Sunday, March 17, 2024

Restory Church: Interpretive Guides are Intentional Disciple-Makers

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The healthy church is a landscape of spiritual mentorship where disciples recognise their role as disciple-makers. They mentor others as interpretive guides – individuals who lead others through life's decisions and faith transitions while also equipping them with the same skills. In essence, they empower others to become guides themselves, fostering a ripple effect of wisdom and support within the church and wider community. Disciples are disciple-makers.

At the core of this approach lies the art of interpretive guidance. Imagine working at an info booth in a city - handing out maps and helping travellers interpret those maps. Or working in a national park as a trail guide where you serve as both interpreter of the people and their skills and the guide leading them, based on their skill level, to their destination on a route they can both enjoy and accomplish. An interpretive guide is not a scholar but a well-resourced friend. 

Being an interpretive guide in a faith setting is a practice that invites deep reflection, exploration, and understanding. Rather than offering ready-made solutions, Interpretive guides are disciple-makers who facilitate a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth. They ask thought-provoking questions, listen empathetically, and create a safe space for individuals to wrestle with life's complexities.

Consider the story of Sarah, a young professional grappling with a career dilemma. Unsure of which path to take, she turns to her interpretive guide, Rachel, for guidance. Through a series of reflective conversations, Rachel helps Sarah explore her values, passions, and long-term aspirations. They pray together and delve into the Scriptures, seeking wisdom and discernment. With Rachel's gentle guidance, Sarah gains clarity and confidence to make a decision aligned with her faith and purpose.

Similarly, John finds himself navigating a challenging faith transition. Feeling adrift and uncertain, he seeks support from his disciple-maker, Mark. Through their discussions, Mark encourages John to explore his doubts and questions, providing a safe space for him to voice his struggles. They pray together, and examine theological teachings and scientific research, allowing John to reconcile his faith journey with newfound insights.

The impact of interpretive guides who are also disciple-makers extends beyond individual guidance. They also invest in the development of future leaders, equipping disciples with the skills of Scriptural interpretation and spiritual wisdom. As disciples learn to guide others through life's complexities, they not only deepen their own understanding but also multiply disciples within their church community.

Imagine a network of empowered leaders, each serving as a beacon of guidance and encouragement to those in need. This is the vision of Interpretive guide disciple-makers – a community committed to walking alongside others, offering light in times of darkness and hope in moments of uncertainty.

If you feel called to join this transformative journey, I invite you to embrace the role of being an Interpretive guide disciple-maker. Whether you're a seasoned mentor or a budding disciple, there's a place for you in this movement of empowerment and growth. Ask a leader you respect to mentor you. And, offer the invitation to a new Christian to “Follow me as I follow Christ.”

10 Skills of an Interpretive Guide

Empathy: The ability to understand and share the feelings of others, fostering a deep connection and creating a safe space for exploration.

Active Listening: Being fully present and engaged in the conversation, allowing individuals to express themselves freely and feel heard.

Cultural Competence: Understanding and respecting diverse cultural perspectives, ensuring inclusivity and relevance in interpretive discussions.

Open-mindedness: Maintaining a non-judgmental attitude and being open to various interpretations, allowing for a richer exploration of theological concepts.

Effective Communication: Clearly conveying ideas and concepts, adapting communication styles to meet the diverse needs of those seeking interpretation.

Reflective Practice: Continuously evaluating and improving one's own interpretive skills through self-reflection and learning from experiences.

Balancing Authority and Humility: Striking a balance between sharing knowledge and recognizing the subjective nature of interpretation, promoting a humble approach.

Adaptability: Being flexible in responding to different learning styles, perspectives, and unexpected shifts in the interpretive process.

Facilitation Skills: Guiding group discussions effectively, creating an environment that encourages active participation and respectful dialogue.

Spiritual Wisdom: Drawing from a deep understanding of religious teachings and practices, providing a solid foundation for interpretation within a spiritual context.

Interpretive Guide Coaching Session and Example Questions

Opening Reflection: How would you describe your current understanding or feelings about the topic we're exploring today?

Scriptural Connection: Are there any specific scriptures or teachings that come to mind when considering this aspect of your life or situation?

Personal Relevance: How do you see this aspect aligning with your personal values and beliefs?

Historical Perspective: Can you share any experiences or events from your past that might influence your perspective on this matter?

Community Impact: In what ways do you think your beliefs about this topic affect your relationships within your community or congregation?

Exploring Alternatives: Have you considered different interpretations or approaches to this issue, and if so, what insights have you gained?

