Friday, December 29, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 8:31-33

31 Then he began to teach them that the son of man must suffer many things, and should be reproved of the Elders, and of the high Priests, and of the Scribes, and be slain, and within three days rise again.
32 And he spake that thing boldly. Then Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him.
33 Then he turned back and looked on his disciples, and rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou understandest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.

Notes from GNV Translation:
Verse 31 - Christ suffered all that he suffered for us, not unwillingly neither unawares, but foreknowing it, and willingly.
Verse 32 - None are more mad than they that are wise beside the word of God.
Verse 33 - This is not godly, but worldly wisdom.

Make note of the connection between the words “rise again” (rebirth), and being mindful of the things that are of God. It was His plan for this happen, and as such it was His wisdom that drew up the plan for redemption.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 8:27-30

27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. And by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, Some say, John Baptist: and some, Elijah: and some, one of the Prophets.
29 And he said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Then Peter answered, and said unto him, Thou art that Christ.
30 And he sharply charged them, that concerning him they should tell no man.

Related Scripture
Verse 29 – John 1:41, 4:42, 6:69, 11:27

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 8:22-25

22 And he came to Bethsaida, and they brought a blind man unto him, and desired him to touch him.
23 Then he took the blind by the hand, and led him out of the town, and spat in his eyes, and put his hands upon him, and asked him, if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men: for I see them walking like trees.
25 After that, he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look again. And he was restored to his sight, and saw every man afar off clearly.

His sight was not yet clear, but he interpreted what it told him rightly. The naturalness of this description of the first impression of the restored sense strikes every reader. From the point of view which looks on our Lord’s miracles as having a symbolic character, and being, as it were, acted parables, we may see in it that which represents an analogous stage in the spiritual growth of men, when truths for which before they had no faculty of vision are seen for the first time, but are not as yet apprehended in their full or definite proportions. They need a second touch of the Divine Hand, the passing away of another film of ignorance or prejudice, and then they too see all things clearly.”
C.J. Ellicott

He saw some objects at a little distance from him, which, by their motion, he supposed to be men; otherwise his sight was so imperfect, that he could not have distinguished them from trees: he was capable of discerning the bulk of their bodies, and that they walked, or moved forward; but he could not distinguish the particular parts of their bodies; they seemed to be like trunks of trees, in an erect posture, and which he should have took for such, had it not been for their walking. As this man immediately, upon Christ's putting spittle on his eyes, and laying his hands on him, had sight given him, though it was very obscure and glimmering; so, as soon as ever the Gospel comes with power, it dispels the darkness of the mind, and introduces light; though at first it is but very small; it is let in gradually: the sinner is first convinced of the evil of his actions, and then of the sinfulness of his nature; he first sees the ability and suitableness of Christ as a Saviour, and after that his willingness, and his interest in him as such; and all this is commonly before he is so well acquainted with the dignity and infiniteness of his person, as the Son of God: and it is some time before he has his spiritual senses exercised to discern between good and evil, between truth and error; or arrives to a clear and distinct knowledge of Gospel truths, and a stability in them. Hence it is, that such are greatly harassed with Satan's temptations; are disquieted in their souls; are filled with doubts and fears, and are in danger of being imposed upon by false teachers.” - John Gill

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Gospel According to Luke
Chapter 2:1-20

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there came a decree from Augustus Caesar, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (This first taxing was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 Therefore went all to be taxed, every man to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of a city called Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David,)
5 To be taxed with Mary that was given him to wife, which was with child.
6 And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her first begotten son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a cratch, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
9 And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them, and they were sore afraid.
10 Then the Angel said unto them, Be not afraid: for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people,
11 That is, that unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign to you, Ye shall find the babe swaddled, and laid in a cratch.
13 And straightway there was with the Angel a multitude of heavenly soldiers, praising God, and saying,
14 Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and toward men good will.
15 And it came to pass when the Angels were gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said one to another, Let us go then unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath showed unto us.
16 So they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph and the babe laid in the cratch.
17 And when they had seen it, they published abroad the thing that was told them of that child.
18 And all that heard it, wondered at the things which were told them of the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all those sayings, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God, for all that they had heard and seen, as it was spoken unto them.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 8:11-12

11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to dispute with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, and tempting him.
12 Then he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, Why doth this generation seek a sign? Verily I say unto you, a sign shall not be given unto this generation.

Faith in Christ comes from within, that is to say from the Holy Spirit, there is no need for a sign. And was not the Pharisees, so blind as to not see all the works that had already been done? Were they not already deaf to the teachings of Christ in their synagogues, in the open places, in the towns and cities? Nay, their hearts were steeled and hardened against Him.

