Welcome I hope you were able to join me yesterday for part 1 of 4 in Commands of Jesus. We are taking a walk through the Gospels this week to look at the words Jesus gave us as instruction and direction. Yesterday we began in Matthew. We will continue today in Mark. Please continue to join us Wednesday and Thursday, as well.
Food For Thought-Commands from Mark There is no doubt that we will see many of Jesus’ commands repeated throughout the Gospels, and this includes the book of Mark. After all, the four Gospels are all recounts of Jesus’ life on earth, as told from four different individuals. Some Gospels include details that others do not, but they all four hit the “highlights,” and many stories and wordings are the same. With that in mind, some of these directions from Jesus were already stated in the book of Matthew. But I don’t think repetition is a bad thing, and I certainly believe that God had all four Gospels included in the Holy Bible for good reason. Anything that is worth repeating in scripture is worth our close attention. I use this opportunity of duplication as a chance to take special notice…it was repeated, so it must be important. Which commands do you take particular notice of today in the book of Mark?
The book of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels with only 16 chapters. I have heard “Mark” referred to as the “Readers Digest Condensed Version” of the story of Jesus’ life. There is no reference to the story of Jesus’ birth or the Sermon on the Mount. Yet we still receive commands from Jesus in this book of the New Testament. This list is shorter and duplicates many commands from our look at Matthew yesterday. This is likely not a complete list, but here are the verses I took notice of during my study in Mark:
Repent and believe (1:15)
Listen and hear (4:3, 9)
Just believe (5:36)
Have courage (6:50)
Do not be ashamed of Jesus Christ (8:38)
Be a servant of all (9:35)
“The commandments: do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother” (10:19)
Be a servant (10:43)
Have faith in God (11:22)
Believe (11:23, 24)
The “Greatest Commandment”-“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (12:30, 31)
Be on guard (13:23, 33)
Believe and be baptized (16:16)
I will conclude my list of commands from Jesus with a verse in chapter 14, verse 38, as spoken to Simon Peter, but the command is equally important for our own application: “Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
I don’t know about you, but with the study of Matthew and Mark, I definitely notice some commands that are repeated. I am also pleased to see “The Greatest Commandment” and the second greatest included in both Gospels. As stated before, if we can follow the commands of “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and love our neighbors as ourselves, we will accomplish many of the others directions as well. Other words that resurfaced in several verses are repent, believe, and forgive. So many of Jesus’ teachings keep coming back to these three key ideas. These are not optional or discretionary, but mandatory commandments given from Jesus for the people of the first century, and all the many generations to come.
Today’s Scripture As I stated with the book of Matthew, I encourage you to spend your own time reading and studying the book of Mark as well. I believe certain verses speak to us when we need them most and God may very well have a message for you in your reading. I was drawn in particular to this passage in Mark 11:22-25:
“Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you , whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
I am working on my faith as my 2018 goal and this is an important passage for me. For me, doubt is a weakness that all other weaknesses and sinful behaviors seem to build themselves upon. The less doubt I have, the stronger my faith, but also the stronger my actions are to stand firm against things like envy and jealousy, gossip and judgement, and procrastination of God’s Will and purpose for me.
Today’s Recipe I don’t typically tie my recipes directly to scripture, but I actually want to point out a scripture from the book of Mark for this section today. In Mark, chapter 7, Jesus is answering the debate of the Pharisees and teachers regarding “clean and unclean.” They have talked specifically about the ceremonial washing of hands before eating. Jesus has shared with them that it is not what is outside a man that makes him “unclean,” but rather what is inside and comes out through his actions that makes him “unclean.” He explains further to his disciples in verses 18 and 19, “Are you so dull?’ he asked. ‘Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.’ (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods ‘clean’)” Now, I’m not saying this gives us free reign to eat any and every single thing we want. I believe we are expected to take care of our physical bodies and health and we should avoid consuming things that are harmful for us, as individuals. Tomatoes make me incredibly ill, but they are not an “unclean” food. So, unlike the Old Testament law, there are no longer foods that are meant to be avoided because of their ceremonial uncleanness. So here at faith-family-food, you will see recipes for many different foods, including beef and pork. Therefore, I have no problem sharing a pork chop recipe today.
Parmesan-Panko Crusted Pork Chops
- 6 bone-in pork chops
- salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup Kraft grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk