Mark 12

Mark 12: Taxes, Celestial Marriage, Two Great Commandments

Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees and the Scribes, tells them of the Parable of the Husbandmen;

“…A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to the husbandmen, and went into a far country.” (Mark 12:1)

Jesus explains that God built the world; the ‘vineyard’ and left people to tend it.

“And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. And again he sent another; and him they killed and many others; beating some, and killing some.” (Mark 12:2-5)

Jesus explains that God Prophets to the world; the ‘servants’ to receive the fruit of the ‘vineyard’. However, every time that God sent someone to the people of His world, they rejected them. Some of the prophets were wounded, beaten or killed.

Finally God sends His ONLY BEGOTTEN, His Son. “…he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.” (Mark 12:6-9)

God, after having sent all His servants, sent His Son, Jesus Christ to the world. However, the people rejected Jesus as well. Therefore when God returns to His vineyard, He will destroy those who do wickedly.

After hearing this; the Scribes and Pharisees knew that Jesus spoke of them in that Parable, and they feared the reaction of the people. Instead they decided they would try and catch Jesus in His words. They come to Jesus to tempt Him; “…Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” (Mark 12:14)

                Jesus, being frustrated, asks them why they tempt Him and commands them to bring Him a penny. After they brought Him the coin, He asked them; “…Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s…” (Mark 12:16-17) They were astonished by His teaching.

The Sadducees then came to Jesus to ask Him about Resurrection; “Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man’s brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Mark 12:19) They go on to explain that the wife ends up marrying all 7 brothers, never raising any children. They ask him, when the wife finally dies, whose wife will she be? After all she had been married to all of them, right? Jesus responds to them; “…Do ye therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?” (Mark 12:24) Jesus goes on to explain that marriage will not be given in the next life, because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

One of the scribes, perceiving that Jesus had answered very well, desired to know which of all the commandments was the greatest? Jesus responds; “… thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and will all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

                While Jesus sat and discussed these doctrines, a poor woman came into the treasury of the temple and cast two mites, which made a farthing into the treasury. Jesus stood up and said; “…Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did was cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark 12:43-44) We too should give more than just our ‘abundance’, but be generous in helping others and giving beyond what we are expected.

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Mark 11

Mark 11: Jesus in the Temple – Money Changers

                Jesus and His Apostles ride into Jerusalem through to the Mount of Olives, where He commands two of His Apostles to go to a village near them, where they would find a colt tied to a doorway. So the Apostles leave and find a colt tied to a doorway, exactly as Jesus had told them. Some of those who were standing near the colt asked the Apostles what they were doing, the Apostles told them it was for the Lord, and the men told them to continue.

After returning to Jesus, Jesus hops onto the Colt and they ride into Jerusalem, all while people are shouting “…Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Mark 11:9) Jesus spends sometime in Jerusalem before it got dark and after “…he had looked round about upon all things…” (Mark 11:11) From here Jesus goes to Bethany, where He gets hungry and finds a fig tree. However, upon reaching the tree it was found that the tree was not producing fruit, only leaves.  Jesus answered upon the tree and said; “…No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever…” (Mark 11:14)

Jesus left the curse on the tree and departed with His Apostles into Jerusalem. When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus found that the temple had turned into a market place; Jesus 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.” (Mark 11:17)

                Jesus was mad, because they were turning His house into a house of market. The scribes were of course angry by this display from Jesus, so they sought to destroy Him. As Jesus and His Apostles departed, and passed by the same fig tree, Peter reminds them; “…Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.” (Mark 11:21) Jesus then tells them that with Faith, even mountains can be made to move. He continues; “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall receive them.” (Mark 11:24) Jesus also instructs them that they should forgive always, especially when they pray. For if man forgive men, then the Lord will also forgive that man.

The scribes catch up to Jesus and ask Him by what Authority He is able to do such great miracles, and Jesus responds; “… 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 Job, was it from heaven, or of men? Answer me.” (Mark 11:29-30) The scribes were afraid to ask, because they reasoned with themselves; “…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.” (Mark 11:31-32) After thinking over the question Jesus had proposed they respond; “…We cannot tell. And Jesus answering unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:33)

Mark 10

Mark 10: High Law of Marriage

                Jesus comes to the coasts of Judea by the far side of Jordan, where He is met by Pharisees who want to tempt Him with questions. They ask Jesus; “…Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? [divorce]” (Mark 10:2) Jesus responds by asking them what Moses had written about the matter. The Pharisees respond that Moses commanded them to “…write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.” (Mark 10:4) But Jesus quickly puts them in their place; “…For the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept.” (Mark 10:5)

                Jesus then goes on to remind them and us today of the importance of the Sacred Matrimony between MAN and WOMAN! Jesus said; “…from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife… they twain shall be one flesh… What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9) Jesus warns that marriage is sacred, and should be performed between MAN and WOMAN, that they might become one flesh. Those who disrespect this sanctity will face the wrath of God.