Mark informs us that it occasioned grief and bitter vexation to our Lord, when he saw those ungrateful men obstinately resist God. And certainly all who are desirous to promote the glory of God, and who feel concern about the salvation of men, ought to have such feelings that nothing would inflict on their hearts a deeper wound than to see unbelievers purposely blocking up against themselves the way of believing, and employing all their ingenuity in obscuring by their clouds the brightness of the word and works of God. The words, in his spirit, appear to me to be added emphatically, to inform us that this groan proceeded from the deepest affection of his heart, and that no sophist might allege that Christ resorted to outward attitudes to express a grief which he did not inwardly feel; for that holy soul, which was guided by the zeal of the Spirit, must have been moved by deep sadness at the sight of such wicked obstinacy.” - John Calvin

In his human soul; and which shows that he had one, and was subject to grief and sorrow, and all passions and infirmities, excepting sin. This deep sigh was on account of the hardness of their hearts, the malignity of their minds, and insincerity of their intentions; who had no view to come at truth by this inquiry, but to ensnare him. [However], many have been shown among them, and they will not believe.” - John Gill

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 7:24-30

24 And from thence he rose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would that no man should have known: but he could not be hid.
25 For a certain woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came, and fell at his feet,
26 (And the woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by nation) and she besought him that he would cast out the devil out of her daughter.
27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be fed: for it is not good to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto whelps.
28 Then she answered, and said unto him, Truth, Lord: yet indeed the whelps eat under the table of the children’s crumbs.
29 Then he said unto her, For this saying go thy way: the devil is gone out of thy daughter.
30 And when she was come home to her house, she found the devil departed, and her daughter lying on the bed.

Our Lord directed his apostles, and they proceeded: as he himself was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he ordered his disciples to go to them, and preach the Gospel to them, and work miracles among them; and not go in the way of the Gentiles, nor into any of the cities of the Samaritans; but when they had gone through the cities of Judea, he ordered them, after his resurrection, to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem: and this order they observed in other places, where there were Jews; they first preached to them, and then to the Gentiles; knowing that it was necessary, that the word of God should be first spoken to them; and it was the power of God to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile: and the expression here used, though it gives the preference to the Jew, does not exclude the Gentile; nay, it supposes, that after the Jews had had the doctrines of Christ, confirmed by his miracles, sufficiently ministered unto them, for the gathering in the chosen ones among them, and to leave the rest inexcusable; and so long as until they should despise it, and put it away from them, judging themselves unworthy of it; that then the Gentiles should have plenty of Gospel provisions set before them, and should eat of them, and be filled; and should have a large number of miracles wrought among them, and a fullness of the blessings of grace bestowed on them. The Jews are meant, who were the children of God by national adoption; who were first to be filled with the doctrines and miracles of Christ, before the Gentiles.” John Gill - Theologian

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 7:15, 19-23

15 There is nothing without a man, that can defile him, when it entereth into him: but the things which proceed out of him, are they which defile the man.
19 Because it entered not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught which is the purging of all meats?
20 Then he said, That which cometh out of man, that defileth man.
21 For from within, even out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, uncleanness, a wicked eye, backbiting, pride, foolishness.
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile a man.

Corrupt customs are best cured by rectifying corrupt notions.Now that which he goes about to set them right in, is, what the pollution is, which we are in danger of being damaged by. Not by the meat we eat, though it be eaten with unwashen hands; that is but from without, and goes through a man. But, it is by the breaking out of the corruption that is in our hearts; the mind and conscience are defiled, guilt is contracted, and we become odious in the sight of God by that which comes out of us; our wicked thoughts and affections, words and actions, these defile us, and these only. Our care must therefore be, to wash our heart from wickedness.”
Matthew Henry - Theologian

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 7:8-9, 13

8 For ye lay the Commandments of God apart, and observe the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and of cups, and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may observe your own tradition.
13 Making the word of God of none authority, by your tradition which ye have ordained: and ye do many such like things.

