holy lives for God. But we always need to remember that Jesus is the point, and that we want to obey God's laws, but not become legalistic about following the letter of the law.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Think about the key underlying principles in this passage. What one do you most need to apply right now?
- How exactly will you apply it to your life this week?