Prayer Point: Psalm 111 provides us with a number of reasons to praise God. Pick one or two that resonate with you and use them to build your own prayer of thanksgiving.
What event signals the beginning of Jesus’ ministry?
How does Mark summarize Jesus’ message (sometimes called the gospel or good news) in verse 15?
The Kingdom of God is wherever God’s will is done, a world filled with people who love God and love their neighbor as themselves. Imagine what that world would look like. Jesus declares that this kingdom is now drawing near and breaking into our world through his coming.
How is each person called to respond to the good news in verse 15?
Immediately Jesus begins to his build his kingdom by calling disciples. Disciples and their teachers called rabbis were not an uncommon sight in Israel. To be a rabbi was a position of honor in Israel and to be a disciple was akin to going to Harvard. The privilege of being a disciple was an honor conferred only on those with the sharpest minds and the highest moral integrity. Those who were rejected by rabbis were encouraged to go home and work the family trade. Those who were accepted were told by the rabbi to “come and follow me.”
Disciples ordinarily applied to rabbis. Do the disciples come to Jesus or does Jesus go to them? What do you notice about the men Jesus called? What are they doing when Jesus meets them? What new purpose does Jesus give them?
For Jewish rabbis, and Jesus followed this tradition, all of life was a classroom. These disciples will spend the next three years of their lives following Jesus, watching him with the goal of learning to do what he did and most importantly becoming like him.
While Paul was devoted to preaching Jesus, what else accompanied his messages? What happens to the sons of Sceva when they attempted to perform miracles in Jesus’ name without a relationship with him? How did this event advance the gospel in Ephesus?
Numbers 27:12-23 Moses Sees the Future (the Promised Land)
Moses, was not permitted to enter the Promised Land but only allowed to see it. He was directed by God to go to Mount Pisgah (Deuteronomy 3:26-29) there to view (alas, but not enter) the Promised Land. Why was Moses forbidden to enter the Promised Land? (Moses was forbidden from entering the Promised Land because when the people were in the “Wilderness of Zin” dying of thirst, the LORD told Moses to “speak” to the rock in order that the water would gush out. Moses, because he was angry at the hard-heartedness of his people, struck the rock and then it gushed forth water. It was while he was in this Wilderness of Zin that the LORD told Moses he would never enter the Promised Land. Here Moses would be “gathered to his people” – a nice euphemism for “die”.)
What is Moses’ chief concern? (Moses’ chief concern is that the LORD would appoint a ruler over the people to succeed him. Jesus did a similar thing when he promised that once he ascended he would send the “Comforter” to lead his people.)
Whom does the LORD choose to follow Moses as leader of Israel? (Joshua is called to become the leader of the people once Moses dies.)
How is this office conferred on Joshua? (Joshua is to stand before the priest in front of the entire community and there Moses will impose his hands on Joshua’s head and commission him as the LORD had instructed. (Numbers 24:22-23)