This week we’re going to hone our observation skills. Much of reading Scripture is asking the right questions. If you ask good questions you will discover great answers. Let’s jump in.
As in last week, Helps are available (in another post).
Monday, May 28
Scripture: Mark 1:14-15
Scripture Reading Skill: Review from last week
Questions to answer:
- Who are the people involved?
- Where are they?
- What are they doing?
- When did it happen?
Tuesday, May 29
Scripture: Mark 1:16-20
Scripture Reading Skill: Readiness. According to Arnold and Beyer (NT Scholars), if you’re going to make the most of reading Scripture 3 conditions have to be present: Are you regenerate (born again)? Do you have an open heart to receive what you read? Are you intellectually and emotionally capable of understanding what you read?
In light of these realities, ask God to search your heart. If you struggle to understand Scripture (as many do), ask for his help. He delights in those who delight in His Word.
Questions to answer:
- What are the key words (words that jump out to you)?
- How does your understanding of this text relate to your own call to salvation?
Wednesday, May 30
Scripture: Mark 1:21-28
Scripture Reading Skill: Reading Thoughtfully. Thoughtful reading is study. According to Hendricks, “When you come to the Bible, put your thinking cap on. Apply the same mental disciple that you would to any subject in which you take a vital interest.” For this section, and throughout the book of Mark, I find it helpful to have a map. For some reason, if I can spatially plot where Jesus is going, it sticks in my head. There is one for your use on the Helps page for this week.
Questions to answer. How many questions can you write from this passage? Now try to find the answers.
Thursday, May 31
Scripture: Mark 1:29-34
Scripture Reading Skill: Reading Repeatedly
Read the passage in your translation. Now read it in another translation. Next, listen to it. (I’m serious!) Read it out loud.
Friday, June 1
Scripture: Mark 1:35-39
Scripture Reading Skill: Do what Jesus did here. Read it and do what he did. Wow! Prayer is an incredible gift from God.
For Wednesday’s reading, the first thing that comes to my attention is that the scribes didn’t teach with authority. So I can imagine it was some pretty boring reading of the religiousness of the day every church service. It seemed that the people had become complacent with this type of teaching. Astonished is a pretty strong description of the difference between Jesus and the scribes. So complacent, that there was not enough power to keep a demon-possessed man from sitting through services until Jesus showed up on the scene. He spoke with authority not only to the demons but to the people at large. Are we making sure we are letting Him speak with authority to our hearts and minds?
Donna, that’s a great question. When we think of “readiness” as a requirement for taking Scripture into our hearts and minds, that’s what it means. Are we “ready” to hear the Word?