All posts by Gordon Nesbitt

Mark 11

Mark 11

Mark 11:7-9 NIV

[7] When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. [8] Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. [9] Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Jesus enters Jerusalem not on a mighty steed as one would expect for a king, but on a colt which be more for a commoner.  The people were still expecting a king like David to rescue them from Roman oppression. Instead, the Son of God humbles himself yet again.

Mark 11:12-14 NIV

[12] The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. [13] Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. [14] Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

Are you bearing fruit in your life?  James 2:26 NIV

[26] As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Mark 11:24-25 NIV

[24] Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. [25] And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

We must forgive in order to receive forgiveness. Sounds easy but can be incredibly difficult. It is truly incredible when people forgive huge atrocities like the Amish nearby who comforted the mother and wife of the man that shot and killed their young girls. I can barely forgive trivial sometimes even imagined wrongs against me like being cut off while driving.

Mark 10

ark 10

Mark 10:14-15 NIV

[14] When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. [15] Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Children laugh, on average, 150 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, only six times a day. Jesus tells us to be more like children.  Children trust through innocence but aging has a way of making us cynical and jaded. The challenge is for us to trust innocently.

Mark 10:43-45 NIV

[43] Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. [45] For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

It can be difficult to maintain a servants heart. Too often I think more of myself when I should be thinking of others. It is truly better to give than receive.

Mark 10:51-52 NIV

[51] “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” [52] “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

How often we can look without truly seeing. Is the truth right in front of you but you are blinded by worldly things so you cannot see it?

Mark 9

Mark 9

Mark 9:23-24 NIV

[23] “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” [24] Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

What an interesting statement from the father: I do believe; help me with my unbelief.  I am often caught between belief and unbelief. Fortunately, I have a family, a small group and the Bible to help me with my unbelief.

Mark 9:37 NIV

[37] “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Having grandchildren gives this passage extra meaning for me. They are such a delight to be around. So inquisitive. So loving. And so ready just to be with “Grampy.”  They are always welcome wherever we are.

Mark 8

Mark 8

Mark 8:11-12 NIV

[11] The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. [12] He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.”

People who don’t believe are still asking for a sign today. Just like the Pharisees they wouldn’t believe a sign if they saw it. Truly blessed are those that believe without seeing a sign.

Mark 8:18 NIV

[18] Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?

Are you receptive to what the lord wants to tell you?  Do you take time each day to listen to what the lord has to say?

Mark 8:29 NIV

[29] “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

This is the question that everyone must answer: who is Jesus of Nazareth?  What is your answer?

Mark 8:34-35 NIV

[34] Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. [35] For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Taking up the cross in those days meant to struggle and die in a horrible manner.  What area of your life do you struggle to submit to Jesus?

Mark 7

Mark 7

Mark 7:6 NIV
[6] He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

God looks at the heart, not at things or tho ha that you do. Is your heart in step with God? Only through Jesus Christ can we truly have our hearts in the right place.

Mark 6

Mark 6

Mark 6:3 NIV
[3] Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Many people still cannot accept that God sent his only son to die for our sins. They make up different reasons to deny His sovereignty. How difficult it can be to accept this free gift from God.

Mark 6:34 NIV
[34] When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Two things stand out to me in this passage “he had compassion on them.” Jesus has compassion for everyone. He does not judge. He just loves and has compassion. We should do likewise. I am also struck by “they were like sheep without a shepherd.” So many people are still lost today. They are looking for something to fill an empty life but for some reason still have not accepted Christ into their life.

Mark 6:33,36-37 NIV
[33] But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. [36] Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” [37] But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages ! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

Another simple command, “you give them something to eat !” I think this command is similar to the command that Jesus gives to Peter, “feed my sheep.” In other words share the good news of the Gospel of Peace with others. How are you sharing the News of John 3:16-17?

Mark 5

Mark 5

Mark 5:5 NIV
[5] Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

I pray daily for those that suffer from mental illness. Not to equate mental illness with demon possession but this verse made me think about the suffering happening today. Mental illness seems so widespread these days. It is difficult for me to understand what those who suffer from any mental illness are going through so all I can do is support and pray. Please join me in praying for those who suffer.

Mark 5:18-19 NIV
[18] As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. [19] Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

What a simple command: “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you…”. Simple, yes, but sometimes so hard to do. We risk humiliation and ostracism if our people are not believers. I hope that I am sharing with you how much the lord has done for me.

Mark 5:25-29 NIV
[25] And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. [26] She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. [27] When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, [28] because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” [29] Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

According to the law, this women touching Jesus would make him unclean. Yet what happens is Jesus makes her clean. Amazing what faith she has and that touching Jesus clothes heals her. He does not have to say a thing. I am reading a book that points out that only Jesus is referred to as “the power of God.” This power heals if only we believe.

Mark 4

Mark 4

Mark 4:3-8 NIV

[3] “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. [4] As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. [5] Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. [6] But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. [7] Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. [8] Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

As I was reading Mark 4:3-8 I was once again reminded of the many levels of the Bible. This section is the parable of the sower.  Some seed falls along the path and is eaten by birds. Other seed lands in rocky places and is scorched. Still other seed lands among weeds and is choked out. Finally some seed lands in good soil and produces a crop.