Verse 8 - The devices of superstitious men do not only not fulfill the Law of God (as they blasphemously persuade themselves) but also do utterly take it away.
Verse 9 - True Religion, which is clean contrary to superstition, consisteth in spiritual worship: and all enemies of true Religion, although they seem to have taken deep root, shall be plucked up.” - Footnotes - GNV Translation

The words, your own, are emphatical, distinguishing the commandments of men, the corrupt traditions of the Pharisees, from the commandments of God. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother — “Lest the charge, which our Lord brought against the Pharisees, should be thought without foundation, because it contained an imputation of such gross profaneness, he supported it by an instance of an atrocious kind. God. That which should have succoured you, is given to the temple. Thus ye hypocrites have, by your frivolous traditions, made void the commandment of God, though of immutable and eternal obligation; and disguised with the cloak of piety the most horrid and unnatural action that a man can easily be guilty of.”
Joseph Benson - Theologian

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4
Published by the American Tract Society


Meekness is especially conversant about the affection of anger: not wholly to extirpate and eradicate from the soul the holy indignation of which the Scriptures speak, for that were to quench a coal which sometimes there is occasion for, even at God's altar, and to blunt the edge even of the spiritual weapons with which we are to carry on our spiritual warfare; but its office is to direct and govern this affection, that we may be angry and not sin. (Read Ephesians 4:26.)

[Now], meekness, in the school of the philosophers, is a virtue consisting in a mean between the extremes of rash excessive anger on the one hand, and a defect of anger on the other; a mean which Aristotle confesses it very hard exactly to gain. [Conversely], meekness, in the school of Christ, is one of the fruits of the Spirit. (Read Galatians5:22-23). It is a grace wrought by the Holy Ghost both as a sanctifier and as a comforter in the hearts of all true believers, teaching and enabling them at all times to keep their passions under the conduct and government of religion and right reason. I observe that it is wrought in the hearts of all true believers, because, though there are some whose natural temper is unhappily sour and harsh, yet wheresoever there is true grace, there is a disposition to strive against, and strength in some measure to conquer such a disposition. And though in this, as in other graces, an absolute sinless perfection cannot be expected in this present state, yet we are to labor after it, and press towards it. [Psalm 37:8; Read James 1:19]

More particularly, the work and office of meekness is to enable us prudently to govern our own anger when at any time we are provoked, and patiently to bear the anger of others, that it may not be a provocation to us. The former is its office especially in superiors, the latter in inferiors, and both in equals.

Meekness teaches us prudently to govern our own anger whenever any thing occurs that is provoking. As it is the work of temperance to moderate our natural appetites in things that are pleasing to sense, so it is the work of meekness to moderate our natural passions against those things that are displeasing to sense, and to guide and govern our resentments. Anger in the soul is like mettle in a horse, good if it be well managed. Now meekness is the bridle, as wisdom is the hand that gives law to it, puts it into the right way, and keeps it in an even, steady, and regular pace; reducing it when it turns aside, preserving it in a due decorum, and restraining it and giving it check when at any time it grows headstrong and outrageous, and threatens mischief to ourselves or others. It must thus be held in, like the horse and mule, with bit and bridle, lest it break the hedge, run over those that stand in its way, or throw the rider himself headlong. It is true of anger, as we say of fire, that it is a good servant but a "bad master;" it is good on the hearth, but bad in the hangings. Meekness keeps it in its place, sets banks to this sea, and says, Hitherto thou shalt come, and no further; here shall thy proud waves be stayed.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 6:53-56

53 And they came over, and went into the land of Gennesaret, and arrived.
54 So when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,
55 And ran about throughout all that region round about, and began to carry hither and thither in couches all that were sick, where they heard that he was.
56 And whithersoever he entered into towns, or cities, or villages, they laid their sick in the streets, and prayed him that they might touch at the least the edge of his garment. And as many as touched him, were made whole.

Related Scripture

Verse 56b
Numbers 15:38-40


In the above-mentioned related scripture, we read of how God instructed the children of Isreal to prepare the hems of their garments in a special manner. This was to remind them and to signify their satisfaction and in likewise remind them of being holy for God Himself is holy.

And so, as we read in verse fifty-six, we see that Christ Himself, held on, and observed that command, but it also, shows that He, likened Himself to the Creator by being holy, and, signified his authority.

This authority, as given unto Him by the Holy Spirit, allowed for Him to, among other things, heal others.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 6:35-44

35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, saying, This is a desert place, and now the day is far passed.
36 Let them depart, that they may go into the country and towns about, and buy them bread: for they have nothing to eat.
37 But he answered, and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said unto him, Shall we go, and buy two hundred pennies worth of bread, and give them to eat?
38 Then he said unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and look. And when they knew it, they said, Five, and two fishes.
39 So he commanded them to make them all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
40 Then they sat down by rows, by hundreds, and by fifties.
41 And he took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looked up to heaven, and gave thanks, and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them, and the two fishes he divided among them all.
42 So they did all eat, and were satisfied.
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
44 And they that had eaten, were about five thousand men.


