February 3. Luke 9:51-56 and Mark 10:35-45

February 3. Luke 9:51-56 and Mark 10:35-45

Hello friend! How was your study time this morning? We’d love to read what God showed you if you have time to comment. We can all read the same passages and yet, because the Bible is living and active, we can glean different messages from His wonderful Word that apply to our lives each day. What did God teach you?

These two passages are about totally different times and situations in the life of Jesus and His disciples, but they share this in common: James and John want to do something big and bold in each case. In the Luke passage, they offer to call down fire from Heaven on a Samaritan village. They don’t suggest that Jesus do this. No, they are more than willing to do it for Him! This shows incredible confidence, probably based on the power Jesus had given them to heal and cast out demons when He sent them off to minister to others. In the Mark passage, they want to sit right next to Jesus when He becomes King and rules. That’s a pretty big and bold request, too! It quite understandably irritated the rest of the disciples, didn’t it?

What these two passages point out to us about our guy, John, is this: John, at this point in his life—before Jesus’ death and resurrection—had a lot to learn, still, about Jesus’ goals and plans! Jesus uses both instances as teaching lessons for all the disciples. John learned from his mistakes and I’m so glad he did!

Lesson #1: When someone rejects you, as the Samaritans did Jesus and crew on their way to Jerusalem, you don’t wipe them off the face of the earth. In fact, some manuscripts add this to the verses most of us read in Luke 9. Here is what Bible Gateway commentary says: Some manuscripts add an expanded conclusion to verse 55 and an additional sentence in verse 56: And he said, “You don’t realize what your hearts are like. 56 For the Son of Man has not come to destroy people’s lives, but to save them.” When we are rejected, let’s remember that our purpose does not change. We are still hoping to save lives and show by gentle persistence that the gospel message is true!

Lesson #2: Followers of Jesus do not look to be honored. Rather, they look for ways to serve. I love how Jesus turns the ways of the world upside down in His kingdom in Mark 10:43-44. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 

John learned to serve and love as he walked with Jesus! I’m so glad he did, and so glad these stories are shared with us for our own edification and growth as believers. Let’s serve with joy, desiring most of all that those we know would fall ever more in love with the Lord Jesus!

My verse: Luke 9:53 “But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem.”

My response: This verse highlights the tension between Jews and Samaritans. It’s interesting that James and John are together again, acting as one entity—their solution one that was retributive and fierce! They’ve been around Jesus long enough to see His many kindnesses, yet their human response is still revenge. “We’ve been insulted!” “Let’s burn them up and destroy them!” How amazing, Lord, that out of this kind of attitude comes such a change for both of them. James, martyred for his faith eventually, and John, the last disciple standing, seeing visions of Heaven in his old age! Thank You for how You change us, Lord, and how You can use the most unlikely people in the work of building Your kingdom.

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February 2. Mark 3:1-19