Practical Application: How might your understanding of this concept guide your actions and decisions in your daily life?

Open-ended Inquiry: Is there anything else you'd like to share or explore regarding this topic that we haven't touched upon?

Reflective Pause: Take a moment to reflect on our conversation. What thoughts or feelings arise as you consider our discussion?

Future Integration: How can you integrate the insights gained from our conversation into your ongoing spiritual journey and practical living?

Interpretive Guide Life Topics and Example Questions

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Core Values Assessment: What values are most important to you in making this decision? How do they align with your spiritual beliefs?

Prayerful Consideration: Have you taken time to pray about this decision, seeking guidance from God?

Wise Counsel: Have you sought advice from trusted individuals within your faith community or mentors who can provide valuable perspectives?

Scriptural Guidance: Are there scriptures or teachings that directly relate to the decision you are facing? How can they inform your choice?

Past Learning: Reflect on previous life decisions. What lessons have you learned from those experiences that might be relevant to the current decision?

Spiritual Goals Alignment: How does this decision align with your spiritual goals and the broader purpose you believe you are called to?

Inner Peace Indicator: When you think about each option, pay attention to your inner sense of peace or unrest. How does each choice impact your spiritual well-being?

Impact on Others: Consider the potential impact of your decision on your relationships and community. How might it align with your commitment to others?

Long-Term Vision: Envision the long-term consequences of each choice. How do they align with your vision for your life within the framework of your faith?

Trusting the Process: Are you willing to trust in the guidance of your faith and embrace the uncertainty that comes with making decisions in alignment with your spiritual beliefs?

Restory Church: Cultivating a Healthy Narrative - Empowering Lay-Led Church Communities

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Due to financial strain caused by declining attendance, recession, and increased cost of living a crucial shift is needed in the landscape of church leadership and management dynamics. This restructuring must place volunteers, the local laity, at the forefront of faith community building.

While this financial strain may be the impetus for change, it will not serve well as the master story. Bad news grabs eager eyeballs but it doesn’t grow healthy hearts. Stories of hellfire do not generate lasting change. Stories of the Kingdom of God and its eternal reign of love, healing and peace are so effective that Jesus made them His bread and butter - and His Kingdom is still growing! A meta-narrative that connects the local church with the eternal Kingdom is the only story that will do. Jesus is all. 

Cultivating a healthy narrative within a lay-led church community is not just about sharing stories but about educating and empowering individuals to shape their story through intentional engagement. Behavioural change specialists say to change a habit - personal or corporate - only one thing is needed: record keeping. The questions you follow up with story-gathering (statistics/responses) will motivate change. While it may feel like a watched pot never boils, watching behaviour intentionally (record keeping) causes rapid change in groups and individuals. So, let's explore how to foster the creation of a healthy church narrative through the crafting of personal, relational, and communal skills.

1. Personal Skills: Unveiling Authentic Narratives

At the heart of a healthy narrative lies the power of personal connections. Empower individuals to share their life stories, fostering genuine connections within the community. This involves:

Sharing Personal Stories: Encourage individuals to articulate their faith journeys, weaving a tapestry of shared experiences. What has Jesus done for you or in you this week?

Intentionality: Guide members to align their actions with their values, fostering purposeful engagement. How did your faith guide your decisions this week?

Cultural Competency: Equip individuals with the skills to navigate diverse backgrounds with sensitivity and understanding. What idea or reality did you open your heart to outside your comfort zone this week?

Prayer and Discernment: Foster a practice of prayerful discernment, guiding individuals to understand the needs of others and shape thoughtful outreach approaches. How did the Holy Spirit guide you toward loving others this week?

2. Relational Skills: Crafting Meaningful Connections

Effective communication is key to nurturing a healthy narrative within the community. Elevate the relational fabric by:

Effective Communication: Enhance communication skills by inverting in meaningful connections that resonate within the community. Who have you connected to in the wider community this week?

Active Listening: Develop the ability to listen attentively and comprehend the stories and experiences of fellow community members. What did you learn by saying “tell me more” this week?

Invitational Mindset: Cultivate an inviting approach that welcomes others into the folds of the community with warmth and inclusivity. What invitations did you accept this week? What invitations did you give?

Conflict Resolution: Equip individuals with the grace to resolve differences, preserving positive relationships within the community. How did you serve as a mediator this week?

