Saint John Chapter Seven Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Seven: Please open the following link to read chapter seven: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/7?lang=eng

James_Tissot_Jesus_Walks_in_the_Portico_of_Solomon_525

The worldy, or even most of us as humans, seek recognition. If we do something great, or seemingly great in our own eyes, we want to make it known; we seek validation; we desire praise.

Not so with Jesus. He only sought, and still seeks, to do His Father’s will.

So when His disciples urged Him to make Himself known to the world, He answered, “My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready” (vs. 6).

Because the Jews hated Jesus and sought to kill Him (see vs. 1), and because even his own family didn’t yet believe in Him, or they found shame in Him (see vs. 5), He did not go to the Feast of Tabernacles openly, sending His disciples only while He remained in Galilee (vs. 1-9).

But when his brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret” (vs. 10). Jesus did not want to enter with fanfare, but quietly.

Though Jesus had not been taught as the scribes and Pharisees, yet He knew His Father’s doctrine. How is being taught by the Spirit of more value to us than merely obtaining a secular education?

Jesus only sought His Father’s glory. Verses 15-18:

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying,

“How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?”

Jesus answered them, and said,

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

The people saw His wisdom, witnessed His miracles, felt something special; but still there were those who chose not to believe. Just like today.

Jesus explained that those who chose to believe in Him would later be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It would be given after He was gloried (see vs. 38-39).

Some then counted Jesus as the Prophet, others as the Christ, and still others said that no one worthy of any notice would ever come out of Galilee. Nicodemus spoke up in favor of their law and of Jesus (see vs. 40-53).

Advertisements

St Mark 10 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Ten: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/10?lang=eng

10 marriage

The Savior Speaks on Marriage and Divorce: Read Mark 10: 1-12:

Even in that day, and also in Moses’s day, divorce was a problem. “For the hardness of your hearts,” the Lord said, “Moses allowed you to write a bill of divorcement.”

“For the hardness of your hearts.” Isn’t that the reason people still divorce today? If we enter into marriage, shouldn’t we do so because we love the other person and want to make him or her happy? Don’t we covenant to love, honor, and cherish one another?

If we forget that covenant, if we are not as vigilant in nourishing our relationship with our spouse, as we are our relationship with the Lord, our hearts will be hardened and our love diminished. We are commanded to love our spouses even as the Lord loved the Church and gave His life for it (see Ephesians 5:25). We are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart (see Matthew 22:37); we are also commanded to love our spouse with all our heart.

“Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:22).

What does it mean to cleave unto our spouses? What does it mean to be one flesh? Aren’t we to be one in unity and purpose? Aren’t we to share our intimate selves, bodily and spiritually, only with each other, and not outside our marriage covenant? If we are adulterous, isn’t that a mockery of the commandment to be one flesh, because we care not for the well-being of the other person or our spouse, but only our self-gratification.

‘And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judæa by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him’ a question ( vs. 1-2).

Jesus so wanted to teach the people; and the Pharisees also wanted to interrupt Him. They didn’t want Him to gain any more followers.

 ‘And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him,

“Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?”

tempting him.

And he answered and said unto them,

“What did Moses command you?”

‘And they said,

“Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.”

‘And Jesus answered and said unto them,

“For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

‘And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them,

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery”’ (vs. 2-16).

Jesus Loves and Blesses Little Children: Read Mark 10:13-16.

Isn’t it interesting that this passage follows the passage on marriage? What does that mean for us?

‘And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them,

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them’ (vs. 13-16).

Will We Allow Worldly Wealth to Keep Us from Heaven: Read Mark 10: 17-27.

Here we again read of the young man that wants to inherit eternal life. He said he had kept the commandments from his youth up.

‘Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him,

“One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

‘And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions’ (vs. 21-22).

What do we hold onto that makes it difficult for us to take up the cross and follow Jesus? We can only let go of that thing as we turn to Him in faith, trusting Him; and, we should begin now.

“With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (vs. 27).

