I started reading Luke yesterday, but thought I’d take some time to review what I’ve been reading about the past week in the end of Mark. This will be the first post of two on the same theme of wanting to pursue Jesus, to disobey popular wisdom and instead ‘put all my eggs in one basket’, and how what I’ve read this week has lead me to these thoughts.
This first post is about two people that can be found in Mark 9 and Mark 12. Their stories have been part of my thinking about the nature of faith and obedience, about cultivating a willingness and a hunger to know God in a deeper way, and having an assurance that this is the most worthwhile pursuit of all.
The first of these two people is the father in Mark 9:23-24, who brings his son before Jesus, asking help because the boy is possessed. This is the conversation that follows:
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!”
I love the father here. He is a great model of faith because he is so honest about his lack of faith. He brings his unbelief before Jesus without shame, and declares his belief in the midst of his uncertainty. I pray that I would have the awareness and transparency of my own weakness as this man does, but also his same boldness in approaching and professing the Most High as my Saviour.
I am so thankful that the Bible highlights both the faithfulness and unfaithfulness of every person, and that Jesus has come for us that we may have strength in our weakness and fullness in our incompleteness. He does not ask us to ever pretend that we are something that we are not, he meets us where we are.
I definitely struggle with being honest in confessing my weakness of faith. I would much rather shield my weaknesses so that I can maintain my pride. But I also know that dropping pretence allows a freedom and a joy that is so much more worthwhile. Also, like, who do I think I am fooling? So, may I do as this father does – he who declares his belief, his unbelief and his desire to have more belief all at the same time.
The second person is the widow in Mark 12:42-44. Jesus lifts her up as an example to be modelled because of her wholeheartedness in faith:
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
The widow forsakes her only security because of her faith. I pray that I would be so certain of the truth I know, that I too would be willing to forsake all I have. To put in everything. This idea of putting in everything has been something that I have especially felt challenged by this week. How is it that I can put in everything? What does that mean for my life right now?
This thought is the reason that I’ve decided to use a photo from this week as the featured image, rather than a more generic/abstract one. For this week and the next, putting in everything means working and serving to the best of my ability in my job, loving the students that I get to talk to everyday, rejoicing in the blessings of now, and praising the Lord in each and every day. The widow’s example to me is to show that faith is not to be a part of my life, but all that my life is.
I ask that my only hope, only desire and only need would be Jesus. That I would have faith like that of this father and this widow. Give me Jesus.
Part 2 here.