3. Communal Skills: Bridging Gaps for Growth

A healthy narrative thrives when all members actively contribute to the growth and engagement of the church. Foster communal skills by:

Community Needs Assessment: Understand and address specific local needs to lay the foundation for impactful community engagement. What needs have you seen this week?

Inclusive Outreach Strategies: Craft approaches that appeal to a diverse audience, ensuring the community is welcoming to all. What demographic have you seen uniquely served this week? What demographic did you see in need of loving attention?

Active Community Engagement: Beyond traditional church settings, involve members in various activities to strengthen community bonds. What intentional group outside the church (club/craft) have you engaged in this week? 

Digital Outreach Skills: Harness the potential of digital platforms for effective communication and outreach efforts. How have you lifted Christ up online this week? How have you built people up online this week?

Hospitality Training: Create a welcoming atmosphere where newcomers feel embraced and comfortable within the community. How has your involvement in church this week focused on making people feel safe or welcoming new people?


By focusing our teaching, dialogue and record-keeping on the cultivation of Personal, Relational, and Communal skills, disciple-makers will reshape the church community to hear and tell a healthy narrative about themselves. This intentional approach not only fosters a holistic inreach/outreach community but also strengthens the collective identity and purpose of the lay-led church. Together, these skills weave a narrative of inclusivity, authenticity, and connection. Thus paving the way for a church community that flourishes under the guidance of its empowered and intentional members.


Saturday, March 16, 2024

Jesus Journey - Part 7 - Mark 4:21-34

In this 7th episode of the Jesus Journey, the focus being Mark chapter 4:21-34, we build on the exploration of the Parable of the Sower in episode 6. The discussion delves into more parables and teachings of Jesus, aiming to provide insight into the workings of the Kingdom of God.

Key Points:

Parable of the Lamp: Jesus begins with a metaphor about a lamp, emphasizing that nothing hidden will remain so forever. This sets the stage for understanding the purpose of his cryptic teachings.

Parables of Seeds: Jesus follows up with parables about seeds, highlighting the growth of the kingdom of God. The mustard seed analogy underscores how something small can yield significant results.

Interpretation of Parables: The discussion elucidates the deeper meanings behind Jesus' parables, emphasizing the role of the church in illuminating the truths about God in the Bible as revealed through Jesus.

Understanding the Kingdom of God: Through these parables, Jesus reveals the nature of the kingdom of God and the process of spiritual growth. Good soil, representing receptive hearts, yields abundant fruit.

Role of Believers: Believers are likened to lampstands, meant to shine the light of Christ who dwells in them as the church. By staying connected to Jesus and his teachings, we become vessels for spreading the message of salvation.


The passage underscores the transformative power of Jesus' teachings and the responsibility of believers to share the light of His Word. Through understanding and embracing the Kingdom of God, individuals become agents of spiritual growth and Kingdom growth. The journey of faith involves continual nourishment and cultivation, leading to a deeper connection with Christ and a greater capacity to grow the Kingdom.

Restory Church: Dear Mr President

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Last week, my heart broke for the president of the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists when I watched his video and read his open letter. He had to announce severe cutbacks in spending made necessary primarily by attendance dropping by 75 per cent after COVID. There are, of course, other factors. Watch the video and read the open letter for more details.

I knew the president would have been receiving all kinds of negative feedback. So, I put on my thinking cap and wrote a positive letter of encouragement with some ideas. These ideas have not left me alone since and are the reason for the Restory Church series.

Change is hard. And it's here. 
Be kind in the midst of it. Always!

Here is the letter.


Dear Pastor Dan,

I watched your video when you released it and read your open letter this morning. I can only imagine the stress you are under. My heart and prayers have been with Oregon this past month and you in particular.

On my morning walk today, after reading your open letter, my brain was racing. This is going to snowball. You are the bravest and therefore the first to say things publicly. Clearly, a new strategy must be implemented or the corporate death that looms will arrive. I spent the rest of the morning considering two questions. 1. What must the laity become to change the world for Christ? 2. How can we train the clergy to empower this laity movement?

As we navigate the challenges of declining attendance and increasing costs associated with paid clergy, empowering the laity is the only viable solution.

We can turn things around if pastors become enablers. Attendance will increase and new members will join the church if we resource and empower our pastors to be trainers and facilitators in the following three areas.

1. Personal Skills: Encouraging laity to share personal stories, be intentional in their interactions, develop cultural competency, and employ prayer and discernment in their outreach efforts.

2. Relational Skills: Providing training in effective communication, active listening, an invitational mindset, and conflict resolution to enhance interpersonal relationships.

