What Jesus Did! 'Limited Doses and Visual Hooks' — Mark 4:33

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.
— Mark 4:33 NLT
Illustration of Mark 4:33 NLT — Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.

Key Thought

Jesus was an incredible teacher in his earthly ministry. He used common, everyday images as hooks on which to hang eternal truth. The people would see those images in their day-to-day lives and then would be reminded of the eternal truth that Jesus hooked to the image. That method was crucial. The people couldn't understand everything all at once. Until his death and resurrection and without the work of the Holy Spirit, much of what he said and meant was a mystery. Yet those images allowed him to share messages "pregnant" with meaning. Later, as the disciples learned more about Jesus' life and ministry and as the Holy Spirit began to work in each follower's life, they could see the visual image, take Jesus' message off the visual hook, and more fully understand his message. Teaching God's truth is an awesome and humbling responsibility. Jesus is the great reminder that it is also a creative responsibility. More than just communicating a message, we're communicating God's will to people who need to understand, to obey, and to be blessed by this message.

Today's Prayer

God, my dear Abba Father, please help me to be more creative and effective in my teaching of your will. I know that Jesus was a powerful teacher in word and deed. I want my life to display what I teach so others know that this message is not only true but also livable. I also want to help others understand the power, beauty, mystery, grace, and holiness of your will. I know that I cannot do so on my efforts alone. So, dear Father, I commit to becoming a better steward of the grace you have given me as a teacher. I will do my creative best. However, Father, I ask that your Spirit take what is good and make it much better and that your grace take what is bad and remove it from my life while keeping it from being a hindrance to those eager to know your truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
  • 1 Peter 4:10-11
  • James 3:1; Romans 12:6-7 NIV

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.