Big one today! I couldn’t help myself.
Jesus sends out His twelve disciples. He deputised them. Through Jesus's instruction and authority they were able to cast out demons and heal the sick. They did this with olive oil! Really. Read. We have like a gallon of that at home. Evil spirits watch out!
Jesus then has a lengthy discussion about washing of hands. He tells the religious elite that we should definitely wash our hands, but that's not all that matters. There is more at stake than outer cleanliness.
More indeed, because even after healing many, casting out demons, and miracles upon miracles, Jesus still had to ask His followers: don't you get it yet?
They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. (Mark 6.3)
Jesus is offensive. Not just then. Even today. His message always confounds the audience and divides opinion. That’s the nature of truth–it challenges us; calls us to take a side. Let’s not forget that.
Yes, Jesus loves us. He came to unite and bring peace. However, the new reality He brings should always challenge our current way of living.
Deep breath. Let’s listen. Then keep reading. There’s more...
He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes. (Mark 6.8-9)
Really, Jesus? That’s all I need to take for the journey: Your authority and a walking stick! (I’d pick the biggest and baddest walking stick. Just saying.) Mosquito repellant, no? Are traveller’s cheques a thing?
I imagine the twelve disciples, beating their chests, sticks in the air. Shouting: We are Sparta!
Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you.” (Mark 6.22)
We all dance. We do. No one is exempt. Even King David danced before The King. No question there.
What we should consider is: who do we dance for? Who is pleased with the steps we take?
Word of the day: Ephphatha
Can you say it? It means be opened (Mark 7.34). It was said by Jesus as he opened the ears and freed the tongue of a man who was mute and deaf.
A chapter later we find Jesus opening the eyes of a blind man. Jesus opened them so that the man's sight was completely restored. So that he could see everything clearly... (Mark 8.25)
Is there an ephphatha prayer you need to lift up to God today?