3. Communal Skills: Guiding laity in conducting community needs assessments, employing inclusive outreach strategies, actively engaging in community activities, utilizing digital platforms for outreach, and receiving hospitality training.

A laity trained in Christlikeness and then loosed on the world will rescue the church and hasten the soon coming of Christ through personal relationships. The principle was Jesus' first: Love God, Love neighbour. It must be ours, now.

Beautiful people attract people. If Christ be lifted up - oh the hope of it!

May the Lord bless you and give you peace as you change the world for Him! Your leadership and open communication inspire me all the way over here in Australia. Continue in strength.

I would love to be involved in future brainstorming sessions and however else you wish. I don't want money, just so you know. My brother lives in your conference. Like so many, he left God long ago. It would be a blessing to see him loved into Jesus!

Know this: What you are doing is a light on a hill for many other conference leaders. Courage to you as you weather the storm and arrows that come when you lead the pack!

Keep changing the world!

Dave Edgren



I received a very grateful and inspiring email in response from Pastor Dan. I cherish it!

What are the key things you see facing the health and growth of the church?

What are your thoughts about my assessment and suggestions?

Please read the other Restory Church Posts and then comment on what you think of the “Restory Church” concept? How does it help?

Please write in the comment section or email me at

Friday, March 15, 2024

Restory Church: Jesus Culture - Lay-Led Storytelling

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In the pages of the Gospels, we encounter a profound example of storytelling and grassroots community-building. Jesus, the ultimate disciple-maker, walked the dusty roads of Palestine, engaging with people from all walks of life through parables, miracles, and intimate conversations. As we delve into his life and ministry, we uncover a treasure trove of wisdom that illuminates our path towards a Restory Church—a community rooted in the storytelling culture and lay-led structure exemplified by Jesus himself.

The Power of Parables

Throughout his ministry, Jesus used parables to convey deep spiritual truths in a way that resonated with his audience. These simple yet profound stories served as mirrors reflecting the everyday experiences of his listeners while challenging them to consider the deeper implications of his teachings.

Take, for example, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this timeless story, Jesus challenges societal norms and prejudices by portraying a despised Samaritan as the hero who demonstrates true compassion and neighbourly love. Through this narrative, Jesus not only teaches the essence of loving one's neighbour but also models a radical inclusivity that transcends cultural barriers—a lesson that remains as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago.

Empowering Disciple-Makers

Central to Jesus' ministry was the training and equipping of his disciples to become disciple-makers themselves. Unlike the hierarchical structures of religious leadership prevalent in his time, Jesus embraced a lay-led approach, empowering ordinary men and women to carry forth the message of the Kingdom.

Consider the calling of the first disciples by the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus did not recruit scholars or religious elites but rather fishermen and tax collectors—individuals deeply rooted in their communities and familiar with the rhythms of everyday life. Through intentional mentoring, storytelling, and shared experiences, Jesus transformed these humble street people into bold proclaimers of the Gospel, laying the foundation for a decentralized and lay-led movement that spread like wildfire across the ancient world and into today.

Mentoring and Community Building

In addition to his public ministry, Jesus engaged in intimate mentoring relationships with his disciples, inviting them into a deeper understanding of his teachings and mission. Whether sharing meals, walking together on the road, or withdrawing to pray in solitude, Jesus modelled a relational approach to leadership that prioritized authenticity, vulnerability, and mutual support.

One such poignant example is found in Jesus' interactions with Peter. Despite Peter's flaws and failures, Jesus continually invested in him, challenging him to rise above his limitations and lead by example rather than bravado. Through moments of correction, affirmation, and restoration, Jesus demonstrated the transformative power of mentoring within the context of a loving and supportive community.

Towards a Restory Church

As we reflect on the life and ministry of Jesus, let us reimagine the church not as a rigid institution but as a dynamic and inclusive community grounded in the principles of storytelling, disciple-making, and lay-led leadership. A Restory Church embraces the storytelling culture of Jesus, recognizing the power of narrative to bridge divides, challenge assumptions, and inspire transformation.

Furthermore, a Restory Church nurtures a culture of grassroots leadership, where every member is empowered to become a disciple-maker and agent of change within their sphere of influence. By fostering mentoring relationships, sharing stories of faith and transformation, and embracing the diversity of gifts and perspectives within the community, we pave the way for a church that is truly reflective of the Kingdom of God—a diverse tapestry of individuals united in love, purpose and mission.

