The faith of Jesus


The faith of Jesus
Reading: John 14:15-21
Blanks: truth, live

Today we are going to study a Greek word, σώζω.
It means “save” in English.
In the Gospels we see this word σώζω a lot.
So let’s study about it.

(3) In Mark 5:21-34, (Luke 8:40-48, Matthew 9:22) we see a lady touched the garment of Jesus, thinking:
“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed (σώζω).” (verse 28)
In Greek, she was saying:
“If I just touch his clothes, I will be saved.”
She was right.
Jesus said to her:
“Your faith has saved (σώζω) you.” (34)

What does it mean that she was saved?
She was healed completely.
She experienced who Jesus is.
She was restored physically, spiritually, religiously and socially.
And now she could go back to her family and lived a different life.

(3) In Mark 10: 46-52, we meet Bartimaeus:
When Jesus was passing him by, he shouted:
“Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Jesus asked him:
“What do you want me to do for you?”
Bartimaeus said:
“I want to see.”

Jesus said to him:
“Your faith has saved (σώζω) you.” (52)

How was Bartimaeus saved?
He realized who Jesus really is.
He experienced the power of Jesus.
And now he could follow Jesus and lived a different life.

(3) In Luke 19:1-10 we meet Zacchaeus who was a tax collector:
In those days, religious people didn’t go to a house of tax collector.
Because they said that tax collectors were a sinner.
So they didn’t eat with them.

But Jesus came to his house, and ate with him.
Jesus treated as if he was someone whom God so loves.

Then, Zacchaeus decided to live as a God’s child.
He also decided to give his wealth to the poor.
(2) Zacchaeus was like:
“Look, Lord Jesus!
Now I gonna give half of my possessions to the poor.
And if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said: (9-10)
(2) “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man is also a son of Abraham.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Again here, Jesus said:
“Salvation (σώζω) has come to this house.”
“σωτηρία τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ ἐγένετο”

Jesus is saying:
‘He is saved.”

How was Zacchaeus saved?
Zacchaeus experienced God who loved him.
Zacchaeus realized that he was loved by God.
So Zacchaeus decided to live for God who blesses those who bless others.

This is how the Gospels used this word “save.” (σώζω)
All these people were saved because they have the faith of Jesus Christ.
As they hear about the miracle stories of Jesus, they experience the faith of Jesus.
The faith of Jesus opens their eyes to see a new possibility for their lives.
Then they acted accordingly.
They reached out to Jesus who has faith.
And they was healed.
They were saved.
When they believe what Jesus believes, they are saved.
They were saved through the faith of Jesus the Christ.

Jesus still saves people through his faith.
So today many people have been saved by saying a sinner’s prayer like this:
It goes like this:
(3) “Lord Jesus, I need You.
Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins.
I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord.
Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of my life.
Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
In Jesus name, we pray.

Some people may wonder through this one prayer, can we be saved?
Well, there is an example in the Gospels.
There was one person who was saved with one prayer.
(2) It is written in Luke 23:32-43.
You know, two criminals were crucified with Jesus.
Then one of them said: (42-43)
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered:
“Yes, today you will be with me in paradise.”
That is it.
Just like that, this person was saved.
As he was with Jesus, somehow he experienced the faith of Jesus.
Then somehow the faith of Jesus helps him to believe in Jesus.
Then Jesus saved him because he asked him responding to the faith of Jesus.
And so he was saved.

Even today Jesus saves us through the faith of Jesus.
(3) Jesus may say: (John 14:19)
“Because I live, you shall live also.
Because I have eternal life, you will have also.
Because I have the Holy Spirit, you will have also.”

When we believe what Jesus believes, we become one with Jesus.
Then, we are saved.
Then we live like Jesus and talk like Jesus.

So I hope that you learn about the faith of Jesus.
I hope that you have the faith of Jesus.
I hope that the Holy Spirit continually help you to have the faith of Jesus.
Then you live as Jesus lives.

Where can you find this faith of Jesus?
I usually find reading the Bible and praying believing that Jesus can do everything.
What about you?

Some of you have this faith of Jesus already.
I hope that you use the faith of Jesus for your family and for your world.
Then they may also be saved.
Then they may also live in the faith of Jesus.
They may also believe what Jesus believes for them.

So before we end, I would like to ask:
What does Jesus encourage you to do today according to his faith?
What is Jesus saying to your life according to his faith?
What is Jesus saying to your family according to his faith?
What is Jesus saying to this world according to his faith?

I hope that we hear it and live accordingly.
Then our family and our world and we will be saved.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to understand you.
Help us to have the faith that you have.
May your faith nourish our souls so that we may live as you live.
Help us to discern well so that we may live your life on earth.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Prayers of the people 5

Jesus, our joy and delight!
Thank you for your birth.
Thank you for your life.
Thank you for your words.
Thank you for giving us your peace.
Thank you for giving us a childlike faith.
Thank you for giving us your faith to simplify our life.
Thank you for giving us new future.
Thank you that we are new creatures in you.

We pray that you use Korea, and this nation and this world for your name sake.
May these nations hear your voices and follow you all the way.
May your story inspire these nations to serve the world.
May all nations serve each other.

May you bless all the churches in the world and all the ministers of your ministry.
May they share the story of Jesus so that all the world may understand you and welcome you.

Jesus, you are encouraging us and say:
“I have overcome the world.
I am giving my Spirit to you.
Be courageous.
Everything will be alright.
God is with you.
God is for you.
God will be faithful to you.
Trust me and live my life.”

We respond and say in the faith of Jesus:
"Jesus, you are our God, our king and our CEO.
You are in control!
You rule humbly in the right way.
May we move and work with you in the power of the Holy Spirit."

Now we bless our families and friends.
We pray for all who have asked for our prayers, and who pray for us.
We bless our coworkers in our job places.
We bless all those who we remember and are remained in our heart.
Jesus, bless them, as we pray for them and bless them in this silence.

