Family focus; Gen 32, Mark 3

This family focus was led by Nathan on 31st January 2019

Opening prayer…

Genesis 32:

“Preparing to Meet Esau

32 Jacob went on his way, and God’s angels met him. 2 When he saw them, Jacob said, “This is God’s camp.” So he called that place Mahanaim.

3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the territory of Edom. 4 He commanded them, “You are to say to my lord Esau, ‘This is what your servant Jacob says. I have been staying with Laban and have been delayed until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female slaves. I have sent this message to inform my lord, in order to seek your favor.’ ”

6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau; he is coming to meet you ​— ​and he has four hundred men with him.”7 Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; he divided the people with him into two camps, along with the flocks, herds, and camels. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes to one camp and attacks it, the remaining one can escape.”

9 Then Jacob said, “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Go back to your land and to your family, and I will cause you to prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. Indeed, I crossed over the Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please rescue me from my brother Esau, for I am afraid of him; otherwise, he may come and attack me, the mothers, and their children. 12 You have said, ‘I will cause you to prosper, and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea, too numerous to be counted.’ ”

13 He spent the night there and took part of what he had brought with him as a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams, 15 thirty milk camels with their young, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys. 16 He entrusted them to his slaves as separate herds and said to them, “Go on ahead of me, and leave some distance between the herds.”

17 And he told the first one: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to? Where are you going? And whose animals are these ahead of you? ’ 18 then tell him, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau. And look, he is behind us.’ ”

19 He also told the second one, the third, and everyone who was walking behind the animals, “Say the same thing to Esau when you find him. 20 You are also to say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’ ” For he thought, “I want to appease Esau with the gift that is going ahead of me. After that, I can face him, and perhaps he will forgive me.”

21 So the gift was sent on ahead of him while he remained in the camp that night. 22 During the night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two slave women, and his eleven sons, and crossed the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, along with all his possessions.

Jacob Wrestles with God

24 Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not defeat him, he struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip. 26 Then he said to Jacob, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 “What is your name? ” the man asked.

“Jacob,” he replied.

28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” he said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”

29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”

But he answered, “Why do you ask my name? ” And he blessed him there.

30 Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.” 31 The sun shone on him as he passed by Penuel ​— ​limping because of his hip. 32 That is why, still today, the Israelites don’t eat the thigh muscle that is at the hip socket: because he struck Jacob’s hip socket at the thigh muscle.†”

Thoughts/notes:

Jacob was honest to God, and cried out to Him for help; we don’t do that very often – but we should. God graciously protected Jacob.

Q. Did anything strike anyone?

Mark 3:

Christian Standard Bible Par ▾ 
3 Jesus entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a shriveled hand. 2 In order to accuse him, they were watching him closely to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 He told the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand before us.” 4 Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill? ” But they were silent. 5 After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against him, how they might killhim.

Ministering to the Multitude

7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a large crowd followed from Galilee, and a large crowd followed from Judea, 8 Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. The large crowd came to him because they heard about everything he was doing. 9 Then he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, so that the crowd wouldn’t crush him. 10 Since he had healed many, all who had diseases were pressing toward him to touch him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God! ” 12 And he would strongly warnthem not to make him known.

The Twelve Apostles

13 Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, to send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, he gave the name Peter;17 and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, he gave the name “Boanerges” (that is, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 Andrew; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

A House Divided

20 Jesus entered a house, and the crowd gathered again so that they were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard this, they set out to restrain him, because they said, “He’s out of his mind.”

22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,”  and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

23 So he summoned them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satandrive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.

28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemiesthey utter. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — 30 because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

True Relationships

31 His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent word to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him and told him, “Look, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside asking for you.”

33 He replied to them, “Who are my mother and my brothers? ” 34 Looking at those sitting in a circle around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Thoughts/notes:

V. 1-6; Healing on the Sabbath – The Pharisees were so proud; we must make sure we don’t become like them-very arrogant.
V. 7-12; Jesus was followed by many large crowds – Wow!
V. 13-19; Jesus appoints twelve apostles – In a similar way, Jesus has sent us out with authority (in His name) and a mission.
V. 20 -30; Satan driving out Satan? – Part of the problem seems to be this; the Scribes are giving credit to the devil where credit is due to Jesus.
V. 31-35; Who are my brothers? – What an honour and a privilege to called Jesus’ “brother and sister and mother” (verse 35), if we do God’s will.

Q. Any thoughts?

Nathan 🙂


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