At first reading I saw that this was referring to different people and their faith. As I was reading it today I was struck by the fact that at different times I am the different seed. There are times when the world eats me up. Other times I feel scorched and dry. There are times when I feel chocked by life’s worries. But then, there are those times when I feel very productive indeed.

I am trying to maximize these productive times by immersing myself in the word. Praying continuously (haven’t been as continuous as I would like).  And sharing my thoughts and the good news that God sent his Son to redeem us.

Mark 4:11-12 NIV

[11] He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables [12] so that, “ ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ”

Isaiah 6:9-10 NIV

[9] He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ [10] Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Some teachings are hard and these two seem as though God is restricting those who will be saved. I am reminded of the saying “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”  Meaning that he was never convinced in the first place. Our job is to share our story, why we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and believe in the resurrection. We can not convince others. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. But, we need to be sharing our story so the Holy Spirit can work in the lives of those we share with.

Mark 3

Mark 3

Jesus appoints his twelve disciples: Mark 3:13-19.

Mark 3:16-19 NIV

[16] These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), [17] James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), [18] Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot [19] and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

What Ever Happened to the Disciples?

(listed alphabetically)

Andrew (Peter’s brother, also a fisherman) died on a cross at Patrae, in Achaia, a Grecian Colony.

James (the elder son of Zebedee, brother of John) was beheaded at Jerusalem.

James (one of Jesus’ brothers, also called James the Less) was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, and then beaten to death with a club.

John, the beloved disciple (elder son of Zebedee, brother of James, both James and John we also called “Sons of Thunder” or “Boanerges”), died of extreme old age in Ephesus.

Judas (also called Iscariot), after betraying his Lord, hanged himself.

Thaddeus (one of Jesus’ brothers, also called Jude) was shot to death with arrows.

Matthew (also called Levi, a tax collector) — Matthew was crucified in Alexandria.

Nathanael (also called Bartholomew) was flayed alive and beheaded in Albanapolis, Armenia.

Peter (also called Simon or Cephas, also called The Zealot) was crucified, head downward, on a cross in Persia (now Iran) during the persecution of Nero.

Philip was hanged against a pillar at Heropolis (Abyssinia).

Thomas (also called Didymous and the doubter) was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel, in the east Indies.

None of them recanted

Even in the face of death, they still proclaimed Jesus the Messiah.

Would they all have died like that to preserve a lie? They were all afraid when Jesus was crucified. They ran away and hid. After Jesus arose and came to them, they were different men. Changed. Not from without, but from within. They spread the Good News because they knew it was true.

And what is the Good News? That the Lord came, not to condemn the world, but to save it. He is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him shall live even if he dies


Matthew 4:18-19 NIV

[18] As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. [19] “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Mark 8:29 NIV

[29] “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

Mark 8:32-33 NIV

[32] He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. [33] But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Luke 22:31-34 NIV

[31] “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. [32] But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” [33] But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” [34] Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

John 21:15-17 NIV

[15] When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” [16] Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” [17] The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Acts 10:34-36 NIV

[34] Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism [35] but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. [36] You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Acts 12:11 NIV

[11] Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”


Mark 3:17 NIV

[17] James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”),

Mark 10:35-37 NIV

[35] Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” [36] “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. [37] They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

Luke 9:54-56 NIV

[54] When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” [55] But Jesus turned and rebuked them. [56] Then he and his disciples went to another village.

Acts 12:2 NIV

[2] He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.

John – Son of Zebedee – James brother.

Mark 10:35-37 NIV

[35] Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” [36] “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. [37] They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

Luke 9:54-56 NIV

[54] When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” [55] But Jesus turned and rebuked them. [56] Then he and his disciples went to another village.

John 19:26-27 NIV

[26] When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” [27] and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Mark 2

Mark 2

Mark 2:3-5 NIV

[3] Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. [4] Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. [5] When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

I am impressed by the faithfulness of the four men to the paralyzed man. They actually had to lift him up on the roof, dig a hole in the roof, and then lower him down in front of Jesus. How many people are you willing to exert so much effort for so that they can be reconciled with Christ?

Mark 2:5-7 NIV

[5] When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” [6] Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, [7] “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

It is interesting to me that in this instance the man is healed not due to his own faith but by the faith of his friends.

The teachers of the law realized that by forgiving sins Jesus was claiming to be one with and have the power of God.

Mark 2:16-17 NIV

[16] 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 collectors and sinners?” [17] On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

How easy it is to socialize and get together with our friends, neighbors, or others like us. Much more difficult to have a heart for the downtrodden, the homeless, the needy, those with AIDS or other communicable diseases.

Mark 2:21-22 NIV

[21] “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. [22] And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

Jesus is indicating here that the Pharisees that are against him are like the old wine skins and will not accept his new teaching. People still struggle today with his teaching and invent ways to earn their way into heaven when all they have to do is accept the free gift of his death and resurrection for eternal life.