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
42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Connect the Heart
As Jesus approaches Jerusalem with his disciples, he hears brothers James and John arguing over who will sit on either side of Jesus in his kingdom (Mark 10:35-41)… They’re more worried about their personal position, power and authority than they’re concerned about what is about to happen in Jerusalem (a mock trial and death on a Roman cross). It’s in this context that we come to Jesus’ words to them in verses 42-45 – and the theme of the book of Mark. Jesus flips their self-serving logic, turning it on its head in the great inversion of Christ-like living: If you want to be great, you must be a servant. If you want to be first, you must be last. And the most important verse in Mark, verse 45: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If there was anyone who deserved to be served, it’s the King of King and the Lord of Lords. Yet, he confirms that to be great in his kingdom, you must serve others. And he proved it with how he lived – and died.
Reflect on the Truth
- How do you see some of James and John’s thinking in how you sometimes approach life?
- How might your life and your relationships look differently if you were to truly embrace Jesus’ words and example?
- 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, “My deepest desire is to live like Jesus, but it is so hard. I don’t know that I have what it takes. ”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His Word, His Spirit, His people.
- Think about one situation or relationship where you might be able to take on the role of a servant and possibly even surprise someone with a totally selfless act of service (without any expectation of recognition or thanks)?
Depend on the Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the mind of Christ, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8)
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.