Walking like Jesus

It's time to embody the lay-led grassroots community structure exemplified by Jesus, the ultimate storyteller and disciple-maker. As we walk in his footsteps, may we become catalysts for renewal and transformation, sharing the timeless message of hope, grace, and redemption with a world in desperate need of Good News.


How does storytelling and disciple-making feature in your following Jesus?

How does Jesus' focus on the grassroots community help you?

Please read the other Restory Church Posts and then comment on what you think of the “Restory Church” concept? How does it help?

Please write in the comment section or email me at

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Restory Church: Reviving Lay Led Community

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To save the church, we must restore lay-led community, not as a nostalgic yearning for the past, but as a strategic move in the preservation of our faith communities. To walk the Kingdom journey as Jesus did, a Restory Church wears two sandals: 
1. the cultivation of a healthy narrative 
2. the shaping of interpretive leaders 

Healthy Narrative

The foundation of any thriving community lies in the stories it tells itself. The narrative of a community serves as its collective identity, shaping the values, beliefs, and aspirations of its members. In the context of church restoration, it becomes imperative to craft a narrative that not only reflects rich traditions but also resonates with contemporary lives.

By sharing an experience that bridges the timeless teachings of the church with the challenges and triumphs of the present, a healthy narrative emerges. This narrative becomes a guiding light, fostering unity and shared purpose among the diverse individuals who make up a healthy congregation. This tapestry that binds generations, will emphasize the need for the church in our increasingly fragmented society.

Interpretive Guides

At the forefront of this revival stand a redefined church leadership – interpretive guides – leaders who go beyond traditional roles to engage with the congregation on a deeper level. These leaders understand the pulse of the community and act as mediators between the sacred teachings and the lived experiences of the individuals.

Interpretive guides do not strive to be authorities but lead by being empathetic listeners, wise storytellers, and catalysts for meaningful dialogue. Through their guidance, the congregation navigates the complexities of modern life while staying grounded in the principles of the church. They interpret the teachings in a way that resonates with the current context, ensuring that the church remains a relevant and dynamic force in the lives of its members.

A Thriving Church

Restoring the church to a lay-led community is not a return to a bygone era but a strategic evolution. Churches are dying for lack of being needed. A thriving church recognizes the need for unity, shared purpose, and relevance in the face of societal shifts. The interplay of a healthy narrative and interpretive leadership forms the backbone of this cohesive movement.

As interpretive guides lead the congregation through the evolving landscape, the healthy narrative serves as the compass, pointing towards a collective vision. Together, they pave the way for a church that is not just a place to house a denomination but a vibrant community that thrives on connection, understanding, and shared growth. A thriving church is not a place to go but a place to be.

Restory Church

A Restory Church is an intentional community with a healthy narrative, interpretive leadership, and thriving relationships. It is my hope that you will choose to be a Restory Church! Over the next handful of blog posts, I will walk down this sandal-worn path and hope at where it leads. We will explore church, community, purpose, relationships, and leadership to learn to walk as Jesus did and live a cross-shaped story. 

Let's do this!

Dave the Storyteller

P.S. Please comment or email me if you have ideas, questions, or stories that illustrate the points I'm trying to make. Thanks!


How are you involved in creating a healthy narrative in your church? In your family? In yourself? 

What are the key things you see facing the health and growth of the church?

How do you understand being an Interpretive Guide? Who is yours?

Please write in the comment section or email me at

Saturday, March 09, 2024

Jesus Journey - Part 6 - Mark 4:1-20

Jesus was playing the long game when he told parables. Thoughts?

What is your favourite parable?

Embarking on the exploration of Mark 4:1-20 in the Jesus Journey's sixth episode, we delve into the profound teachings of Jesus through parables. This passage, featuring the renowned Parable of the Sower, encapsulates layers of wisdom that invite us to reflect on the nature of the Kingdom of God.

The Setting:
As the episode unfolds, we find Jesus at the sea, addressing a vast crowd from a boat. Employing the picturesque backdrop of the sea and shoreline, Mark portrays Jesus teaching through parables, a narrative style that conceals deeper meanings within seemingly simple stories.

The Parable Unveiled:
The Parable of the Sower takes center stage, where Jesus unfolds a narrative about a sower scattering seeds on various types of soil. The imagery of seeds falling on different terrains symbolizes the varied receptions of the Gospel message, serving as a metaphor for the different responses people exhibit towards God's word.

