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Perspective 1- Barb Miles 

One of the discussion questions for this chapter is “Why did Jesus use parables as a way to teach people.”  Using parables to help us apply God’s word brings it down to me as my “Lower Story.” An example is in Jesus’ sermon where he talked about how we should act when “Giving to the Needy”, we as a church are led by members to see and hear where the needs in our community lie.  So we silently walk into the narthex with our contributions for the week.  There is no tally of who is giving what or how much.  Jesus does not want us to be boastful in our mission work. He knows what we have done and that is sufficient.

Between Jesus teaching us with parables and his personal ministry of healing to any one with a need, and His example of taking His own time to be silent in prayer, we have been given many ways to look at how we use our time each day and let His word lead us.  I am thankful for Jesus knowing my needs.

Lord Jesus, for all You are and do, thank you.  Amen.

Perspective 2- Dan Petrak 

Perspective 3- Pastor Ron 

Mark 4:33 – “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand”

I had never really paid attention to that verse before, but now that it has my attention I wonder how much more Jesus wanted to tell them.  It leaves the reader with the impression that Jesus had lots more to tell them, but they just couldn’t handle any more at the moment.  His teaching was so radically different from what they had been hearing from the religious leaders of the day that they could only take in so much at a time.   I wonder if Jesus was ever anxious about having enough time to teach the disciples everything?  I wonder how much more He would have taught if he had four years with them instead of just three?

Maybe the most significant implication to my new-found attention on this verse is the implication for me.  How much more does Jesus want to teach me, but he has to dole it out judicially because, after all, I can only take in so much at a time.

Perspective 4- Pastor Phil 

I love the pursuit of exploration. We are invited to see, maybe for the first time, who this guy Jesus is. Last week we did see that he is no ordinary man when he was baptized and led into the desert to be tempted. But, what I really love about the chapter this week is we get to see the essence of Jesus ministry, the very core of who he is and what he came to do.

The first part of the chapter highlights his teaching, as he spoke in parables to communicate his message that people often didn’t understand. He also spoke very plainly to them in the case of the Sermon on the Mount. His message was clear and people were amazed at his understanding as he taught with authority. Was Jesus just a great teacher? No, he was a great teacher but the second half of the chapter shows us that he is soooo much more. He showed that he had command over the wind and waves and was able to heal people of various illnesses and drive demons out of people. This led his disciples to proclaim that this man must be the Son of God.

Who is this man to you? Just a great teacher, just a great miracle worker…or is he soooo much more? May the Holy Spirit lead us to see the truth as we read and explore who this man Jesus is.

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