Today's post was written by Brook Hills member, Vickie Margene.

I’m really enjoying reading through Mark this month. Perhaps enjoy isn’t the best word here. I’ve been rather frustrated by the disciples and their dullness. To watch Jesus command the wind and waves to be still and they obey, but then to freak out when they see Him walk on water? To help distribute food to thousands of people from a meager few loaves of bread, but then fret because they forgot to pack a lunch? It amazes me.

I tremble at the rich young man who asked about his own eternal salvation, but then walked away full of sorrow because the way of Jesus was too expensive for his tastes. How sad to contemplate an eternity with God, but to turn his back on it in favor of nicer clothes, finer foods, and better stuff.

Then there’s the scribe whose insight and understanding of both God’s law and love prompted Jesus to tell him he was “not far from the kingdom of God.” Not far, but not in. He knew much, and it had deepened his grasp of truth, but so far he had not recognized his Savior though He was standing with him, face to face. What happened next? Did this wondrous encounter bear fruit for eternity in the scribe’s life?

The time of the crucifixion looms in Mark’s gospel. In spite of Jesus having told His disciples that He’s soon to be taken in, humiliated, tortured, and executed, they cannot understand. When He tells them He will rise from the dead on the third day, they are puzzled and confused.

And this is when I fall apart. Not at the thought of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for that is the source of my salvation. He took on himself the wrath of God that I deserve, so I might live with him forever. But what amazes me as I read is the work of the Holy Spirit. How else can I look at the events of Mark? These men walked and talked with the Son of God, and they did not get it. So I marvel at their dullness. This is not, however, just hindsight at work, though we all know hindsight is helpful. But each day, thousands of people read God’s Word, and they cannot see the Savior in it. What I have is God’s Holy Spirit in me, opening my eyes to see what I am too dull to grasp. I have Him prompting me to respond and to act, contending with my own inclination to turn away, and I have His gentle but insistent reproof when I fail. Above all, I have his assurance of God’s forgiveness and faithfulness. Amen. Amen.