The Questions Arise:
Following the parable, Jesus is approached by those around him, and the twelve disciples, with inquiries about the purpose and significance of the parables. This moment sets the stage for a profound exploration into the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

The Secret of the Kingdom:
In response, Jesus unveils the secret of the Kingdom of God, explaining that to those within, the mysteries are revealed, but to those outside, the truth remains veiled in parables. He cites Isaiah, emphasizing the intentional obscurity to prevent understanding for specific reasons.

A Mark Sandwich:
Mark, the storyteller, employs his characteristic "Mark sandwich" technique, framing the central teaching with bookend stories and statements like "listen." This technique emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the hidden layers of meaning within the parables.

The Secret of the Kingdom:
Sandwiched between the Parable of the Sower and its explanation, Mark 4:11-12 puts a twist on Isaiah's Call in Isaiah 6:1-11 by changing one word. This highlights a parallel between the mysterious nature of God's "not yet" message given in Isaiah 6, the ministry of Jesus and the hidden keys to the Kingdom within his parables. Both show spiritual discernment is needed to understand what God is doing. Parables hint at an answer to Isaiah's question "How Long?" How long until the Kingdom would be revealed? Parables pull back the veil to let us peek into the Kingdom of God!

Interpreting the Parable:
There are a variety of ways this parable could have been applied before Mark wrote his down. Possibilities: The effectiveness of parables. The effectiveness of Jesus' ministry. The reception the disciples received in new locations. The escalating power of the Gospel throughout time. Each layer of interpretation adds depth to the overarching message of the parable culminating with Jesus' interpretation in Mark - The effectiveness of the Word of God. 

A Divine Challenge:
Jesus challenges the understanding of the disciples, urging them to grasp the essence of the parable. He then imparts a singular interpretation, categorizing the various responses to the Word of God as represented by the types of soil in the parable.

The Call to Transformation:
Mark concludes with a cautionary note, emphasizing the need for hearts to be transformed, drawing from Ezekiel's proclamation of a heart change. Mark's message is echoed by Augustine's exhortation to break the hardness, remove the obstacles, and cultivate a heart receptive to God's Word.

Mark 4:1-20 introduces the reader to the power of parables. Particularly the richness of the Parable of the Sower and the profound insights it offers about the Kingdom of God. The challenge remains: are we the good ground that welcomes, retains, and bears fruit for the glory of God?

Friday, March 01, 2024

Jesus Journey - Part 5 - Mark 3:7-35

"Whose are Youse?" 

What does it mean to live under the authority of Christ? Mark 3 gives a great answer.

 Jesus says anyone who does the will of God is His family. That's pretty awesome! 

If God is our Father, we obey Him and are at home with Jesus.

Welcome back to our exploration of the Book of Mark. This time, we delve into the remainder of chapter 3. Although we've only scratched the surface of this chapter, starting at verse 7, we will navigate through to the end, offering insights and reflections on various aspects. 

This chapter of Mark zeroes in on people's thoughts, reactions, and actions concerning Jesus. It scrutinizes the different approaches various groups had toward Him. 

The initial segment, spanning Mark 3:7-12, titled "Ministering to the Multitude," narrates how a massive crowd followed Jesus from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, Tyre, and Sidon. The crowd's sheer size led Jesus to take precautions, even using a small boat to avoid being crushed. The text emphasizes the tangible healing power of Jesus, as people pressed toward Him, seeking a touch that brought miraculous healing.

Moving on to Mark 3:13-20, we encounter the naming of the twelve apostles. Jesus, on a mountain, specifically called those He wanted, appointing twelve as apostles. Notably, He gave Simon the name Peter, James and John the name "Boanerges" or "Sons of Thunder." This section underscores Jesus' deliberate delegation of authority, both for preaching and driving out demons, marking a pivotal moment in the establishment of His ministry.

The chapter further unfolds in Mark 3:20-30, titled "A House Divided." Here, Jesus addresses the uncomfortable reactions from His family and the accusations from scribes who assert that He expels demons by the ruler of demons, Beelzebul. Jesus employs parables to challenge this narrative, emphasizing the inherent contradiction in Satan opposing himself. He declares that His actions are rooted in binding the strong man (Satan) to plunder his possessions. The gravity of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is highlighted, suggesting an eternal consequence.

Finally, in Mark 3:31-35, entitled "True Relationships," Jesus' family seeks Him, prompting His response that redefines familial ties. Jesus asserts that those doing the will of God are His true family, transcending biological connections.

As we conclude this exploration, remember that Jesus invites us into His family by aligning ourselves with the will of God. Embrace the transformative power of Christ, allowing His love and authority to shape your identity and relationships.

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...