“With men that trust in riches, it is impossible; but not impossible with men who trust in God and leave all for my sake, for with such all these things are possible (JST Mark 10:26).

Then Peter began to say unto him,

“Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.”

And Jesus answered and said,

“Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

“But many that are first shall be last; and the last first” (vs. 28-31).

But there are many who make themselves first, that shall be last, and the last first. This he said, rebuking Peter (JST Mark 10:30-31).

Was Jesus displeased with Peter’s statement? Was it boastful? Had Peter not yet left all to follow Jesus? Don’t all of us hold on to certain weaknesses or favorite shortcomings? Change is difficult.

Jesus beheld the young man with love. He’d kept so many essential commandments for His youth up. When Jesus asks a little more of us, or the Spirit prompts us to do a little better, do we listen? Do we follow? Or are we afraid to let go of our past and present selves, and step further into the light? Do we turn away sorrowfully? Do we grieve the Spirit?

Jesus Again Tells of His Death and Resurrection: Read Mark 10:32-34.

His disciples were both amazed and afraid. Do these emotions keep us from understanding?

‘And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying,

“Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again” (vs. 32-34).

Who Will Be Greatest: Read Mark 10:35-44:

Here we again read the account of James and John desiring to sit on Jesus’s right hand and His left hand in His glory (see vs. 37). It was improper of them to ask for such a thing. Jesus said,

But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared” (vs. 40).

Jesus used this situation as a springboard to teach all of the apostles an important truth. He didn’t want the ten to feel displeased with the other two (see vs. 41).

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them,

“Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (vs. 42-45).

Jesus Healed Blind Bartimæus: Read Mark 10:46-52:

‘And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimæus, the son of Timæus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say,

“Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

‘And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal,

Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him,

“Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.”

‘And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him,

“What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?”

‘The blind man said unto him,

“Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

‘And Jesus said unto him,

“Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”

‘And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.’

The Lord is pleased when we call after Him. He loves us all, and He will not turn away those who humbly seek Him.

St Mark 8 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Eight: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/8?lang=eng

08 men as trees

Jesus Fed the Multitude of 4,000: Read Mark 8:1-9.

‘In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far”’ (Mark 8:1-3)

Do we also have compassion for one another? When we have a responsibility or a stewardship over others, do we make sure that we tend to their needs and wants lovingly? If we don’t consider ourselves our brother’s keeper, or are we at least our brother’s brother? Do we love our neighbors as ourselves? When others come to us for advice or validation, do we offer thoughtful assistance, or do we send them away empty to faint by the wayside?

Leaven of the Pharisees: Read Mark 8:10-21.

Pharisees Came Seeking a Sign:

‘And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him’ (vs. 10-11).

Jesus has told us,

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matt 16:4).

Could it be that these Pharisees were guilty of adultery? They truly had adulterated the Law of Moses; that’s for certain.

‘And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith,

“Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.”

‘And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side’ (vs. 12-13).

Jesus was traveling about to teach doctrine and share goodness, to lift people and build faith. The Pharisees were seeking signs, which is contrary practicing faith; so Jesus departed from that place.

When Jesus said to His disciples,

“Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod,”

they believed that it was because they had forgotten to take bread with them.

‘When Jesus knew it, he saith unto them,

“Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? … How is it that ye do not understand” (vs. 15-21).

Jesus Healed a Blind Man: Mark 22-26:

‘And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

‘And he looked up, and said,

“I see men as trees, walking.”

‘After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

‘And he sent him away to his house, saying,

“Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”’

It is interesting how Jesus chose to heal this man in increments. Although Jesus has all power to do those things which He desires to do, He helped this man to practice faith before His sight was restored.

As we listen to truths, do we have a clear understanding all at once, or our we like the blind man seeing just in part, and desiring more guidance? Could it be that when we are honest, confessing that we do not understand everything, yet desiring to see, that the Lord is more willing to unfold things to our view? The Pharisees who said they could see, remained blind.

Whom Do Men Say that I am: Read Mark 8:27-30:

‘And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them,

“Whom do men say that I am?”