Jesus, may you bless them giving them healing and peace.
May they live your life on earth.
May they hear your your words, experience your love and live having your faith.

Jesus, you have shown the way of life so that we may follow you.
Help us understand better so that we may live your life today.
Fill us with your Spirit.
And help us to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
May we find you in our life.

To you who love us, all the glory, all the praise, all the honor forever and ever.
In your name, we pray.


Matthew 18:21–35 (1)


Forgive to be forgiven
Read: Matthew 18:21–35
Blanks: servants, pay, patient, patient, prison, pay

(2) Jesus talks about forgiveness a lot.
And Peter knew about it.
So he tried to forgive a friend.
But it was difficult, especially when he was mad at someone.

But often, as a matter of fact, he didn’t want to forgive that person.
(2) He wanted a revenge.
He wanted to get rid of this person from his life.

So he was wondering:
“How many times do I need to forgive before a revenge?”
How many times is enough?”

Then he thought about it all night.
Then Peter thought that 7 seemed a good number.
You know, 7 seemed a very Biblical number:

(3) God created the universe in 6 days and rested on 7th day.

God had asked them to keep the Sabbath holy.
And that is the 7th day: (Lev 23:1-3)
God asked them to keep the Sabbath year.
That is the 7th year: (Lev 25:1-7)
God had asked Jewish people to celebrate 7 different feasts.
God had asked Israelites to celebrate the feast of Passover (Lev 23:4-5) and the feast of Weeks (Lev 23:15-22) for 7 days.

(3) Elisha told the military commander Naaman to be dipped in the Jordan River seven times to be healed. (2 Kings 5:10)
And after that, he was healed.

(3) God designed a menorah to be placed in the temple.
This menorah has 7 branches.
And this lampstand was supposed to signify that God shines God’s light into this world.
And so, 7 seems like a good number.
Maybe 7 is a number of completion in the Bible.

But then some teacher said three times would be enough.
But Peter knew better.
He doubled the number and more.

And Peter thought that with this number, Jesus might be happy.
So Peter came to Jesus ask something like this:
“You know, it is difficult to forgive another person.
How many times do I need to forgive before a revenge?
Is seven times enough?”

Jesus was like:
“I see.
I am glad you are trying.
But in terms of forgiveness, seven is not a good number.
(3) Seventy seven may be a good number.
Yeah, why don’t you forgive seventy seven times?”

Jesus was not asking Peter to be abused by his friends.
But Jesus was asking Peter not to have a heart of resentment.

Nelson Mandela also said:
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
He also learned that in order to live well, he need to be free from any resentment even though some people put him in prison unfairly.

Then in order to help Peter understand, Jesus told this story to explain how many times God forgave Peter.
You know, Peter also sometimes sinned against God.
Peter also made mistakes.
But God was forgiving him over and over.
And Peter forgot about that or didn’t understand.

So Jesus started to teach that in order to be forgiven, he must forgive.
Jesus told this kind of story:

(1) Once upon a time, there was a very generous king.
People loved to come and borrow his money.
But some people have never paid back.
So, this king proclaimed a date.
And before this date, everyone should pay back their debts.

Then, everybody came to pay their debts.
Then a man had come.
He owed the king many millions of dollars.
And he was not ready to pay back now.

So, the king ordered to sell him, his wife, his children and all he had to repay the debt.
(3) Then this man asked the king:
Be patient with me.
Wait for me.
I will pay it all back.”

Then the king changed his mind
He was sorry for him.
So, he canceled his debt and let him go.

(2) The king felt good about it.
This guy was thankful.
This was a great day for him.
He got a new chance in life.

But as soon as he got out, he saw his friend who owed him a few dollars.
Then suddenly, he grabbed his friend and demanded:
“When are you going to pay me back?
Pay up now!”

His friend said the same:
Be patient with me.
Wait for me.
I will pay all back.”

(3) But he was mad at his friend.
And he put his friend in prison.

(3) When the king heard about this, he called this man in and said:
“What happened?
This was a great day for you.
I forgave all your debt.
I feel good about it.
You feel good about it.
But how could you treat your friend like that, today?
Don’t you think you should have forgiven your friend who owed you so little?
Then this could be a good day for him, too.
But you know what?
You ruined it.
Now we are going back to our original story.
You should also pay back all my money all over again.”

Then, the king put him in prison to be punished.

(5) So now two persons are in prison.
He put himself in prison.
Before that, he put his friend in prison.

Now he and his friend were in prisons.
So no one could work to pay back any money.

This happens when people don’t forgive each other.
This happens because people could not forgive their friend like the king.

(3) You know, in this story, the king is God.
God forgives, whenever we ask.
And God asks us to forgive others like God.

(3) Telling this story, Jesus is encouraging Peter to forgive.
Jesus is saying that as he forgives, he will continually experience God who forgives him.
God is patient with him.
And God asks him to be patient with his friends.
That is, God forgives us and at the same time, asks us to forgive.

Jesus knew that Peter also made mistakes or sin against God sometimes.
Jesus knew that Peter also need to be forgiven.
(3) In fact for his sin, Jesus the innocent Son of God would die on the cross, for him.
Then his sins and mistakes would be forgiven forever.
This is the price that Jesus would pay for Peter.
And Peter could not pay him back.
It is just too much.

(3) Jesus is asking him to follow him.
If he wanted to follow Jesus, he needed to forgive everyone and bless everyone.
When he tries to live like that, Jesus gives him the Holy Spirit so that he could live like this, forgiving others.
Then God would continually use him to help many others to forgive and be free.

Now Jesus is asking us to forgive and live like God.
This is the merciful way of God.
This is the way of Jesus.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for forgiving us.
May we live like you.
In your name, we pray.