Today, we read of the feeding of the thousands. There are two verses that have been impressed upon the mind of this writer; those being verses thirty-seven and forty-four.

In the former, we find our Redeemer instructing His disciples to feed those who had come to hear Him. This is to say, that it is our duty to care for the well-being of others. In the latter verse, it is found the fulfillment of God's promise to increase one hundred fold or more to those that earnestly seek Him.

The disciples moved that they should be sent home. When the day was not far spent, and night drew on, they said, This is a desert place, and much time is now past; send them away to buy bread. This the disciples suggested to Christ; but we do not find that the multitude themselves did. They did not say, Send us away (though they could not but be hungry), for they esteemed the words of Christ’s mouth more than their necessary food, and forgot themselves when they were hearing him; but the disciples thought it would be a kindness to them to dismiss them. [Make] note: Willing minds will do more, and hold out longer, in that which is good, than one would expect from them. Christ ordered that they should all be fed. ‘Give ye them to eat.’ Though their crowding after him and his disciples hindered them from eating, yet he would not therefore, to be even with them, send them away fasting, but, to teach us to be kind to those who are rude to us, he ordered provision to be made for them; that bread which Christ and his disciples took with them into the desert, that they might make a quiet meal of it for themselves, he will have them to partake of. Thus was he given to hospitality.

This miracle was significant, and shows that Christ came into the world, to be the great feeder as well as the great healer; not only to restore, but to preserve and nourish, spiritual life; and in him there is enough for all that come to him, enough to fill the soul, to fill the treasures; none are sent empty away from Christ, but those that come to him full of themselves. Care was taken of the fragments that remained, with which they filled twelve baskets. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he would hereby teach us, not to make waste of any of God’s good creatures; remembering how many there are that do want, and that we know not but we may some time or other want such fragments as we throw away.” - Matthew Henry - Theologian

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 6:30-32

30 And the Apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
31 And he said unto them, Come ye apart into the wilderness, and rest a while: for there were many comers and goers, that they had not leisure to eat.
32 So they went by ship out of the way into a desert place.


As did our Creator take rest from His labors on the Sabbath day, likewise, should we take rest to refresh and restore ourselves from our works, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Where they might be free from noise and hurry, and take some rest and refreshment, after their wearisome journey, hard labours, and great fatigue in preaching and working miracles; which shows the great compassion, tenderness, and care of Christ, for his disciples: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat; the people were continually going to and fro; as soon as one company was gone, who came with their sick and diseased to be healed, or upon one account or another, another came: so that there was no opportunity of private meditation and prayer, nor of spiritual converse together: nor even so much as to eat a meal's meat for the refreshment of nature.” - John Gill - Theologian

Rest is necessary for those who labor; and a zealous preacher of the Gospel will as often stand in need of it” - Adam Clarke - Theologian

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 6:11-13

11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust that is under your feet, for a witness unto them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be easier for Sodom, or Gomorrah at the day of Judgment, than for that city.
12 And they went out, and preached, that men should amend their lives.
13 And they cast out many devils: and they anointed many that were sick, with oil, and healed them. depart thence, shake off the dust that is under your feet, for a witness unto them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be easier for Sodom, or Gomorrah at the day of Judgment, than for that city.


Consider this; that the twelve, (and we likewise), were, and are, ambassadors of Christ. Now, ambassadors, have all authority given unto to them by those that have sent them. They can speak in their name. If those who they have been sent, reject the message, then they likewise reject He that sent them.

Make note, that they preached the Gospel of Christ, which is a Gospel of repentance, and of the mercy and grace offered unto to those who are lost, and condemned by sin. Now, we see in verse thirteen, how, they performed all the works that Christ (the authority as mentioned above), would do in person. However, and this is important. If one did reject the message sent, along with the works, then the works themselves were of no effect. If we recall in the preceding chapter, how Christ was rejected in His home village, and how he was limited to what He would do, then we can see how it is acceptance, belief, and faith, that allow the workings of God to go forth.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4
Published by the American Tract Society


Meekness may be considered with respect both to God and to our brethren; it belongs to both the tables of the law, and attends upon the first great commandment, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God; as well as the second, which is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; though its especial reference is to the latter. [Read Mark 12:29-33]

There is MEEKNESS TOWARDS God, and it is the easy and quiet submission of the soul to his whole will, according as he is pleased to make it known, whether by his word or by his providence.

