Saint John Chapter Six Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Six: Please open the following link to read chapter six: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/6?lang=eng

Great multitudes followed Jesus because of the miracles He performed.

Jesus

Jesus blessed and broke food, lds.org

They following Jesus and His disciples into a mountain. Jesus asked a question of his disciples, not because He needed His disciples answer, or because He didn’t know what to do. Jesus knew that He could feed the multitude. He asked His disciples the question to prove them or test their faith (see vs. 6).

Philip stated the obvious. They did not have enough money to buy food for the multitude (see vs. 7).

Andrew pointed out that a boy had a small amount of food, but not nearly enough to feed a great multitude (see vs. 8-9).

Then Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, with twelve baskets full of fragments remaining after everyone had eaten (see vs. 10-13).

The multitude believed on Jesus, because they saw a miracle that day, that He was the promised Messiah. But they did not understand His mission. They wanted to make Him a king (see vs. 14-15).

Jesus’s disciples left for Capernaum before Jesus did. The sea rose boisterously because of the wind. Then Jesus came to them walking on the water. He calmed the sea and calmed their fears when He said, “It is I; be not afraid.” The were then glad to receive Jesus into the ship, and they immediately reached their destination (see vs. 16-21).

Interestingly, the people whom Jesus had taught knew that He hadn’t entered the ship with His disciples; but since they couldn’t find him, they got into their ships and headed for Capernaum to look for Him (see vs. 22-24).

The exchange between Jesus and the multitude who sought Him is very telling. They asked, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” To which He responded, “Ye seek me, not because ye desire to keep my sayings, neither because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loves and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting lie, which the Son of man shall give you: for Him hath the Father sealed” (vs 25-27, JST).

For what purpose do we seek Jesus? What are our reasons for following Him? We should interview ourselves now, before we bear the chastisment of His interview in the coming day.

They asked Jesus a good question. “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His response: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” (vs. 28-29).

But then they showed their lack of faith which resulted from their own wickedness and yet carnal state, asking, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work” (vs. 30)?

Jesus taught the multitude that He is The Bread of Life. Jesus came to do His Father’s will. Because He did so, He will inherit eternal life. His Father’s will is that Jesus save us all. If we believe on Jesus and seek His face, we will also be lifted up by Him in the resurrection of the just at the last day (see vs. 31-40).

Of course, there were those who were offended in that day when Jesus told them that He is The Bread of Life and The Living Water; and there are those who are offended today. But we know that the manna that was fed to the Israelites in the wilderness, or the bread that Jesus fed to the multitudes as recorded in this chapter did not have lasting power to give life eternally. But Jesus did and does.

Do we trust more in earthly treasures or heavenly ones? If we have our daily portion of physical food, is that enough for us?

Many foresook Jesus when He told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. How important is it that we partake of the sacrament, The Lord’s Supper, that we have this communion with God? We can only understand spiritual things through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. Hopefully, we will not turn away from Him in offense, because He has offered us everything if we accept His gift. Hopefully, we can be like Peter and say, “Lord to whom shall we go? And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (vs. 41-69).

Advertisements

Saint John Chapter Four Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Four: Please open the following link to read chapter four: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/4?lang=eng 

I-am-the-Bread-of-Life-Web

(Image source:clcfremont.org)

At this point in John’s record, Jesus’s disciples were baptizing more people than John’s. As the Pharisees became aware of this, it further put Jesus’s safety in danger.

As Jesus traveled through Samaria, he encountered the Woman at the Well (Jacob’s Well). Surely Jesus is the One who renews us and gives us life. He is as a well of water that will never run dry (See vs. 6-15).

Jesus knows all of us. He knew the woman’s history. It doesn’t matter so much where we’ve been as where we decide to travel now. It doesn’t matter so much where we worship as how we worship. “True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (vs. 23). It doesn’t matter so much who we are currently as who He is and whom He can help us become. Jesus declared to the woman that He is the Christ (See vs. 16-26).

At this point, Jesus’s disciples came on the scene. They’d returned from buying food. The woman left to bring back an audience (See vs. 27-30).

The disciples bade Jesus to eat. Just as He had told the woman that He is the Water of Life, He then told His disciples that He is the Bread of Life. Our we not all spiritually fed when we do God’s will? He indeed is the Bread of Life. (See vs.31-34).

Jesus came to do His Father’s work. What is God’s work? “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Jesus’s disciples are also called to this work: to bring souls unto Him and to extend to them an invitation to partake of salvation and exaltation (See vs. 34-38).

Many Samaritans believed on Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. They then listened to Jesus and gained a personal conviction that Jesus is the Christ (See vs. 39-42).

Jesus returned to Galilee (See vs. 43-45).

Jesus healed a nobleman’s son. This father wanted Jesus to come with him to his son to heal Him, but Jesus required that the man exercise faith to believe his son would be healed without witnessing the miracle (See vs. 46-54). How important is it for us to be believing without seeing? Do we trust that God’s words will come to pass, in His time and in His way? Do we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and in His mission to heal and to save us?

St Mark 11 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Eleven: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/11?lang=eng

11 fig tree

Jesus’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem: Read Mark 11:1-11:

‘And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them,

“Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.”

‘And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.

‘And certain of them that stood there said unto them,

“What do ye, loosing the colt?”

‘And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

‘And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying,

“Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”

‘And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.’

Jesus Cursed the Fig Tree: Read Mark 11:12-14.

The next morning, Jesus was hungry, and He saw a fig tree with leaves that appeared to have fruit; but when he reached it, he saw only leaves and no figs. It wasn’t time for the fruit to bear yet, but it looked like a tree that has fruit. Jesus cursed it for its hypocrisy. The elders, scribes, and Pharisees, as leaders of the people, made a pretense or a show of the law, but they also did not bear righteous fruit. “Wherefore by their fruits shall ye know them” (Matt 7:20).