John 18:33-40


Jesus met Pilate
Reading: John 18:33-40
Additional Reading: Mark 9:31
k-hymns: 490, 488
Blanks: idea, kingdom, king, truth

(2) Who was Pilate?
How did Pilate got here?

(2) In the time of Jesus, the map of Israel was like this.
One time, Herod was a king over these areas for Roman Government.
Then after his death, his three sons ruled over these areas.

But Archelaus the tetrarch was not doing his job well.
So the emperor fired him.
Then the emperor needed to find someone else.
Then his friend, Sejanus mentioned about Pilate.
Sejanus was a friend of Pilate.
So the emperor gave this new job to Pilate.
In this way, Pilate became a governor over Judea.

(3) But then Pilate didn’t know much about Jewish religious customs.
He didn’t respect Jewish religious culture.

For example, because the Bible said this:
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:4)
The Jewish people didn’t want to have any graven image in Jerusalem.

But Pilate continually tried to bring roman graven images into Jerusalem.
So Jewish people protested.
For many Jews, this was an important matter.
They were like:
“God commanded this.
So we must do this.”

But Pilate didn’t care.
So Pilate violated their religious customs.
Sometimes, Pilate threatened to kill them.
But those Jewish people were willing to die for this.
Then, Pilate decided to give what they wanted.

In another time, the Jewish leaders reported to the emperor.
Then the emperor ordered Pilate to remove those graven image.

But still Pilate violated again and again their religious custom and upset Jewish people.

(2) Then the Jewish religious leaders hated another person for violating Jewish religious custom.
His name was Jesus.
Jesus was a Jew.
So he knew very well about the Jewish religious custom.
But he liked to change some of those.
He thought that some of them were wrong.
So he didn’t follow when he believed that it was wrong.
Instead, Jesus was trying to teach them.

For example, according to Jewish religious custom healing a person on the Sabbath was a violation of the Sabbath.
Therefore it was a sin for them.
But Jesus didn’t think so.
(3) He healed many people on the Sabbath.

Then the Jewish religious leaders asked him to stop.
But Jesus was like:
“I am healing people, because God wants to heal these people through me on the Sabbath.”

Another example is that:
Some Jewish religious leaders thought that eating with sinners was no, no.
(3) But Jesus was a friend of sinners and ate with them.
You see, Jesus was violating their customs to teach them so that they could understand the way of God.

But because Jesus lived like this and challenged Jewish religious customs, Jewish religious leaders hated him.
They thought that Jesus was not respecting them like other Jews.
They were also afraid of Jesus’ way of life.
Jesus’ way of life could shake everything what they taught.

(3) Then one day the Jewish religious leaders captured Jesus at night.
Then they were like:
“Jesus, you have blasphemed God, when you say that you are the Son of God.
So according to our Jewish custom, we should kill you.”

But then a few years ago, the Roman Government said:
“The Jewish people could not kill anyone.
Only the Roman Government had that power.”

So in order to kill Jesus, now they needed Pilate the governor.
(3) So they decided to accuse Jesus before Pilate, saying:
“Jesus is saying that he is a king.
He is conspiring against Rome.
Pilate, if you are loyal to the emperor, you need to get rid of him.
He is trying to fight against Romans.”

They hated Jesus and what Jesus had done.
So they worked hard to make Pilate to crucify Jesus.
They were pressing on.

So Pilate asked Jesus:
(3) "Are you claiming to be a king?”

Jesus was like:
"Are you saying that I am a king?
Do you think I am a king?”

Pilate was like:
"No, do I look like a Jew?
I don’t know what you guys are talking about.
Your religious leaders turned you over to me.
What did you do?"

But Jesus was like:
"Well, I am different.
If I was trying to build my kingdom here, my followers would have fought with religious leaders.
If I want to build my kingdom here, my followers might have fought with your soldiers.
But that is not what I am here for.
Well, you cannot see my kingdom.
My kingdom is from another place.”

Jesus knew that he is the King of the Universe.
And he was not interested in overthrowing this Roman government now.

But Pilate was not understanding.
Pilate was like:
"So, you are a king.”

Then Jesus was like:
"Yes, I am a king.
In fact, that is why I was born.
But right now, I came into the world to tell people about the truth.
And everyone who loves the truth listens to me.”

Pilate could not understand.
So Pilate was like:
“So what is truth?”

(3) Then he went outside to talk to the Jewish leaders.
Pilate was like:
“He is innocent according to Roman laws.
Now it is Passover.
It is our custom to release you one prisoner.
Do you want me to release this king of the Jews?”

In the Passover season many Jews were in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
So Pilate released one prisoner just to help them enjoy this season and be quiet.
Pilate didn’t want Jewish people to be upset or uprising.

(3) But the religious leaders were shouting:
“No, no, no, not him!
Give us Barabbas!”

Barabbas was a criminal.
The religious leaders were shouting for him, because they wanted to get rid of Jesus.

Pilate might have thought that he could put Jesus in jail awhile until things got quiet.
Pilate might have wanted to release Jesus after that.

But these Jewish religious leaders determined to kill Jesus.
They were so motivated to kill him.
Pilate was scared of them acting strange.
And Pilate realized that he could not talk them out of this.
So he gave in.
He gave up doing what was right, even though he knew Jesus was innocent.
Maybe he thought that one Jewish life was not that important.

(3) Also at this time, Pilate was not political safe either.
His good friend, Sejanus was killed because people thought he conspired against the emperor Tiberius.
So Pilate needed to be very careful.
So he might have thought that he didn’t have power to do what was right here.
So he ordered his soldiers to crucify Jesus.
Pilate didn’t do what was right.

(3) So Jesus died on the cross.
But Jesus died to take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
And Jesus was dying to take away the sins of Pilate.

Soon after this, Pilate was recalled to Rome for his harsh treatment against the Samaritans.
And his political career was over.
And we don’t know what happened to Pilate.

