If I can just get close enough (Mark 5:21-43)

Perhaps one of the most moving accounts in the Gospels is the story of the woman who had suffered for many years with an illness that caused frequent discharge of blood. It’s wrapped around by the healing of Jairus’ daughter. This helps us to see a few things. First, we see Jesus’ willingness to be… Continue reading If I can just get close enough (Mark 5:21-43)

Demons and Pigs (Mark 5:1-20)

Photo by Mark Stebnicki on Pexels.com

Why does Jesus permit a legion of demons to leave a human being and possess pigs?  Jesus and the disciples have crossed Galilee and on the other side, they find a man who is possessed by many demons so that he’s been given the nickname Legion.  The demons bring with them superhuman strength so that… Continue reading Demons and Pigs (Mark 5:1-20)

Peace in the storm (Mark 4:35-41)

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

There’s a great storm raging, the waves are battering against the boat and it is being tossed about like a toy by the wind. The sailors are struggling against the storm.  Several of them are seasoned sailors who know these waters well but there’s something different about this storm that fills them with dread. Meanwhile… Continue reading Peace in the storm (Mark 4:35-41)

Defeated enemies (Mark 4:35-5:43)

We now encounter a series of incredible miracles and signs which demonstrate Jesus’ power over the forces of evil and death. First, we see Jesus as Lord over his creation. Jesus travels across Galilee with his disciples. He is asleep in the boat as a storm brews. There are echoes of Jonah’s flight to Tarshish… Continue reading Defeated enemies (Mark 4:35-5:43)

God’s Growing kingdom (Mark 4:26-34)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The imagery throughout Mark 4 is centred on this small seed which gets planted, buried in the ground and begins to grow. Yes there’s this period of time when it’s hidden from sight, when n-one knows what happens, yes there are the obstacles: birds, rocks, thorns but growth and fruitfulness is inevitable. That’s what we… Continue reading God’s Growing kingdom (Mark 4:26-34)

Breaking up the hard ground (more reflections on Mark 4:1-20)

Photo by sergio souza on Pexels.com

At Bearwood Chapel, we had a partnership with OM and over several years hosted a number of teams.  As part of that partnership I was involved in training OMers in aspects of mission.  One of the things I would sometimes do is take the team members into our car park.  I would say to them:… Continue reading Breaking up the hard ground (more reflections on Mark 4:1-20)

The condition of your heart (Mark 4:1-20)

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

The parable of the sower is perhaps one of the best known of Jesus’ parables.  We may however do better to call it “The parable of the soils” because it is the ground that the seed lands on which Jesus’ teaching focuses on. In Jesus’ story the farmer sows seed by scattering it by hand.… Continue reading The condition of your heart (Mark 4:1-20)

God’s Word at work bringing growth (Mark 4: 1-34)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We now have a cluster of parables about God’s kingdom with farming imagery dominating. The most famous of these is the parable of the Sower (or perhaps more accurately ‘soils’) where seed lands on different types of ground bringing different outcomes.  There are things that prevent seed from taking root, growing and bearing fruit reflecting… Continue reading God’s Word at work bringing growth (Mark 4: 1-34)