It is the silent submission of the soul to the word of God: the understanding bowed to every divine truth, and the will to every divine precept; and both without murmuring or disputing. The word is then an "engrafted word," when it is received with meekness, that is, with a sincere willingness to be taught, and desire to learn. Meekness is a grace that cleaves the stock, and holds it open, that the word, as a shoot, may be grafted in; it breaks up the fallow ground, and makes it fit to receive the seed; captivates the high thoughts, and lays the soul like white paper under God's pen. When the dayspring takes hold of the ends of the earth, it is said to be turned as clay to the seal. (Read Job 38:14). Meekness does, in like manner, dispose the soul to admit the rays of divine light, which before it rebelled against; it opens the heart, as Lydia's was opened, and sets us down with Mary at the feet of Christ, the learner's place and posture.

The promise of teaching is made to the meek, because they are disposed to learn: "the meek he will teach his way." The word of God is gospel indeed, "good tidings to the meek;" they will entertain it and bid it welcome. The "poor in spirit" are evangelized; and Wisdom's alms are given to those that with meekness wait daily at her gates, and like beggars wait at the posts of her doors. (Read Proverbs 8:34). The language of this meekness is that of the child Samuel: "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth;" [Read 1 Samuel 3:10], and that of Joshua, who, when he was in that high post of honor, giving command to Israel, and bidding defiance to all their enemies—his breast filled with great and bold thoughts—yet, upon the intimation of a message from heaven, thus submits himself to it: "What saith my Lord unto his servant?”[Read Joshua 5:14] and that of Paul—and it was the first breath of the new man—"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"[Read Acts 9:6] and that of Cornelius: "And now we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God;"[Read Acts 10:32-34] and that of the good man I have read of, who, when he was going to hear the word, used to say, "Now let the word of the Lord come; and if I had six hundred necks, I would bow them all to the authority of it." To receive the word with meekness, is to be delivered into it as into a mould: this seems to be Paul's metaphor in (Read Romans 6:17), that "form of doctrine which was delivered you." Meekness softens the wax, that it may receive the impression of the seal, whether it be for doctrine or reproof, for correction or instruction in righteousness. It opens the ear to discipline, silences objections, and suppresses the risings of the carnal mind against the word; consenting to the law that it is good and esteeming all the precepts concerning all things to be right, even when they give the greatest check to flesh and blood. It is the silent submission of the soul to the providence of God, for that also is the will of God concerning us.

When the events of Providence are grievous and afflictive, displeasing to sense and crossing our secular interests, meekness not only quiets us under them, but reconciles us to them; and enables us not only to bear, but to receive evil as well as good at the hand of the Lord; which is the excellent frame that Job argues himself into: it is to kiss the rod, and even to accept of the punishment of our iniquity, taking all in good part that God does; not daring to strive with our Maker, no nor desiring to prescribe to him, but being dumb, and not opening the mouth, because God does it. How meek was Aaron under the severe dispensation which took away his sons with a particular mark of divine wrath. He "held his peace." God was sanctified, and therefore Aaron was satisfied, and had not a word to say against it. Unlike to this was the temper, or rather the distemper of David, who was not like a man after God's own heart when he was displeased because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah, as if God must have asked David leave thus to assert the honor of his ark. When God's anger is kindled, our must be stifled; such is the law of meekness, that whatsoever pleases God must not displease us. David was in a better frame when he penned the 56thPsalm, the title of which, some think, bespeaks the calmness and submissiveness of his spirit when the Philistines took him in Gath. It is entitled, The silent dove afar off. It was his calamity that he was afar off, but he was then as a silent dove—mourning perhaps, Isa. 38:14—but not murmuring, not struggling, not resisting, when seized by the birds of prey; and the psalm he penned in this frame was Michtam, a golden psalm. The language of this meekness is that of Eli, "It is the Lord;" and that of David to the same purport, "Here am I; let him do to me as seemeth good unto him." Not only, He can do what he will, subscribing to his power, for who can stay his hand? or, He may do what he will, subscribing to his sovereignty, for he gives not account of any of his matters; or, He will do what he will, subscribing to his unchangeableness, for he is of one mind, and who can turn him? but, Let him do what he will, subscribing to his wisdom and goodness, as Hezekiah, "Good is the word of the Lord, which thou hast spoken." Let him do what he will, for he will do what is best; and therefore if God should refer the matter to me, says the meek and quiet soul, being well assured that he knows what is good for me better than I do for myself, I would refer it to him again: "He shall choose our inheritance for us."

