Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2 - Mark 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Mark 1. 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?)
  • There are four books in the New Testament that share the events of the life of Jesus when he was here on earth. These four books are called the "gospels" -- which means "good news." Mark is the most fast-moving and action-packed of the four gospels.
  • Mark begins by sharing an announcement that had been made about 700 years earlier (and was recorded in the Old Testament in Isaiah 40:3) and is now finally coming true. John the Baptist is the man who is fulfilling this prophecy, and who is preparing people for Jesus.
  • In the rest of the chapter we see the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry. Jesus is around 30 years old at this point, but until this point had lived in relative obscurity as a carpenter. Now he comes out, getting baptized, announcing that he has come to bring the Kingdom of God, and starting to live out that Kingdom life and offer proof that he truly was the "Messiah" (Savior) God had been promising.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In the Bible, Christians are called to live a Christ-like life. In fact, the word "Christian" literally means "little Christ." So we don't just believe in Jesus, we pattern our life after his'.
  • In this chapter we see Jesus: being baptized, sharing the good news, investing in disciples (we could say "ministry apprentices"), ministering to the needy, and taking focused time to pray.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • The Bible says that we are not just to read it, but to apply what it says. So how will you apply this chapter to your life?
  • Of the examples we see from Jesus, what is one you really need to focus on now? Getting baptized? Sharing the good news with your friends? Investing in a relationship with someone who can apprentice you, or whom you can apprentice, in the Christian life? Ministering to the needy? Taking focused time to pray?