‘And they answered,

“John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.”

‘And he saith unto them,

“But whom say ye that I am?”

‘And Peter answereth and saith unto him,

“Thou art the Christ.”

‘And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.’

The Apostles mission to testify of Christ came after His resurrection.

Jesus Teaches Apostles Concerning His Mission: Read Mark 8:31-38:

‘And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying,

“Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

‘And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,

“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”’

As mortals, we sometimes view death as ultimately the worst thing that could happen; but, it is not. Staying true to our missions, our testimonies, and our Heavenly Father is more important that preserving our mortal life. We only find eternal life when we are willing to lose ourselves in His service. Jesus was entirely willing to follow His Father’s will even unto death. The Apostles were then willing to do the same. So must we be. In having the faith to do so, we also demonstrate our faith in Christ’s resurrection and His ability to lift us up again to live forever.

“Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:36).

St Mark 6 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Six: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/6?lang=eng

06 Jesus feeds us

‘And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying,

“From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?”

‘And they were offended at him.

‘But Jesus said unto them,

“A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”

‘And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching’ (Mark 6:1-6).

Because they knew Jesus as a boy, and because they knew Joseph and Mary and all of their children, they would not accept that Jesus could be doing the miracles they witnessed. They wouldn’t believe that He was God’s Anointed. So Jesus couldn’t share much with the people there, but taught and healed more in the surrounding villages.

Do we sometimes not accept people because we know their background? Do we sometimes reject leaders because they are familiar to us? Would we also not have accepted prophets who grew up among us? Would we not have accepted the Christ? It’s hard to say. But are we humble enough to ask God about those He has called to lead us, so that we know for ourselves. Are we humble enough to ask God if Jesus Christ is His Son and our Redeemer?

Jesus Sent out the Twelve Apostles, two by two, to serve missions: Read Mark 6:7-13:

‘And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them,

“In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

‘And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Jesus established the order for missionary work, wherein the apostles went out two by two to teach the gospel, administer in the ordinances thereof, and offer relief, healing, and salvation to the people. The Apostles had the authority to do these works in Jesus’s name. 

Herod Mistakes Jesus for John the Baptist, thinking he’s risen from the dead: Read Mark 6:14-29.

Herod had John beheaded. When he hears the works that Jesus is doing, he thinks John has been brought back to life. Others think that Jesus is Elias, or another prophet, or as one of the prophets.

The Apostles Report on their Assignments: Read Mark 6:30-32:

‘And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them,

“Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while”:

‘for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.’

The Lord new the value of having solitary time, down time, a time to rest and regroup, a time for prayer and rejuvenation, a time to be fed by the Spirit.

When ‘the people saw them departing, and many knew him, [they] ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

‘And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said,

“This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.”

‘He answered and said unto them,

“Give ye them to eat.”

‘And they say unto him,

“Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?”

‘He saith unto them,

“How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.”

‘And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

‘And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

‘And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men (vs. 33-44).

It is amazing to think of the crowds of people running over the land to get to the place where the ship would dock. Jesus had compassion on them, and He taught them all day. They were such a willing congregation; quite a contrast from His own village. Then He again miraculously fed the multitude, because He didn’t want to send them away weak and hungry to faint on their way home.

How can we feed others both spiritually and physically? Do physical needs need to be met before people can grasp spiritual things? Is eating together itself an act of communion that binds us?

The apostles departed by ship while Jesus sent the multitude away. Then ‘He departed into a mountain to pray’ (vs. 45-46).

‘And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

‘But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them,

“Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.”

‘And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened’ (vs. 47-52).

Even with all the miracles the disciples witnessed daily, they still were in awe and wondered. Wouldn’t you? Here was a man walking on water, who not only told them not to fear, but also calmed the storm. If their hearts were hardened, would the storm have humbled them?

I love the last few verses, because the people of Gennesaret see the ship approaching, and right away they know it’s Jesus, And they ‘ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.

‘And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole’ (vs. 53-56).