When the methods of Providence are dark and intricate, and we are quite at a loss what God is about to do with us—his way is in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known, clouds and darkness are round about him—a meek and quiet spirit acquiesces in an assurance that all things shall work together for good to us, if we love God, though we cannot apprehend how or which way. It teaches us to follow God with an implicit faith, as Abraham did when he went out, not knowing whither he went, but knowing very well whom he followed. It quiets us with this, that though what he doeth we know not now, yet we shall know hereafter. John 13:7. When poor Job was brought to that dismal plunge, that he could no way trace the footsteps of divine Providence, but was almost lost in the labyrinth, Job 23:8, 9, how quietly does he sit down with this thought: "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 6:1-6

1 And he departed thence, and came into his own country, and his disciples followed him.
2 And when the Sabbath was come, he began to teach in the Synagogue, and many that heard him, were astonied, and said, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this that is given unto him, that even such great works are done by his hands?
3 Is not this that carpenter Mary’s son, the brother of James and Joses, and of Judas and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him.
4 And Jesus said unto them, A Prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kindred, and in his own house.
5 And he could there do no great works, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6 And he marveled at their unbelief, and went about by the towns on every side, teaching.


Where there is no faith, the power of God becomes limited, in so far as there is more unbelief, than belief. Those that wish not to seek Him, cannot expect His works to be performed for them, when in times of due crisis.

Related Scripture:

Verse 6:1 - Matthew 13:54; Luke 4:16
Verse 6:4 - Matthew 13:57; Luke 4:24; John 4:44
Verse 6:6 - Matthew 4:23; Luke 13:22

Mark 6:1 - The faithless world doth no whit at all diminish the virtue of Christ, but wittingly and willingly depriveth itself of the efficacy of it, being offered unto them.

Mark 6:2 - The word signifieth powers, or virtues, whereby are meant those wonderful works that Christ did, which showed and set forth the virtue and power of his Godhead to all the world, (Read Matthew 7:22).

Mark 6:3 - After the manner of the Hebrews, who by brethren and sisters, understand all their kinfolks.

Mark 6:4 - Not only that hath that honor which of right is due to him taken from him, but also evil spoken of and misreported.

Mark 6:5 - That is, he would not: for we must needs have faith, if we will receive the works of God.” - Footnotes from GNV Translation

It seems they could not bear to see one so low in life as Jesus was, doing things which they fancied were peculiar to that idol of their vanity, a glorious triumphant secular Messiah. Our Lord, therefore, having made this second trial,with a view to see whether the Nazarenes would endure his ministry, and to shew to the world that his not residing in part among them was owing to their stubbornness and wickedness, he left them; and in this example the evil and punishment of misimproving spiritual advantages is clearly set forth before all who hear the Gospel.”
Thomas Coke - Theologian

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 5:22-36

22 And behold, there came one of the rulers of the Synagogue, whose name was Jairus: and when he saw him, he fell down at his feet,
23 And besought him instantly, saying, My little daughter lieth at point of death: I pray thee that thou wouldest come and lay thine hands on her, that she may be healed, and live.
24 Then he went with him, and a great multitude followed him and thronged him.
25 (And there was a certain woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and it availed her nothing, but she became much worse.
27 When she had heard of Jesus, she came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, if I may but touch his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the course of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body, that she was healed of that plague.
30 And immediately when Jesus did know in himself the virtue that went out of him, he turned him round about in the press, and said, Who hath touched my clothes?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude throng thee, and sayest thou, Who did touch me?
32 And he looked round about, to see her that had done that.
33 And the woman feared and trembled: for she knew what was done in her, and she came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.
34 And he said to her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole: go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.)
35 While he yet spake, there came from the same ruler of the Synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why diseasest thou the master any further?
36 As soon as Jesus heard that word spoken, he said unto the ruler of the Synagogue, Be not afraid: only believe.

Herein, above we find two truths: One, worship(see verse 22 and 33), and two faith(see verse 23 and 34). Of the former, those that would worship Him earnestly, and seek Him earnestly (in all humility and humble adoration), can expect themselves to be heard and responded to by our Creator. Of the later, it is our faith in Him to deliver on His promises, that moves us to help others.

Below commentary by John Gill - Theologian

Verse 22
Though he was a person of such authority; yet having heard much of the doctrine and miracles of Christ, and believing him to be a great prophet, and man of God; though he might not know that he was the Messiah, and truly God, threw himself at his feet; and, as Matthew says, "worshipped him", ( Read Matthew 9:18 ) ; showed great reverence and respect unto him, gave him homage, at least in a civil way, though he might not adore him as God.”

