Wait… What Happened to Mark 11:26?

Daily Scripture readings for October, set #5:

1 Samuel 11-13
Psalm 99
Mark 11:1-11
2 Corinthians 4

Consider the implications of 1 Samuel 12:22. “For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.” Will the Lord forsake his people? No. Why not… for the sake of his people? No, for the sake of HIS NAME. Why did the Lord choose his people? Because it pleased him.

The Psalmist describes God as both forgiving AND avenging of wrongdoing. “O Lord our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings” (Ps 99:8).

Mark 11 is the parallel to Matthew 21, Luke 19, and John 12… as I mentioned in a previous post. It’s worth your time to look into the differences and similarities in these passages, since they all refer to the same story. How should we account for the variances in details?

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Cor 4:4-6). These verses very clearly answer two questions. First, why is it that unbelievers do not see the light of the gospel? Answer: they have been blinded. Secondly, how does one get out from under this blindness? Answer: God shines “light” and “knowledge” in our hearts, via Jesus.

Daily Scripture readings for October, set #6:

1 Samuel 14
Psalm 100
Mark 11:12-26
2 Corinthians 5

Today, as I read 1 Samuel 14, my mind zeroed in on the word “may” in Jonathan’s proclamation of faith in the Lord. Verse 6: “Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.'” The latter part of this statement is certainly true… that God can work however he wishes, be it through much strength or through apparent weakness. It’s the “may” that confuses me in this text. Is Jonathan being bold, obedient, or just foolhardy?

I may have pointed out this observation already, so forgive me if I have. The phrase in Psalm 100:5 is a VERY common one, throughout all of the Old Testament. “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” It’s the “steadfast love” and “endures” that I’ve noticed so many times. I think it’s been in almost every book of the reading thus far, in various forms and word orders.

Jesus’ connection between faith in prayer and forgiveness toward others is important to make note of. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mk 11:24-25). The missing verse 26 issue is also worth noting.

As Paul spells out how the Gospel produces reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5, he concludes by restating, short and simple, what the Gospel is: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (vs 21).

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