But then Jesus rose from the death and went to heaven and sat on his throne as the King of the Universe to judge the world one day.

(3) And if Pilate learned enough to have faith in Jesus, he could have eternal life through Jesus the Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Hopefully, Pilate eventually believed that Jesus rose from the death.
Hopefully Pilate studied about the story of Jesus.
Hopefully Pilate understood enough and believed in Jesus and had eternal life.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to listen to your voice and understand.
Help us to understand what you are saying to us.
Then help us to do what is right as you encourage us to do what is right.
Help us to understand your way and follow your way.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Mark 12: 38-44


Love gives
Reading: Mark 12: 38-44
k-hymn: 431
Blanks: Watch out, more, everything

(3) For about three years, Jesus was constantly on the move to help new people.
That is why sometimes, he had to sleep on a mountain.
That was ok, because Jesus liked to pray on those mountains.
Jesus prayed when his disciples were in sleep.
He prayed to God alone.

Until today, there were some people support his ministry.
They provided what Jesus needed so that Jesus and his disciples could continually serve others.

(3) Now in those days, there were also teachers of the law.
They were scribes.
They studied and produced many religious rules and regulations.
And they taught people to follow those rules.
Then some people also gave them donations for their teaching.

But then these teachers of the law were very educated people.
They knew various laws.
They were experts in legal procedure.
So sometimes, they used their legal knowledge to take what was not theirs.
They took what was not theirs without violating laws.

(3) But at the same time scribes insisted that people should greet them with respect in public.
They loved the place of honor.
So they wanted people to honor them in the marketplace.
They liked to take the front seats in the meeting place.
They liked to take the highest places at festival.
They insisted that they should be treated like that.

Then when they were given a chance, they said a long prayer to show how religious they were.
(3) They also dressed like this, wearing flowing robes.
They wore this dress to say that they were the people of honour.
Then because of the dress, they could not work or run.

(3) Jesus, of course, didn’t like the way they used religion for themselves like that.
So today in the temple, Jesus taught people not to live like those religious lawyers.
Jesus asked people to live humbly in an attitude of serving.
Because then God would be very pleased with them.

(3) Yes today Jesus was in Jerusalem in the temple.
Then Jesus was sitting near the Temple donation box.
Then Jesus waited for someone.
Jesus was here waiting someone who really loved God and who didn’t use religion to take more things for herself.

While waiting, Jesus was watching people.
Jesus saw people putting their money in the Temple donation box.
In those day, people used coins.
So when rich people gave large sums of money, everyone could hear the coins dropping.
Yes, some rich people gave a lot, because they could easily live without those money.

Then a poor widow came by.
She was an elderly person who lived alone.

In the time of Jesus, widows were generally poor, because they didn’t have many job opportunities.
It was difficult for them to have a good education.
It was difficult to earn good incomes.
So generally, they didn’t have much money.
But this widow still loved God.
And she wanted to give something to God.
(3) But she only had two cents.
That was all she had.
But she decided to give her two cents to God today.
(3) She put her money into the Temple donation box.

Today, even homeless people would not take these two cents, if you give.
You know what could they do with these two cents?
It is really not much.

(3) But Jesus said something like this to his disciples.
"This poor widow gave more than all those rich people today.
Because she gave all she had.
Her giving was an expression of love.
It is not about how much you give.
It is about how much you love.
She gave all.”

How could she give all of her money?
She should keep some of her money for herself, right?
Or why did she give all of her money?

She didn’t have much.
But she wanted to show her love to God.
So she gave all.
Then Jesus saw her love toward God.
Jesus knew how much she loved God.

(3) Why was Jesus waiting for her to come today?
Why did Jesus want to see her?

Maybe because in a few days, Jesus would also give his life to God.
On the cross, he would let go of everything.

So Jesus wanted to see her who gave everything, not, because she had to, but because she loved God.
And Jesus was very much encouraged, because Jesus saw another person who gave everything to God.
And Jesus saw his own life in her.
Then, Jesus also decided to get ready to give everything to God.

Then Jesus also gave his life to God.
And Jesus encouraged his students to follow this way of giving everything to God.

(2) Reading today’s text, we see a little bit that Jesus has a very special heart for the poor.
Then I remember that I have some poor friends, too.
Sometimes, I felt hesitant to invite them to church.
I am guilty of that, too.

But I also wonder whether they would be welcome here.
Will our church people welcome them and love them?
Or would they be despised, because they are poor?
Or would I be blamed for bringing those poor people?

Today, a poor widow came to church.
And she had two cents.
Then she gave her two cents to God because she loved God.
And Jesus is like:
“She is the greatest lover of God today, because she gave God more than anybody.”

Lastly, let’s think about this:
What is our two cents?
I am not only talking about only money here.
What do I have that I can give to God?

Have you ever kept your two cents because it was just so little?
Have you ever kept your two cents, thinking other people may despise your gifts?

Even though it is not much, would you still offer to God because you love God?
Again, I am not talking about only money here.
And would you give your two cents to God in the name of Jesus?

So think about it.
What are your cents that you would give to God to say:
“I love you, God.”

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you that you understand the poor and you are interested in them.
Thank you that you love the poor.
May we be the church that loves the poor, and welcome God’s poor.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Mark 12:28-34


The power of loving God
Reading: Mark 12:28-34

(3) In the time of Jesus, there were teachers of the law.
What did they do?
They studied the Old Testament.
Then they found various rules and regulations.
Then they wrote down these rules and regulations.
And they asked people to keep these rules and regulations.
But for common people, for ordinary people, keeping all these rules and regulations was such a burden.
It was almost impossible.

(3) So sometimes people tried to simplify these rules and regulations by asking this question:
“Which is the most important commandment of all?”
They wanted to know thinking that if they keep that most important commandment, they might be ok with God.
They were trying to simplify God’s commandment so that they could apply God’s principle into their life.