Verse 33
Who came of herself, and with the greatest reverence to his person, and sense of her own unworthiness, threw herself at his feet, and gave him a relation of the whole matter, with the utmost truth and, exactness; what had been her case, what was her faith, and what she had done, and what a cure she had received; and which she acknowledged with the greatest thankfulness. In some copies it is added, "before all"; before Christ and his disciples, and the throng of people that were along with him: she that came behind Christ, and privately took hold of the hem of his garment, her faith secretly going out unto him; now appears openly before him, not being able to hide herself any longer. Nor is she ashamed to tell what she had done, and had been done in her: truth is to be spoken, even all the truth; no one has reason to be ashamed of that, and especially of the truth of grace, truth in the inward parts; this is what God requires, and gives, and delights in. The secret experiences of grace in our souls we should not be ashamed to relate to others; this makes for the glory of divine grace, and the good of others. In some copies it is read, "and told him all her cause before all": her whole affair, how it had been with her, and now was, and what was the cause of her taking such a method she did.”

Verse 23
Expressing faith in the power of Christ to restore his daughter, though in the utmost extremity; yet seemed to think his presence, and the imposition of his hands were necessary to it.”

Verse 34
Through faith in Christ she received the cure from him; for it was not her act of faith that either merited, or procured it, but his power, and he himself the object of her faith that effected it: though he is pleased to take no further notice of the virtue that went out from him; but commends her faith, for her further and future encouragement in the exercise of it, and for the encouragement of others to believe in him. In the Greek text it is, "thy faith hath saved thee"; both from her bodily disease, and from her sins: not that there is such an intrinsic virtue in faith as to deliver from either; for certain it is, that it was not virtue that went out of her faith, but virtue which went out from Christ, that cured her of her issue; though faith was the means of drawing it out; or it was that, through which, virtue from Christ exerted itself, and produced such an effect: and it is as certain, that not faith, but Christ, is the author and cause of spiritual salvation: faith looks to Christ for salvation, and receives every blessing of it from him, as righteousness, peace, pardon, adoption, and eternal life; so that believers are saved by grace, through faith; through the exercise of that grace they have the joy, and comfort Of salvation now; and through it they are kept, by the power of God, unto the full possession of it hereafter.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 5:18-20

18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil, prayed him that he might be with him.
19 Howbeit, Jesus would not suffer him, but said unto him, Go thy way home to thy friends, and show them what great things the Lord hath done unto thee, and how he hath had compassion on thee.
20 So he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis, what great things Jesus had done unto him: and all men did marvel.


We read in verse twenty how the formerly possessed man, had become an evangelist, a missionary for Christ. Wherein, he went to places where the Master Himself, was unwelcome and subsequently did not go. Not out of fear for His Own person, but because His message would not be received.

To be a missionary for Christ, in the region where he was so well known and so long dreaded, was a far nobler calling than to follow Him where nobody had ever heard of Him, and where other trophies not less illustrious could be raised by the same power and grace. In this grateful soul's petition to be with Jesus, we see the clinging feeling of all Christ's freed-men toward Himself; while in his departure, when Jesus suggested something better, and in his itineracy through Decapolis with the story of his deliverance, himself a living story of the grace and power of the Lord Jesus, we may read these words: The liberated believer a missionary for Christ!”
Source - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged - Ed. 1871

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 4:21-25

21 Also he said unto them, Cometh the candle in, to be put under a bushel, or under the bed, and not to be put in a candlestick?
22 For there is nothing hid, that shall not be opened, neither is there a secret, but that it shall come to light.
23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear. With what measure you mete, it shall be measured unto you: and unto you that hear, shall more be given.
25 For unto him that hath, shall it be given, and from him that hath not, shall be taken away even that he hath


A ray of light, as it moves farther away from its source widens and expands. So that all might be captured and seen in its light. So also does the Gospel of Christ, reveal all that it shines upon. There is no darkness so deep that it cannot illuminate. There is no darkness in the souls and minds of man, that it cannot shine upon. Whether they accept it is then up to themselves.

Be careful friends upon what you hear, and to choose your words with wisdom. Be vigilant in your discernment as to what coincides with the Word of God. Judge all things based on His righteousness. For as you do so, remember that likewise, all that you do will also be seen and judged as well.

Finally brethren; make note that both the light of Christ's Gospel and how we use it to demonstrate God's love and mercy will be illuminated and seen by our Creator.