Are we looking for Jesus? These verses say they knew Him. (And so did the people He’d fed earlier.) Do we know Him? Do we know He can heal us? Are we bringing others unto Christ so they can be healed as well?

St Mark 5 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Five: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/5?lang=eng

05 Jairus daughter

Christ Raising the Daughter of Jairus, by Greg K. Olsen

Jesus and His apostles finished crossing the sea and entered ‘into the country of the Gadarenes’ (Mark 5:1).

Jesus Cast out the Unclean Spirits from a man: Read Mark 5:8-20.

When the man with an unclean spirit saw ‘Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said,

“What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not”’ (vs. 6-7).

How do the devils know Jesus? We all knew Him in premortal life. When Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven, they still could remember being there. On the other hand, when we are born into mortality, we have a veil of forgetfulness placed upon us, so that we can learn to walk by faith in this life.

Jesus healed the men, commanding the unclean spirits to exit his body. He allowed them to enter the herd of swine, which then ‘ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea’ (vs 13).

The people of that city ‘began to pray him to depart out of their coasts’ (vs. 17).

‘And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him,

“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”

‘And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel’ (vs. 18-20).

In this particular circumstance, Jesus asked the man to tell others the “great things the Lord hath done for thee.” Why did this man receive this instruction? 

As soon as Jesus had crossed the sea again, there were ‘much people gathered unto him’ (vs. 21).

Record of Jairus’s daughter being raised from the dead: Read Mark 5:22-42.

Jairus was one of the rulers of the synagogue. He petitioned Jesus to heal his sick daughter.

“My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live” (vs. 23).

Jesus followed Jairus through the crowds, and during that time the woman who touched His clothes was healed. While Jesus was still speaking with this woman, ‘there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said,

“Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?”

‘As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue,

“Be not afraid, only believe” (vs. 35-36).

Jairus had faith that the Lord could heal his daughter who had been at the point of death. It must have been very disheartening to hear from his kinsmen that she was now dead. How comforting it must have then been to have the encouraging words that Jesus spoke, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

Whether we or are loved ones are appointed unto death or not, we can take comfort in these words. If we believe in Christ, His gospel, His love, His atonement and death, His resurrection; if we believe in Christ, we do not need to fear. Just keep believing.

‘And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them,

“Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.”

‘And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her,

“Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.”

‘And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat’ (vs. 37-43).

When it is our turn to rise in the resurrection, we will hear the command, and we will also rise. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Record of woman being healed of her issue of blood: Read Mark 25-34.

A woman who had been afflicted with an issue of blood for twelve years, ‘And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague’ (vs. 26-29).

‘And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said,

“Who touched my clothes”’ (vs. 30)?

Have you ever given service in which you poured out part of your soul in offering love and aid to another? Have you ever felt exhausted because of the faith and energy required to offer others a spiritual gift from you? I think in some small way we have all felt virtue go out of us. When it is used to help someone else be made whole, isn’t that a marvelous thing?

‘And his disciples said unto him,

“Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”

‘And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

‘And he said unto her,

“Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (vs. 31-34).

This woman knew if she could touch His clothes she would be healed. Do we know that if we can feel His love, we will also be healed? What do we need to do to feel His love?

St Mark 1 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter One: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/1?lang=eng

01 fishermen

Christ Calling Peter and Andrew, by Harry Anderson

John the Baptist was sent before Jesus to prepare the way for the Lord’s ministry, as the prophets had foretold,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mark 1:3).

John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. How about us? We may not have as great a calling as John, but we know Jesus will come again. What are we doing individually to prepare ourselves and others for that hour? Are we preparing the way of the Lord?

‘John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judæa, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins’ (vs. 4-5).

These were large gatherings. John’s disciples were not few in number. John told the people,

“There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall not only baptize you with water, but with fire, and the Holy Ghost.” (vs. 9-11; JST Mark 1:6).