In fact, many people had done that in the Bible.
For example, King David also tried to simplify God’s commandment:
(3) Then he came up with this: Psalm 15:
“Those who obey God in everything and always do what is right,
whose words are true and sincere, and who do not slander others.
They do no wrong to their friends nor spread rumors about their neighbors.
They despise those whom God rejects, but honor those who obey the Lord.
They always do what they promise, no matter how much it may cost.
They make loans without charging interest and cannot be bribed to testify against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will always be secure.”

(3) Then the prophet Isaiah also simplified, like this: Isaiah 33:15
“You can survive if you say and do what is right. Don't use your power to cheat the poor and don't accept bribes. Don't join with those who plan to commit murder or to do other evil things.”

(3) The prophet Micah also simplified like this: Micah 6:8
“Do what is just, show constant love, and live in humble fellowship with our God.”

(3) Later in his life, the prophet Isaiah simplified yet again like this: Isaiah 56:1
The Lord says to his people, “Do what is just and right, for soon I will save you.”

If we summarize all these, they were asking people to do what is right.

(2) Now following this tradition of simplifying the teachings of the Old Testament, a teacher of the law was asking Jesus like this:
“Jesus, how would you simplify all the laws in the Old Testament?
Which is the most important commandment of all?”

Then Jesus answered like this:
(3) “The most important one is this:
‘Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Here Jesus is saying what Jewish people already knew.
Because whenever they worship together, they recited this.
It is called “Shema”:
(3) In fact, they place this text in a mezuzah and put it on their doorpost:
(3) And when they pray, they wear a small box on their head (tefillin) that contain these words of shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
It says:
“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

To that, Jesus just added:
“and with all our mind.”
Jesus may be asking him to love God with his mind.
Jesus may ask him to use his good mind to understand the teaching of Jesus.
Or Jesus may be saying:
“I want you guys to love God, with your all being, including your mind.”

(3) Then Jesus said:
“The second important commandment is this:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”

Jewish people knew this one, too.
Because it is in the book of Leviticus which says:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

(3) But you know according to Jesus, everyone who needs his help is our neighbor.
So Jesus is saying:
“Love everyone.”

Like this, Jesus was saying:
“Love God and love people.
Then you will be able to do what is right.”

(3) Then this teacher of the law who asked Jesus the question agreed and said:
“Well said, teacher, you are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Then Jesus was like:
“Wow, you are not far away from the kingdom of God.”

(2) Today Jesus didn’t say:
“Do what is right.”

Instead, Jesus is saying:
“If you love God, you will have power to do what is right.
If you love God, God’s power can manifest through you.
So you will be able to do what is right.
Do good to your neighbors.
Then as you love people, God will continually use you to do what is right.”

One time, I was struggling spiritually.
Then a Christian brother taught me this kind of prayer.
(3) He asks me to repeat this kind of prayer:
“God, I want to love you.
I love you.
Jesus, I want to love you.
I love you.
Holy Spirit, I want to love you.
I love you.”

Then slowly I felt calmness coming into my hearts.
Then I was able to think in the right way and live in the right way.

When we repeat this prayer, we are asking God to help us to love God and love people.
And we are encouraging ourselves to love God.
Then God empowers us to think in the right way and live in the right way.
Then God may use us to help people in the right way.

So I suggest to you that you try this prayer if you want.
“God, I want to love you.
I love you.
Jesus, I want to love you.
I love you.
Holy Spirit, I want to love you.
I love you.”

When we pray like this to love God, God may answer our prayer.
Then we may really love God and be able to do what is right.
Because God’s love overflow our hearts, we cannot help but to love God and love people in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for teaching us to love you and love people.
Help us to love you and love your people.
In Jesus name, we pray.

Prayers of the people 7

Jesus, thank you for saving us and giving us new life.
Help us to embrace this new life with open arms.

Jesus, you have provided many opportunities for us to do your will.
But sometimes, because we were afraid to take those opportunity to serve you and serve people.
Forgive us.

May we walk in your light as your light shines on our path and within our hearts.
Shine your light when we doubt and hesitate.
Jesus, you are saying:
"Don't be afraid.
I am with you.
I am in the depths of your being.
Seek and you will find.”

Change our hearts, so that we may follow you.
Shine your light into our darkness.
Shine your light when we have inner contradictions or inner conflicts.
May we hear your calling saying:
"Go forward.
This is the way.
Then your soul will live!"
May we move along with you with a quiet and humble confidence in you.
May we walk with you having your peace, in our soul.
May we use our gift and talents to serve you and worship you today.
May we believe that it is better for us to give our lives to you.

Jesus, our encourager, you send us your Holy Spirit.
Your Spirit comes to comfort us.
Your Spirit helps us to experience you today.
May your Holy Spirit continually free us to live the life that you lived.

And may we walk in your light as your light shines on our path and within our hearts.
Shine your light when we doubt and hesitate.
Jesus, you are saying:
"Don't be afraid.
I am with you.
I am in the depths of your being.
Seek and you will find.”

Jesus, now we entrust to you our family and friends, all who ask for our prayers and who pray for us.
May they receive your words today.
May they learn more of you and experience you today.

Thank you for your love toward them.
Thank you for including them into your kingdom.
Thank you for welcoming them.
May they also see your guidance and follow you.
Help them to understand the true meaning of your story.
May you lead them into the path of righteousness.

Jesus, we pray for all nations and all people.
Jesus, help us to live with your compassion.
Help us to listen to your compassionate calling.

People need you.
May they experience your love today.
May they learn to entrust everything to you.
May they learn to rejoice in you and in what you accomplish in their life.

We pray in your name.