No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever” (vs. 14).

Jesus Cleansed the Temple: Read Mark 11:15-18.

Jesus had just given a lesson on hypocrisy, and then He came to His Father’s house and found things contrary to the reverence and dignity the temple should hold. People were making the temple a place of merchandise, for profit. Knowing that there would be many traveling from afar to offer sacrifice, these people were selling the animals at exorbitant prices to gain profit from fellow worshipers. Of course, Jesus was not pleased.

‘And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them,

“Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

‘And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine’ (vs. 15-18).

Don’t we see the same pattern today? Many leaders would rather have people of integrity silenced rather than to have their evil craft exposed. They have their supporters and the media who spread false reports, calling evil good and good evil; and when persons of character speak up, they are mocked, taunted, ridiculed, and punished whenever possible. Any little thread of dirt will be energetically found, even if it is distorted, to bring evidence against someone with pure intent. If that same energy were put to mending evil ways, it would be a much better use.

‘And when even was come, he went out of the city’ (vs. 19).

Fig Tree was Found Dead Following Day: Read Mark 11:20-22:

‘And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him,

“Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.”

‘And Jesus answering saith unto them,

“Have faith in God.”’

Do we have faith that those things which are evil and set up to destroy will pass away? We should. God is all-powerful, and His ways are just and righteous, and His promises are sure.

Pray with Faith: Read Mark 11:21-26:

‘And Jesus answering saith unto them,

“Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”’ (vs. 21-24).

When we are on the Lord’s errand, we should have faith that we can accomplish those things He desires us to do. And if it is necessary, and we are following His Spirit, we can ask for whatsoever is necessary to help us and protect us in His service.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (vs. 25-26).

To be forgiven, we must yield our hearts unto God. Our hearts can only be pure if we are seeking to be like Him. So to be forgiven, we must also forgive.

Jesus’s Authority Questioned: Read Mark 11:27-33.

It is interesting how men still think that they have more authority than God. The Supreme Court is truly not supreme. Only God is Supreme, and He has all power and all authority, and He has given all things unto His Son.

He who gave us agency and power to reason, has given us the ability to search out truth and to find Him through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. But those who believe that they have great wisdom, through their many degrees and much speaking, often boast their self-sufficiency. They have outgrown religion and the need to worship some unknown being (who can be known to those who diligently seek Him, see Jeremiah 29:13). So their wisdom becomes foolishness. But to be learned is good if we hearken to God’s counsels (See 2 Nephi 9:28-29).

‘And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, And say unto him,

“By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?”

‘And Jesus answered and said unto them,

“I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.” 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. And they answered and said unto Jesus,

“We cannot tell.”

‘And Jesus answering saith unto them,

“Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things” (vs. 27-33).

Do we question Jesus’s authority? Do we question the authority of His prophets? Do we question the authority of those called of God?

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 4 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Four: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/4?lang=eng

04 Calm the storm

Jesus often taught the multitudes from a ship in the sea, because the greatness of the number of people who flocked to Him.

‘And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables’ (Matthew 4:1-2)

The Parable of the Sower: Read Matthew 4, verses 3 through 9.

‘And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them,

“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”

‘And he said unto them,

“Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables” (vs. 10-13)?

Can we see that His disciples did not understand the parables without asking the Lord? We can learn from that. How then will we know all parables? The apostles and close disciples were privileged to ask the Lord in person and gain further understanding. (And Mark recorded the Lord’s explanation.) But still our eyes and hearts are only open to greater truths as we gain a desire to know and ask in faith. Today we can approach the Lord in prayer to gain an understanding of those teachings we hear, read, ponder, and study. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can be taught from on high.

Explanation to the Parable of the Sower: Read Matthew 4, verses 14 through 20.

We agree that the souls of all mankind are important and the word is important. Just how important?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

Jesus’s last commission before He ascended into heaven was,

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt 28:19-20).

Jesus is the Word, and His gospel is the word that we must plant within ourselves and within our fellowmen. How can we prepare our soil to receive the word and allow it to grow? How can we help to nourish others so that they may come to know Him and not be lost?

Alma also compares the word to a seed:

“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me” (Alma 32:28).

So many people feel the Spirit and are excited about the gospel, but they don’t take care of their budding testimonies until true conversion can take root. We need to help each other to make certain that the good seed planted within us is not neglected.

Common verses also found in The Sermon on the Mount: Read verses 21 through 25:

‘And he said unto them,

“Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

‘And he said unto them,

“Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”

How about that? Take heed what we hear. We are supposed to seek truth in the Spirit of Truth. We cannot spend our time searching out false teachers who make us feel satisfied in doing evil. The Lord has told us that if we seek, we shall find. We should be seeking Him and His glory.

‘And he said,

“So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (vs. 26-29).

And he said,

“Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.”

‘And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples’ (vs. 30-34).

When we do not understand the word, we should find a place where we can be alone in prayer and ask for understanding. The Spirit will help us gain that portion we are ready to receive. It is okay if we start out with just a particle of faith; that can grow into something large. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, it can lead us into life eternal.

“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words” (Alma 32:27).

In the concluding verses of this chapter, after the multitudes were sent away, Jesus and His apostles set out for the land on the other side of the sea. While Jesus slept, a storm arose.

‘And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him,

“Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

‘And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,

“Peace, be still.”

‘And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

‘And he said unto them,

“Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”

‘And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another,

“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him” (vs. 35-41)?

Does Jesus care if we perish? Certainly. Can He calm the storms in our lives? Most assuredly.