Being baptized with water is important, and we need to have this baptism administered by someone who holds the same priesthood authority as John the Baptist did. But that is still not complete. The Lord told Nicodemus that,

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

John held the Aaronic Priesthood and thereby could perform baptisms. Jesus held the greater priesthood, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. With these priesthoods again on the earth, men once again have the authority to baptize with water by immersion, unto repentance for the remission of sins, and to lay their hands upon the heads of those who’ve been baptized, to administer the Gift of the Holy Ghost and to confirm them members of Christ’s church. In that second ordinance, we are told to receive the Holy Ghost. We then bear the responsibility to do so.

Saint Mark recorded what John said about the Lord being the One to baptize us with fire and the Holy Ghost. He who knows each of us intimately and individually knows when we are ready and worthy to receive such a baptism.

‘And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying,

“Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (vs. 9-11).

Not only did the Holy Ghost ratify the act of Jesus’s baptism, but Heavenly Father did so Himself. It was well-pleasing to God that Jesus would humble Himself and accept this ordinance, though He was without sin. How pleasing it must be to our Father when we follow the Lord’s example!

The Spirit doesn’t seek to tempt us or to cause us to falter, but there are times that the Lord does allow us to be tempted, because we need to be tested so that we can prove our loyalty to God. Jesus was following the Spirit when He went into the wilderness to fast for forty days in preparation for his ministry. Of course, Satan sought to tempt Him during that time; but Mark tells us that angels came to minister to Him. Because Jesus resisted temptation and only worshipped the Father, when His body was weakened from fasting, His Father gave Him strength to continue to resist temptation. Likewise, when we stay true to God, we will be blessed with deliverance from Satan’s traps, even being strengthened by angels when necessary (see vs. 12-13).

After this period of fasting, with John in prison, ‘Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying,

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (vs. 14-15).

Jesus Calls Disciples to Follow Him: Mark 1:16-20.

‘Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them,

“Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

‘And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

‘And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.’

Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John all heard Jesus beckon to them,

“Come follow me,”

And, they stopped immediately what they were doing, so that they could follow him. What does this tell us about these good men? And Zebedee permitted his sons to take leave and follow Jesus. What does this tell us about Zebedee? He was ready and willing to have his sons follow Jesus, even if it meant he suffered monetary loss through losing their help and perhaps having to hire more servants. All of them put the kingdom of God first.

Jesus taught in a synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath day. ‘And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes’ (vs. 21-22).

A man with an unclean spirit cried out,

“Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.”

‘And Jesus rebuked him, saying,

“Hold thy peace, and come out of him.”

‘And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying,

“What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him” (vs. 23-27).

Further Thought: Sometimes I think we forget that evil spirits also recognize the Lord. They may be more apt to recognize him than apathetic souls are, which can give them power over those who are not vigilantly aware.

It must have been a marvelous thing to see Jesus walk among men and with power and authority bestow His loving grace healing the multitudes.

‘And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee’ (vs. 28).

‘And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them’ (vs. 29-31).

On this Sabbath day, they had been to synagogue, where Jesus cast an unclean spirit out of a man. After that they went to Simon Peter’s house, where Jesus healed his mother-in-law. But the multitudes were waiting for the Sabbath to end, so that they could bring all of their troubled souls to Jesus.

‘And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him’ (vs. 32-34).

While there was still quiet in the new day, awake ahead of the rest of them, Jesus sought alone time with His Heavenly Father.

‘And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed’ (vs 35).

He was not alone long.

‘And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him,

“All men seek for thee.”

‘And he said unto them,

“Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.”
‘And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils’ (vs. 36-39).

He wanted to preach in all the towns and villages throughout Galilee and to bless many people.

‘And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him,

“If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.”

‘And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him,

“I will; be thou clean.”

‘And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him,

“See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”

‘But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter’ (36-45).

Jesus asked this man not to make this known. But he blazed it abroad. Do we betray trusts that the Lord puts in us? Are there times that the Spirit gives us light or understanding that is just meant for us personally? Do we see miracles that are not meant for everyone? Do we break confidences with others, with our families, neighbors? Can we be trusted?

