As most of you know, I am an Auburn fan. My dad graduated years ago when it was known as Alabama Polytechnical Institute. Karen and I have three daughters who also graduated from there, so it’s fair to say we have pretty strong ties to Alabama. Needless to say we were quite excited when they won all their tournament games and made it to the Final Four! Auburn’s basketball team has not played very well in years past, so it’s exciting to behold this year’s success. We hope they win two more games and take the National Championship!
As I was thinking about the Final Four, I wondered what would be the critical four teachings from the Gospel of Mark that we have studied during these 40 days of Lent.
“The time has come, the Kingdom is near, repent and believe the Good news!” (Mark 1:15) This verse compels me not to wait but to act now.
“Why are you afraid? Where is your faith?” (Mark 40b) Jesus rebuked the wind and waves and taught his disciples about faith. I have especially heard this teaching anew as we have weathered many storms over the past year with the hurricane, tornadoes, flooding events, and personal storms. The words of Jesus have helped me to answer questions about my own faith and fears.
“How many loaves do you have?” (Mark 6:38) The disciples thought it would be impossible to feed 5,000 people but Jesus simply asked “How many loaves do you have?” I hear this passage calling me to offer to the Lord all I have and to grow in my faith so that I may participate in His King- dom work. I’m reminded not to make excuses of what I lack but rather offer what I can to God fully each day.
“Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” (Mark 8:15) Yeast in bread is like a person’s character which influences and is hidden. This influence can be used to work for Kingdom purposes or to undo them. As I read this, I question how I’m using my own Kingdom influence. Be aware of the often subtle presence of evil beneath the surface that is seeking to undo the higher Kingdom purposes.
My hope is that the Gospel of Mark means as much to you as it does to me. What verses have caught your attention? I look forward to the conclusion of this study! And now we head toward Palm Sunday and Holy Week to include Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the Resurrection!