After Jesus was done speaking to the Pharisees, He noticed that His Apostles were not letting little children come to see Him. Jesus was displeased and said unto His Apostles; “…Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God… Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:14-15) The Apostles had forgotten that little children are alive in Christ. If you do not humble yourself as a child, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven! This is why, little children before an age of accountability HAVE NO NEED FOR BAPTISM! Baptism is for sinners. Except Jesus, who also had no need for baptism, but did so to show us the way.

Jesus then leaves and runs into a man who when came across Jesus knelt down and asked Him; “…Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17) Jesus asks the man why he called Him “Good”, for “…there is none good but one, that is God.” (Mark 10:18) This little mention proves that God the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ are TWO SEPARATE BEINGS. How can God and Jesus be one? Except ONE in PURPOSE.

The man then says that from his youth he has followed all the commandments, but Jesus quickly tells him that he has one more to follow; “…One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me.” (Mark 10:21) After hearing these words, the man departs in sadness because he had many possessions.  Jesus then tells the Apostles that “…With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)

                In the end of chapter 10 we learn that James and John ask to be on the right and left hand of Jesus in the next life. Jesus reminds them that it is not up to Him and that they should think in terms of the service they are giving and not in the self-glory that they would receive. When they arrive at Jericho they are met by a blind man, who was named Bartimaeus. Jesus heals the man and tells him to be of good comfort. “…Go thy why, thy faith hath made thee whole…” (Mark 10:52)

Mark 9

Mark 9: Transfigured on the Mount

                Jesus and the Apostles stand at the top of a mountain, with Peter, James and John. Jesus “…was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” (Mark 9:2-4) Shortly after, they saw a cloud come over them and a voice saying; “…This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Mark 9:7)

                Suddenly, the Apostles found them alone with Jesus again as if nothing had happened. On their journey down from the Mountain, Jesus tells them that they must not speak of the things they saw until after He has risen from the dead. The Apostles then asked Jesus “…Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?  And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things…” (Mark 9:11-12)

                Jesus arrives, where a group is gathered for Him. A man in the crowd yells out to Jesus; “…Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.” (Mark 9:17-18) Jesus, at this point, was a little upset because His own Apostles could not remove the evil spirit. So Jesus turns to the Apostles and says;  “…O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.” (Mark 9:19-20)

                Jesus, moved with compassion, asks the father how long this evil Spirit had resided in the child. The father tells Him from birth. Jesus tells the father, who was in disbelief as casting this devil out; “…If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:23-24) Jesus then cast the evil spirit out and commanded it to no more enter or molest the child. As Jesus and His Apostles were leaving the area, the Apostles ask Jesus privately; “…Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29)

                Jesus and the Apostles then depart through Galilee and while on their journey the Apostles had questions about who was greatest among the Apostles and what it meant that Jesus would die and come back three days later, but every one of them was too afraid to ask. Jesus of course knew their questions and called the twelve to sit and listen; “… If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) Jesus then continues by speaking about children and their importance in the Gospel “…whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

Mark 8

Mark 8: Jesus feeds the four thousand

The disciples who followed Jesus had been so devoted that they had gone for 3 days without food. Jesus had compassion on them and commanded His Apostles to bring Him forth all the bread that they had.

Jesus asks them; “…How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.” (Mark 8:5)

Jesus then commanded the multitude to sit on the ground and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks while breaking the bread. They also had a few small fishes, which Jesus divided and gave thanks.

In the end the amount of leftovers filled seven baskets. Jesus managed to feed around four thousand men, women and children with only a few small fishes and seven loaves of bread. After feeding the multitude of people, Jesus departed by ship to Damanutha. Immediately upon arrival the Pharisees came forth asking Him questions, and tempting Him for a sign from heaven.

Jesus “…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.” (Mark 8:12)

Jesus then departed by ship to the other side, but commanded that His Apostles buy no bread from the Pharisees or from Herod “…Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15). Perhaps Jesus said this, because He knew that they had tampered with the bread or possibly poisoned it?

The Apostles were confused and did not understand how they could continue their journey without restocking their supplies, for they only had one loaf of bread. But after seeing the miracle of feeding four thousand with only seven loaves of bread, Jesus said 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?” (Mark 8:17-18) Jesus was most likely very disappointed that His Apostles had already forgotten of His marvelous power. Jesus continues to ask them about His abilities; “When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven…. How is it that ye do not understand?” (Mark 8:17-21)

How did they not understand? It is because they hardened their hearts!

