Mon. March 18

Monday March 18, 2019

 Today’s Focus                                  The Third Section of the Lord’s prayer

 Today’s Scripture Reading                         Mark 3: 20-35

One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. 21 When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
22 But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan,[e] the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
23 Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?” he asked. 24 “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. 25 Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive. 27 Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
28 “I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, 29 but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.” 30 He told them this because they were saying, “He’s possessed by an evil spirit.”
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. 32 There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers[f] are outside asking for you.”
33 Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 34 Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 35 Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Daily Reflection         Luther’s explanation on the 7th petition and the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer

 The Seventh Petition

            And deliver us from evil..

What does this mean?

We ask in this prayer, as in a summary, that our Father in heaven may deliver us from all kinds of evil – affecting body or soul, property or reputation – and at last, when our final hour comes, may grant us a blessed end and take us by grace from this valley of tears to Himself in heaven.

Conclusion

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.  Amen

When does this mean?

That I should be certain that such petitions are acceptable to and heard by our Father in heaven, for God Himself commanded us to pray like this and has promised to hear us.  “Amen, amen” means “Yes, yes, it is going to come about just like this.”

Some questions for reflection

  • Many scholars believe “the strong man” that Jesus is talking about is in fact, Satan. If this is true, in your own mind, prior to Jesus death and resurrection, how did Jesus “bind” the strong man?”
  • Why do you suppose it is so important in this story shared by Mark that immediately following this episode Jesus redefines family?

Today’s discipleship challenge

  • Share with your group or someone you really trust, how it is that you “face temptation” and find ways that “deliver you from evil.”

 Today’s prayer

            Eternal God, we give You thanks for the day, especially for the good we were permitted to give and to receive; the day is now past and we commit it to You.  We entrust to You the night; we rest securely, for You are our help, and You neither slumber nor sleep; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

3 thoughts on “Mon. March 18

  1. Pastor Jerry

    I have to tell you all…. Luther once shared that if a person was fighting temptation and the devil that they should go to a tavern. While I don’t frequent many taverns, I believe Luther was sharing that in community a person can find balance, encouragement, and support. It never seems to fail that in times when I feel as though I would like to give up or give in, in times when I feel as if I am fighting temptation…. that somehow, the community of faith itself, or individuals in the community of faith will say the “right thing” or “do the right thing” to allow me to know that God is present with us and will never forsake us!
    Peace
    PJ

    Reply
  2. Mel Olenwine

    Jesus was pretty upset that the religious teachers were saying he was possessed by an evil spirit. So if you extinguish the “light” inside you, turn away from the “voice” inside you, ignore and refuse to believe that there is an advocate within you, and you instead only do the will of the evil one, then you are condemned to Hell, never to be forgiven. Or you deny that God is God , when you’re in the presence of God, and KNOW you’re in the presence of God. God is the father of all, so anyone who does God’s will becomes my mother, brothers, etc. as Jesus says, as we are all children of God. The only way Jesus can “bind the strong man” is to have “someone who is stronger” up against him….GOD. The only way WE can bind the strong man is to have someone stronger keeping us from evil. That little feeling that something isn’t right, or you should or should not be doing something…or maybe a voice…or maybe just an uneasiness that persists….that’s the nudge, the strength…. I can do all things through Christ who STRENGTHENS me for the fight. That’s the only way we can be delivered from evil…?

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