Mark 10: 46-52 (1)


Jesus can heal
Reading: Mark 10: 46-52
Blanks: mercy, Call, faith, healed

(3) Today we saw a person who made a living begging from other people.
He had his own spot where many people passed by.
Some gave him money.
Some gave him food.

But still he was living in a poor condition.
But we know his name.
His name was Bartimaeus.
He was a Jewish man who lived about two thousand years ago in Jericho.
Many priests and Levites were living there.
So he could have been a levite.

But Bartimaeus could not work in the temple, because he was blind.
And in those days, there were not much work available for the blind.
No farm would hire him.
Even if he were a levite, he could work in the temple.

So, everyday he sat at a street corner and beg from the people who passed by.

But since he was able to speak and listen, Bartimaeus heard about Jesus.
He listened carefully when people talked about Jesus.
He was very interested in Jesus.
He heard about what Jesus said.
He heard about many miracles Jesus performed.
He heard how Jesus healed so many people.

Then Bartimaeus started to have faith in Jesus.
He was able to see with the eyes of faith.
He could see God was very pleased with Jesus.
He could see Jesus is the Messiah, the King who was sent by God.
He had faith.
So, he could see clearly who Jesus is.
Jesus is the Son of God.
So Bartimaeus loved to hear more about Jesus.

(2) He heard Jesus was still visiting many cities.
Then one day, he heard Jesus was passing by the city where Bartimaeus was.
Then someone told him that Jesus and his disciples were passing him by right now.
O my God!!!

(3) Then Bartimaeus began to shout something like this:
“Jesus, son of David, my King, have mercy on me!
Help me, my king.”
He was shouting and shouting.

But some people asked him to be quiet, because they could not see what Bartimaeus saw in faith.
They could not see that Jesus could heal Bartimaeus.
So they were like:
“Stop it.
That is no use.
Be quiet.”

But he was like:
"Are you kidding?
Jesus is passing me by.
I believe that Jesus could heal me.
I believe that Jesus could open my eyes.”
Bartimaeus saw this was possible.

So, he shouted all the more:
“My King, the Messiah, have mercy on me!”
He asked.
He asked in faith.
In fact, he prayed!

Jesus could see that this was an expression of faith.
Jesus heard his faith.
So Jesus wanted to see him.
So, people brought Bartimaeus to Jesus.

(4) Jesus was like:
“What do you want me to do for you?”

Bartimaeus was like:
“Teacher, I want to see!
Jesus, open my eyes.”
He made his request known to Jesus.
Bartimaeus gave Jesus permission to work miracle in his life.

Then Jesus said:
“Your faith has healed you!”

Then Bartimaeus saw Jesus, the King.
Then he followed the Messiah into Jerusalem.
(2) He followed the way of Jesus.
And he was part of the ministry of Jesus.

The writer of the gospel of Mark, mentioned his name, Bartimaeus.
He usually didn’t mentioned the name of the person who was healed.
But he mentioned the name, Bartimaeus.
What does it mean?

Maybe he was saying:
“I know this man.
You know this man, don’t you?
Bartimaeus was a good church member.
He talked about what Jesus had done for him.
And he shared his testimony.
And people got to know Jesus because of him.
Bartimaeus also shared the story of Jesus.
I know this person, Bartimaeus.”

So Mark might have known him personally.
And many people might have believed in Jesus because of his witness.

Now we heard about what Jesus did two thousand years ago.
This story teaches us what Jesus could do in our life.
This story teaches us about what we could expect from Jesus.
This story helps us to hope.
This story encourages us to pray believing a miracle.

(3) This story encourages us to say:
“With Jesus, all things are possible.”
Bartimaeus believed in this.
So Bartimaeus asked Jesus.
And we know what happened to Bartimaeus.

I hope that we also believe that with Jesus, all things are possible.
I hope that we have enough faith to ask Jesus to heal those whom you love.
I hope that we believe that Jesus could still heal people.
I hope that believe that Jesus could answer our prayer as well.

Then prayer is a great treasure.
Through prayer, we can talk to God and listen to God.
We can experience God and what God can do for us.
We all need this experience.
Then we may also share the story of Jesus because we have experienced it.

So I want to you encourage you to pray today.
Pray for someone who needs a healing.
Pray for someone who needs God’s help and God’s miracles.
Pray for yourself if you need a miracle in your own life.
Let’s pray and let’s make our request known to God.
We are going to pray all together.
Then at the end, I will close us in prayer.
Let’s pray.

Jesus, thank you for listening to our prayer.
Thank you for interested in our life.
Give us faith to pray.
Help us to trust you with our life.
Help us to focus on you and pray in faith as you provides all our needs.
Then may we experience you in our life.
Then may we share the story of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We pray this in Jesus name.


Mark 10:35-45 (1)


What is like to follow Jesus
Reading: Mark 10:35-45
Blanks: know, baptized, belong, prepared, servant, slave

(3) Again at this time Jesus told his students about his going into Jerusalem to die and rise again.
Jesus was saying again and again about his humiliation and death in Jerusalem.

But you know some people hear only what they want to hear.
For example, James and John thought that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to become a King.
They misunderstood what Jesus was saying.
It was also because they knew the power of Jesus.
They knew that Jesus is the Son of God.
So, they thought when Jesus arrived at Jerusalem, Jesus would establish God's Kingdom on earth!
Thy imagined that Jesus would be the greatest king ever.

So as they were going to Jerusalem, they wanted to ask Jesus something.
They were biological brothers.
They have left everything to follow Jesus.
Now, they wanted to be the two most important ministers in Jesus' Kingdom.

You know, Jesus said:
“Ask and it will be given to you.
Seek and you will find.
Knock and the door will be opened to you.”

So they asked:
“Teacher, we want you to do something for us.”
Jesus asked:
“What do you want me to do for you?”
They were like:
“Let us sit at your right and left in your glory.”
Meaning, “when you become the king of universe at Jerusalem, and as you makes your nation powerful in Jerusalem, have us sit next to you.
Have us rule over others with you.”