Jesus and His Apostles then depart to Bethsaida, where the people brought a blind man to them, where they desired for Jesus to touch and heal the man. Jesus “…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 bought. 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.” (Mark 8:23-25)

Jesus then sends the man on his way and departed with His Apostles into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. On the way Jesus asks His Apostles “… Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” (Mark 8:27-29)

Jesus then tells them that He will be persecuted, killed and then rise again on the third day. Peter, who was in unbelief, disagreed with Jesus. Jesus then responded to Peter; “… Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mark 8:33)

Jesus then leaves His Apostles and all that follow Him with this important message; “…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 again 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.” (Mark 8:34-38)

Essentially Jesus tells His Apostles and all His followers that they need to follow Him in all things. Those who spent their lives in the service of God and others will not lose their life, but gain their life. Anyone who denies Jesus and does not follow Him are an adulterous and sinful generation, who will lose their souls to gain the riches of the world, which profiteth man nothing!

Mark 7

Mark 7: False Traditions

                  The Scribes and Pharisees come from Jerusalem to criticize Jesus for feeding many, with having them wash their hands before eating, as it is customary for the elders to do. Jesus answers unto them; “…Well hat Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:6-8) Jesus instructs them that just because it is tradition to do something, does not make it above the commandments or teachings of God. The people that were gathered with Jesus did nothing wrong, but simply failed to honor a tradition. Jesus explains that they were being hypocrites for saying they honored God, yet with their actions they were chastising His Only Begotten.

Jesus explains to those gathered, that only by what leaves man can defile him; “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22) These are the things that can defile man, not what they partake.

From here, Jesus leaves to the borders of Tyre and Sidon where he meets a Greek woman, who had a daughter who was possessed of an evil spirit. Jesus tells the lady that she will come home to find her daughter cured and freed from the evil spirit. Jesus then departs the land and goes to the sea of Galilee, near the coasts of Decapolis. Jesus is met by a man who was not only deaf, but also dumb in his speech impediment, He takes the man and hold him; “…and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue.” (Mark 7:33) and instantly the man was able to hear and speak.

Mark 6

Mark 6: Sending of the Twelve

                   Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and heal on the Sabbath Day, those who are in His presence ask themselves; “…From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought with his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses… and Simon?” (Mark 6:2-3) The people marveled at this man who was just a simple carpenter. We learn from this statement that Jesus actually had siblings! Meaning, Mary and Joseph had children together after Jesus was born. Making them at least His half-siblings. For further evidence of this please read: Jude 1:1

Jesus marveled at their unbelief, after all He had already performed countless miracles and yet the people still did not believe. Jesus leaves to call His Twelve Apostles:

“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… no scrip [bag/luggage], no bread [food], no money in their purse.” (Mark 6:7-8) Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out by two’s [pairs] to preach His gospel. He tells His Apostles that they should leave with no bag, food or money. This goes to show that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ should never be done for money or glory.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles; “…In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide [stay/remain] 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… they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and were anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:10-13) These same exact things are done today in the LDS church; Missionaries are sent two by two to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. The LDS Church has a presence in every country that allows by law the preaching of religion. These full time missionaries for the church are currently at almost 90,000 strong, as of 2013. The missionaries are called “Elders” and do exactly what Jesus is instructing here, they preach repentance and heal the sick, among many other things, including service projects.

The fame of Jesus spread throughout the land, many questioned if this man was Elias or John the Baptist back from the dead. When King Herod heard of this fame of Jesus he wondered if this wasn’t the resurrected John the Baptist, who he had beheaded. King Herod had a quarrel with his brother, who was Phillip, because he had taken his wife, Herodias, to marry. John the Baptist instructed Herod that it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife, and King Herod feared John the Baptist, because he knew that he was a just and holy man. On King Herod’s birthday, he had a huge feast and the daughter of Herodias came in to please and dance with King Herod. To commemorate this occasion he told the young lady that she could have any wish, up to half of King Herod’s kingdom. Herodias’s daughter was already instructed by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. When King Herod heard of this he was saddened, but he wouldn’t go back on his word, so he commanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to Herodias.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles and many others who were gathered. While Jesus taught, He commanded His Apostles to bring the people something to eat. The Apostles instruct Jesus that there were five loves of bread and two fishes. Jesus blessed the food and commanded the Apostles to divide the food among the 5,000 gathered there. When everyone was done eating, and full, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments [leftovers]. Once Jesus was done teaching, He commanded His Apostles to leave by ship to Bethsaida. Jesus them departed His own way to go and pray in the mountain. Jesus meets up with them on the sea later, walking on water! When the Apostles see Him walking on the water, they become afraid and think it is a ghost, but Jesus comforts them: “…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) The Apostles were amazed at what they saw; “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark6:52) Even after seeing such an amazing miracle as feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, the Apostles are still amazed by the power Jesus has.

Jesus board the ship and departs to the land of Gennesaret, where he is met by a large number of people who all meet Him, to be healed of Him.