Although the light of the Gospel be rejected of the world, yet it ought to be lighted, if it were for no other cause than this, that the wickedness of the world might be made manifest. The more liberally that we communicate such gifts as God hath given us with our brethren, the more bountiful will God be toward us.” Study notes Geneva Bible translation Ed. 1599

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Book of Judges
Chapter 10:6, 14, 16
Geneva Bible 
Translation Ed. 1599

6 And the children of Israel wrought wickedness again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, and the gods of Sidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord and served not him.
14 Go, and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen: let them save you in the time of your tribulation.
16 Then they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

The patience of the Lord is long suffering. Indeed, He is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Yet there are times when it is we that turn our faces away from Him, that He allows us to wallow in the misery of our own making. We are reminded here of the parable of the weary judge in the Gospel of Luke 18:5-8, of the judge who is entreated by the widow continuously to take action in a matter. The lesson learned here is two fold; remain steadfast in your belief and serving of God, and secondly God does hear, and will take action on your behalf, should you falter, yet return to him, confess, and put away your sin.

Study notes
They were so dreadfully sunk into idolatry, that they had wholly forsaken the Lord and his worship at the tabernacle, and made no pretensions to it, but entirely neglected it. They grew worse and worse, and so ripened themselves for ruin. Before they worshiped God and idols together, now they forsake God, and wholly cleave to idols. They had not been forced to worship those gods by their oppressors; but had freely chosen them before Him.
Gill and Wesley (Ed. by RPW Sr.)

While those two judges, Tola and Jair, presided in the affairs of Israel, things went well, but afterwards: Israel returned to their idolatry, that sin which did most easily beset them (verse 6). They did evil again in the sight of the Lord, from whom they were unaccountably bent to backslide, as a foolish people and unwise. If they did it in compliment to the neighboring nations, and to ingratiate themselves with them, justly were they disappointed; for those nations which by their wicked arts they sought to make their friends by the righteous judgments of God became their enemies and oppressors. In quo quis peccat, in eo punitur—Wherein a person offends, therein he shall be punished. They did not so much as admit the God of Israel to be one of those many deities they worshipped, but quite cast him off: They forsook the Lord, and served not him at all. Those that think to serve both God and Mammon will soon come entirely to forsake God, and to serve Mammon only. If God have not all the heart, he will soon have none of it. God renewed his judgments upon them, bringing them under the power of oppressing enemies. Had they fallen into the hands of the Lord immediately, they might have found that his mercies were great; but God let them fall into the hands of man, whose tender mercies are cruel. Yet later onward we read that they made a humble confession to God in their distress, (verse 10). Now they own themselves guilty, like a malefactor upon the rack, and promise reformation, like a child under the rod. They not only complain of the distress, but acknowledge it is their own sin that has brought them into the distress; therefore God is righteous, and they have no reason to repine. They confess their omissions, for in them their sin began. It was kind that God took notice of their cry, and did not turn a deaf ear to it and send them no answer at all; it was kind likewise that when they began to repent he sent them such a message as was proper to increase their repentance, that they might be qualified and prepared for deliverance. True penitents dare and will refer themselves to God to correct them as he thinks fit, knowing that their sin is highly malignant in its deserts, and that God is not rigorous or extreme in his demands. They supplicate for God’s mercy: Deliver us only, we pray thee, this day, from this enemy. They acknowledge what they deserved, yet pray to God not to deal with them according to their deserts. Note, We must submit to God’s justice with a hope in his mercy. They knew it was to no purpose to go to the gods whom they had served, and therefore returned to the God whom they had slighted. This is true repentance not only for sin, but from sin. God’s gracious return in mercy to them, which is expressed here very tenderly (verse 16). His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. Not that there is any grief in God (he has infinite joy and happiness in himself, which cannot be broken in upon by either the sins or the miseries of his creatures), nor that there is any change in God: he is in one mind, and who can turn him? But his goodness is his glory. By it he proclaims his name, and magnifies it above all names; and, as he is pleased to put himself into the relation of a father to his people that are in covenant with him, so he is pleased to represent his goodness to them by the compassions of a father towards his children; for, as he is the Father of lights, so he is the Father of mercies. As the disobedience and misery of a child are a grief to a tender father, and make him feel very sensibly from his natural affection, so the provocations of God’s people are a grief to him (Psalm 95:10 ), he is broken with their whorish heart (Ezekiel 6:9 ); their troubles also are a grief to him; so he is pleased to speak when he is pleased to appear for the deliverance of his people, changing his way and method of proceeding, as tender parents when they begin to relent towards their children with whom they have been displeased. Such are the tender mercies of our God, and so far is he from having any pleasure in the death of sinners.
Matthew Henry - Theologian - 1662 - 1714 (Ed. RPW Sr.)