(3) Then, Jesus asked:
“Can you drink the cup that I drink?
Can you be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

They didn’t understand what Jesus were saying.
It sounded like Jesus was about to give what they were asking.
So they were like:
“Yes, yes, yes!
We can do that!
No problem!"

But what was Jesus really saying?
In answer, the cup means crucifixion.
After his death, Jesus would provide his blood of salvation.
That is what we celebrate during communion.
So the cup means his death.

And his baptism also means his death on the cross.
That is what our baptism means.
The baptism means that that we die with Jesus and rise up again with Jesus.

(2) So in other words, Jesus was saying:
"I am about to be crucified.
Do you want to be crucified, too?
I am about to suffer and be rejected.
Do want to suffer and be rejected, too?
I am about to be betrayed by my closest friend.
Can you handle this kind of disappointment?”

Jesus was explaining about his life.
And Jesus was asking whether they wanted to follow this kind of life.
Jesus wanted to know whether they wanted to face these kind of difficulties in life.
If they say yes to these questions, their life is over.
They would live the life of Jesus.
And Jesus was asking:
“Are you ok with that?"

Then without knowing, they said yes.
Then Jesus said:
You will drink the cup that I will drink.
You will be baptized in my baptism.
But I cannot give you what you are asking.
That is God’s business."

When other disciples heard this, they were like:
“So, they want to rule over us, huh!
How selfish they are.
Watch out, because we should rule over them!"

(2) Then, Jesus called all of them over and said something like this:
“If you want to have power and authority to rule over other people and if you want to be like high officials in this world who use their power to make people serve them and listen to them, then you are following a wrong person.
Because I am not like that.
I come to give my life as a payment for saving all other people’s lives.
I came to serve.
I want to give.
That is my life on earth.
If you want to follow me, you need to serve like me.
If you want to follow me, you live like a servant of God and serve others.
(3) So try to serve other people.
Try to meet their needs.
That is what is like to follow me.
That is what is like to live my life.”

(2) Then Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem.
He was humiliated there and died there.
Then one the third day, he rose again.

And after his resurrection, Jesus might have said the same thing to his people:
"I am the Messiah, the Son of God, Savior of the world.
I was nailed to a cross.
Here is my humble cross.
I need someone to follow me taking up their humble cross.
Try to live my way.
Try to copy what I do.
Be ready to die for the truth.
Live my life of service.
Then I will take care of the rest.
Then you will be with me forever in my kingdom.”

So following this Jesus, many Christians died like Jesus.
In the early church, many Christians died for Jesus.
And they wanted to die for Jesus.
In fact, they even made up this kind of song and sung together: 2 Timothy 2: 11-13:
“If we died with him, we will also live with him.
If we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

This is Christianity.
This kind of life is impossible with our own power.
So Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to serve others and follow Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is providing us God’s power to live like that.

Today Jesus is asking us to serve and live for God and die for God.
Jesus is asking us to follow him.
May we be able to follow him all the way.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, the servant of all.
Thank you for giving your life for us.
Help us to follow you.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Mark 10:17-31 (1)


“Give everything to the poor and follow Jesus”
Reading: Mark 10:17-31
Blanks: God, honor, loved, sell, all, come

(2) A rich ruler ran to Jesus.
Then when he came, he fell on his knees and asked to Jesus:
“Good teacher, what good thing must I do to inherit eternal life?”

He was interested in what is good, because he thought if he does what is good, he would have eternal life.
So he wanted to do what is good.

(3) But Jesus was like:
“Why do you call me good?
No one is good, but God alone.”

Jesus is God.
And Jesus is good.
So this young man can call Jesus “good teacher.”

But this young man didn’t know yet that Jesus is God.
So Jesus said that he should not call him “good teacher” yet.
He can call him like that after he know that Jesus is God.

So, first, Jesus is pointing out that only God is good and no one else is good enough.
No human being is good enough for God.
No human being can reach God’s goodness.
So people can have eternal life by God’s grace.
There is no other way around.

That is, eternal life is not something that we can earn by doing what is good.
It is a free gift from God.
God gives it freely in the name of Jesus.

So no one can boast that they earn eternal life, because we all receive it for free by faith.
Everyone receives it for free by faith.
In this way, we have eternal life.

Even Brother Roger, Mother Teresa or Gandhi could not be good enough to have eternal life by their own power.
We all receive eternal life by the grace of God, through faith, for free.

But then Jesus wanted to point out something more.
So Jesus mentioned 5 of Ten Commandment:
“God asks people to keep God’s commandments: that is,
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony.
Honor your father and mother.
Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus knew what to emphasize for him.
So Jesus didn’t mention about other list of Ten Commandment.
Here Jesus only mentioned about loving one's neighbors.
That is, Jesus is asking him to love his neighbors.

(3) But then the young man was like:
“I love my neighbors.
I have kept those commandments.
Is that all?”

According to his standard, he was fine.
He knew that this was a great achievement.

(2) Then Jesus loved him.
Then Jesus was like:
“If you want to be perfect, then be my disciple.
But before becoming my disciple, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
Give everything to the poor.
Try to love them this much.
Then come, follow me.
I will show you the truth.”

Jesus asked him to be his student and traveled with him.
Jesus didn’t offer this to everyone.
Jesus only offered this to those whom he wanted to carry on his ministry: for example, Peter, John, Andrew and other disciples.

But for this man, there was a precondition.
He needed to give 100% of his wealth to the poor.
He had to let go of all his money.
In this way, he would have all his hope and money and treasure in heaven.

Jesus was challenging him to love his neighbours more than his money.
Jesus was challenging him to love God enough and give all to the poor, God’s poor.
Then Jesus was challenging him to follow him and live the life of Jesus.
Then one day, he might accept Jesus as the Son of God.
Then he might gain so much more because he gave all away.
As for eternal life, he would receive as a gift.

