During the month of July, our Gospel readings take us through the middle of the Gospel according to St. Mark. The last four Sundays of July take us through all of Chapter Six. The Gospel according to St. Mark emphasizes the power and authority of Jesus. He has power and authority over sickness, over death, over hunger, over stormy seas, and over everything there is. Because Jesus has this power and authority, we need not fear anything that comes our way. Jesus, who has all power and authority, uses that authority for us because He loves us!
On July 1st, the Gospel reading is Mark 5:21-43. In this reading, Jesus finds out about Jairus’ daughter being sick to the point of death. On His way to heal her the woman with the issue of blood touches His garment seeking healing. Jesus feels the power going from Him and acknowledges the woman who sought His healing by faith. While that is happening Jairus’ daughter dies. But not even death is greater than the power of Jesus. Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter from death. We need not fear sickness or death – even if we should die from sickness. Jesus has power over both. He cares about us. He gives us His victory.
On July 8th, the Gospel reading is Mark 6:1-13. In this passage the people of Jesus’ home town reject Him by refusing to believe in Him. Jesus didn’t do any mighty work there except lay His hands on a few sick and heal them. He then sent out His disciples with His power and authority and they cast out demons and healed the sick. Sometimes we are tempted to think that the power and authority of Jesus might be too good to be true. Jesus marveled at the unbelief of the people in His home town. God gives us faith to believe in Jesus, to trust He knows what is best for us, and that by His power we have a home in the glories of heaven.
On July 15th, the Gospel reading is Mark 6:14-29. When Herod heard about all of the powerful signs and wonders Jesus was performing, Herod feared Jesus was actually John the Baptist risen from the dead. Herod had wrongfully put John the Baptist to death and was afraid he was getting paid back for his sinful act. Jesus does have the authority to carry out Judgment on those who do evil. When we realize this, we, too should be afraid of what we deserve because of our sin. But it is Jesus who says to us, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” It is Jesus who loves us and gave His life to save us from the very sins that would cause us fear. Unlike Herod who did not have faith in Jesus, we can be assured that Jesus has used His power and authority to secure our salvation from sin.
On July 22nd, the Gospel reading is Mark 6:30-44. In this reading Jesus feeds over 5,000 people with only 5 loaves and 2 fish because He had compassion on them. They were like sheep without a shepherd and He fed their souls with the teaching of His Word. Then He fed their bodies with a feast of bread and fish that produced 12 baskets full of leftovers! The same Jesus provides for all of our needs of body and soul because He has compassion on us as our very own Good Shepherd.
On July 29th, the Gospel reading is Mark 6:45-56. Jesus comes to His disciples in the midst of their fighting against a storm. Jesus is walking on the water and they think He is a ghost. But Jesus tells them not to be afraid because it’s Him! Jesus cares about them. He gets in the boat and they immediately reach their destination. The same Jesus comes to us in the midst of the storms in our lives. He rides them out with us and through them takes us to where He wants us to be.
Jesus has the power and the authority. Because of His love for us He uses that power and authority for our good, in this life and for the Life to come.
P.S. Health wise, Jesus has seen fit to continue to provide healing for me through my present treatment. We pray for His continued healing.