Because this man broke his trust, Jesus was not able to openly enter that city. Do we limit the work of the Lord if He cannot trust us? Is it worth limiting His presence in our own lives by betraying His trust?

St Matthew 25 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 25: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25?lang=eng

25 enter joy

Home at Last by Danny Hahlbohm

In our previous reading of Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus told His disciples that, at His Second Coming, the time for preparation would be past. Here again, in Matthew Chapter 25, He tells us the importance of being ready, of putting Him first.

In this chapter, we read three parables that illustrate the qualities of those who have prepared to meet the Savior and those who have not. In other words, they tell us what we need to work on, what we need to do to prepare to meet Him. We are familiar with these parables, but it is interesting to note how many times the Lord uses a different parable to teach the same truth. These stories individually will trigger understanding in each of us individually. Read all of them (they can be found in the link above) and decide which one is addressed to you this day.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins: Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 1 through 13.

Do we sometimes, in our excitement to live the gospel, forget to do the most essential things? Do we neglect our relationship with Him? That seems to be what is missing among the five foolish virgins; otherwise, why would the Lord say to these five,

“Verily I say unto you, I know you not” (vs. 12).

Had they ever asked, prior to His midnight arrival,

“Lord, Lord, open to us” (vs. 11).

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (vs. 13).

We need to develop more than a social conversion, where we know others in our congregations. We need to know Him, and we need to be ready to meet Him at His Coming.

The Parable of the Talents: Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 14 through 30.

Now this parable caused me some concern and self-reflection.

The Lord really does not care how much money we earn, but He does care about our souls becoming more developed and prepared to meet Him. He does care about how we use our time. He does care about how we use the gifts He has give us? Do we use our time, talents, and energy to serve and strengthen one another and help each other progress?

Are we afraid to live the gospel? Do we share the good news? Is our light set upon a candlestick for all to see and to give light to others, or do we hide it under a bushel? Do we make excuses for our shortcomings and weaknesses? Do we blame them on others or even on the Lord, saying things like, “That’s just how I am; that’s how God created me?” He who gave us power to reason, agency, and free will likely not accept that excuse. Do we envy other people’s gifts and despise our own?

The Lord has given us the tools and capability to progress. Do we use them? Do we exercise our faith in Him as we go about our daily lives, so that we are more fully following Him, putting into practice those things that the Spirit tells us to do? Are we developing our love for Him and for our fellowmen in the things we are choosing to do with our time, in the ways we are using our talents? Are we choosing our own paths, or following Him?

Are we living in fear? Do we accept the lies that are tossed to us be the adversary and screamed at us by the masses? Or do we listen to His Still Small Voice, and continue on the path of discipleship that He has set for us?

Are we using the time He has given us to serve Him? What do we choose to do with our discretionary time? How can we improve upon our time?

Do we ask, “Thy will be done,” and then do it? Or do we take the coward’s road?

Which greeting do we desire to hear at His coming?

“Thou wicked and slothful servant” (vs. 26) is one that I hope to avoid.

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (vs. 21, 23).

Are we profitable to Him?

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: Read Matthew Chapter 25, verses 31 through 46.

What distinguishes the sheep from the goats? The sheep follow the Shepherd. They do His works.

Do we love the Lord? Do we love our neighbor as ourselves? Do we desire to make the load lighter for others? Do we bring comfort, good cheer, and peace?

The Good Shepherd cares for His flock. He cares for you. In taking upon us His name, have we truly enlisted to serve Him and do His works? Do we, like Peter, love Him? Do we feed His sheep?

What are some of the expectations of discipleship? Alma gives a good list to those people who are preparing to enter into the covenant of baptism:

“Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life — Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you” (Mosiah 18:8-10)?

If we profess to be His disciples, we can do no less. Are we becoming Christians in our hearts? Is it becoming part of our nature to go about doing good things? How can we care for others? How can we more fully serve them? What can I do personally? That I should do.

Will we be among those privileged to hear the Lord welcoming us into His kingdom?

‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

‘Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,

“Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?”

‘And the King shall answer and say unto them,

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (vs. 34-40).