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Dealing With Nasty Religious People

The teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” Mark 3:22 I will never forget an incident that happened in a small church my dad pastored when I was ten years of age. Two deacons accosted my father one […]

Jumping to Wrong Conclusions

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:20-21 I was traveling on a bus in western Turkey with […]

What’s in a Name?


These are the twelve he appointed: Simon, (to whom he gave the name Peter). . . Mark 3:16 Author and Pastor Bruce Larson tells about the time when his boy was six years of age. His son began sucking his thumb compulsively. Nothing the parents did made him quit. Finally, in sheer desperation, they gave him […]

Effective Relationship Building


Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot . . .  Mark 3:18 Jesus called twelve disciples to be His apostles. Mark lists the first three as Peter, James, and John; and the last as Judas Iscariot. In between are eight others. The New Testament gives us four different listings for […]

Turning Away from Jesus

And Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3:19 Judas is always named last in the listings of The Twelve (Mark 3; Matthew 10; Luke 6). He is variously identified as the one “who betrayed him” (Mark, Matthew, John), or “became a traitor” (Luke). John tells us the name of his father, Simon Iscariot (John 6:71; 13:2). […]

Dealing with Criticism


Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples are fasting, but yours are not?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come […]

How Jesus Dealt With Fame

Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are […]

Extraordinary Good News

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, […]

Inviting Sinners In

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax […]

Come, Follow Me

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:16-18 No one outside their own small fishing […]