THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
We are so glad you are joining us for these daily prayer devotionals as together we seek the heart of our God. Over the coming weeks, we will focus on some of the most meaningful words of our savior Jesus Christ from the book of Mark, as we follow his journey with his disciples on the path toward the cross. Our journey of prayer and fasting will culminate on Easter Sunday as we celebrate His resurrection, declaring victory over sin, death and shame.
Each devotion will take less than ten minutes of your time.
- We will Engage the Word – looking at some of Jesus’ words in their biblical context.
- We will Connect the Heart – considering a truth that is applicable to our lives.
- We will Reflect on the Truth, asking a number of questions each day that invite us to look and listen with intent.
- And we will Depend on the Spirit – We will pray, for it is in praying that we learn to pray. And it is in praying that the Spirit changes our hearts.
We want to encourage you to grab a journal or a notebook – something to write on as you walk through each prayer guide. Yes, it will add a few minutes to the time it takes to do the devotion, and it will also deepen your experience and shape your walk with God for years to come. This journal or notebook will be a keepsake to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this challenging season for all of us.
Engage the Word
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,
33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles.
34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
Connect the Heart
At least three times along the way to Jerusalem, Jesus shared with his disciples the plan. But even up until the last remaining moments of Jesus’ earthly life, the disciples still didn’t get it. They not only didn’t believe Him, but failed to see how Jesus’ death was part of God’s overall plan for the redemption of the world. Can you blame them? They saw Jesus’ humanity very clearly as they walked with him day by day. But even in the face of miracle after miracle, his deity was harder to grasp.
Tradition holds that Jesus entered Jerusalem on this day – what we’ve come to call “Palm Sunday.” Time here doesn’t permit us to go into why some scholars believe He actually entered Jerusalem on Monday… But in any case, it was all a part of the plan. Even the selection of the donkey on which He would ride into Jerusalem was to fulfill Zechariah’s prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. Jesus was always on mission. Toward Jerusalem. Toward the cross. Toward death – so that we might have life. Because what would happen after three days – the following Sunday (which actually DID happen on Sunday) – was also part of the plan. But we will get to that in a week…
Reflect on the Truth
- How does knowing that there was always a plan, and that Jesus was always moving towards its fulfillment cause you to think about your own life?
- Jesus was continually looking for teachable moments like this with His disciples to reveal more of the plan to them, but they didn’t get it until after the resurrection (and Thomas even had a problem with it then). Reflect on something that you think Jesus might be trying to teach you that you may be having difficulty with.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (for example: you may write down, “So many things in life seem so random or painful – I want to see them as a part of a greater plan, but I’m not sure how… ”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His Word, His Spirit, His people.
- How might you approach this next week differently knowing that we are considering the final week of Christ’s life, leading up to His death on Friday and resurrection on Sunday?
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Father to show you how to pray this week as you reflect on Jesus’ journey toward Jerusalem, the cross and His death on Friday. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in the quiet moments as you consider, with gratitude, the work Christ did on your behalf on the cross to die the death you, in your sin, deserve – to give you the eternal life you, in your sin, don’t deserve.
This week, we will focus on the words of Jesus in the last days of His life leading up to His death on Friday, and His resurrection on Sunday.