1 – “ And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:13-16, ESV)
RAF: Children have their part in the Kingdom as well. They are not to be treated as though they have no spiritual life or cannot enter in. We are to bring them up in the things of the Lord. To teach them to see the world through Biblical eyes. To know god made them, in His image, for Himself. That He is their creator and God. That there are spiritual realities. That they were born in sin alienated from the life of God and that they need reconciled to Him. Hoe good He is. How He has provided for them and cared for them. We do not wait until they are older, we begin right away to steep them in the truth of Christ.
2 – “And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”” (Mark 10:39-40, ESV)
RAF: On one hand, James and John showed great faith in still anticipating Christ to rule the Kingdom, after He had just told them He was going to die. On the other, they needed to understand the nature of what it mean to reign as He would. To receive the glory that was His, would require hearts and minds as submissive to the will of the Father as His. Were they ready to simply say – “it is up up the Father who sits at your right and your left, and it is not up to us, nor a thing to grasped at”? This is what it means to be Him. Complete and utter trust in the Father. The absolute giving over of His will to Him. This is where He calls us to go. This is to walk by faith.
3 – “And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”” (Mark 10:51, ESV)
RAF: What a question – “what do you want me to do for you?” How would you answer it? Would you squander that moment? Would your request be frivolous? Foolish? How is it we go to prayer even now? What is the nature of our requests as he bids us to come and lay them before Him? If you had one thing today to ask, to plead for – one thing that would be life changing, what would it be? Oh Father, let us recover our sight. The glorious truth about you. The horror of our sin. The sureness of your promises. The depth of your word. The fullness of the cross. Or as Paul prayed, the height, depth, length and breadth of your love – that we may be filled with all your fullness. Let us, let me, recover my sight.
4 – “ On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.” (Mark 11:12-14, ESV)
RAF: Jesus is ever coming, looking for fruit in those who show their leaves as though they were His. It is a dangerous thing to proclaim that we are His and put out the signs that indicate fruit is available, and then not to have it. It invites His curse. We cannot take the Lord’s name upon ourselves emptily – “in vain”.
5 – “ And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”” (Mark 12:41-44, ESV)
RAF: God is not looking for people with great capacity to serve, but with great willingness. We so often confuse the two and imagine if we cannot do a lot – that it is not acceptable. He only asks we be willing to do what it is on our hands to do.
6 – “And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”” (Mark 13:37, ESV)
RAF: These two words are the summary message of Jesus’ teaching on eschatology. They ought to be ours as well.
7 – “ And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her.” (Mark 14:3-5, ESV)
RAF: No gift given to God can ever be regarded as “wasted”. How can honoring Him ever be something too expensive or extravagant? Who or what is ever more important?
We ought to do all we can to beautify His death.