In those days, people believed that God gave money and wealth to those who obey God well.
So this man worked hard for it.
And he was good at it.
He thought that he received all these wealth and possessions from God.
He might have thought that God was blessing him to have all these riches and authority.
So he even ready to work harder to gain more.
He wanted to train himself to gain more.
So he even came to Jesus to get eternal life as well.

But Jesus was asking him to go beyond.
Go beyond this mentality of having more and more and more.

It sounds like a teaching of Buddhism, isn’t it?:
“If you want to truly live, abandon everything and detach from it.”

But, Jesus is calling him to follow him into this unknown.
That is a challenge.
Jesus is asking him to listen and obey and start a new life.

But he had never thought about giving all away.
He had never heard anything like this.
He might have given ten percent of his wealth to the poor.
But everything?
This young man was not ready to give all away.

(3) But Jesus seems to say:
“With your money and wealth, you cannot follow me.”

(3) So, he went away, because he was not ready to give everything to the poor, and then follow Jesus.

Jesus didn’t need his money.
Jesus didn’t ask for his money.
Jesus didn’t ask him to give money to build his temples or churches.
Instead, Jesus believed if he let go of things, he would be able to see more clearly.
Then Jesus could guide them to do God’s ministry.

So, Jesus asked him to give all away to the poor and follow him.
Jesus didn’t ask this to everyone.
Some students of Jesus didn’t sell everything and give to the poor.

But, sometimes Jesus asks people to leave everything and follow him.
Jesus called them to live just like him.
For the continuation of his ministry, Jesus is asking them to:
“Give all away and then follow me.”

So, no one can say:
“I cannot follow you Jesus because I don’t have any money.”
Or, “I cannot serve God because I don’t have money.”

(3) After this, Jesus said something like this to his other students:
“It is really hard for the rich to follow me, because they have so much to give away.
In fact, it is impossible for everyone.
Even those who have little may struggle in giving all up for God.
But God can help.
So, depend on God.
It is possible with God.”

(3) Then Peter said that they gave up everything and followed Jesus.
That is right.
(3) Then Jesus was like:
“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for me and for my gospel, will receive a hundred times as much in this age —along with persecutions— and will inherit eternal life in the coming age.”

Remembering these saying of Jesus, many have given up everything for God.
Many left everything and obeyed God.
That is, they were able to love their neighbors in the power of God.
Jesus used their lives to help so many people.
Jesus continually helps them.
Then God used them to change history of this world.

Sometimes, God is calling people to love their neighbors this much.
God is calling them to give all to the poor and follow Jesus.
Then, if they cannot let go of things, they cannot follow God.

Sometimes, only if we let go of things, we may have a chance to know more of God.
If we give to the poor, we may be able to see more clearly.
We may see Jesus as our God.
So Jesus guides us and teaches us to give to the poor, so that we may be able to follow God.

Then we may live like Jesus for others.
Then we may be able to live like Jesus.
We may learn God’s intention for our lives.
We may learn to love people and love God.
Then we may have true wealth and true prosperity.
Then we may enjoy eternal life.

(3) I know a young man who felt called to be a pastor.
But his mother told him something like this:
“Don’t be a pastor because then you will be poor.”

Jesus might have asked this young man to follow Jesus and experience God.
Jesus wanted him to learn more of God’s truth.
Jesus wanted him to understand God who is kind and gentle.
Jesus wanted him to trust in God who is good and merciful.

Then God may use him to bless so many people.
Then he could teach others about this God.
But his inner mother was saying:
“Don’t do that because then you will be poor.”

If you think about this, one day we will all die.
We will all die and give up everything and go to heaven and experience God.

Anyway, today, Jesus asked this young man to love God and love his neighbors in the way of Jesus.
Jesus may be trying to persuade some of us to live like Jesus.
Jesus may ask us to give everything to the poor, and follow him.
Jesus asks this, because he loves them and wants to guide them well.
When we receive this calling, may we trust in Jesus enough to follow his calling.
May God help us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you are enough for us.
Help us to love people and the poor, God’s poor.
Help us to give to the poor.
Help us to follow you in your own way.
Help us to love you and serve you through our life.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Mark 9:38-50 (1)


Rejoice in other people's success
Reading: Mark 9:38-50
Blanks: miracles, water, peace

(3) Two thousand years ago, the disciples of Jesus were supposed to cast out demons.
Sometimes they were good at it.
But sometimes they were not good at it.
Some days, they cast out demons.
In other days they were not able to cast our demons.

So, Jesus asked them to pray more in the name of Jesus, so that they could cast out demons.

What Jesus was asking them was something like this:
What are these?
Right, these are phones.
But these phones have no batteries in them.
They have no power.
So then what do we do?
We plug these phones into its power source.
Then it works.
Otherwise, it does not work.

Likewise, Jesus was saying:
"Sometimes, you are like these phones.
You need your power from God.
Then, you can live a powerful life.
So, pray and be connected with God.
Then, you can cast out demons and do powerful things."

(3) Now then there was a man who knew about this.
So he started to cast out demons in the name of Jesus.

(2) When the disciples of Jesus saw this, they were like:
“Who is this guy?
Where does he come from?
He is not a follower of Jesus like us.
Then why does this guy use the name of Jesus, our teacher, to cast out demons?"

So they confronted him saying:
"You can not use the name of our teacher.
Only we can use his name.
We are the disciples of Jesus.
So only we can use his name."

They wanted to insist that only they can use the name of Jesus.
But as you know now, sometimes, they could not cast out demons.
But still they insisted that only they should use the name of Jesus, their teacher.

(3) So after this, John, a disciple of Jesus came to Jesus and reported about this:
“Jesus, have you heard what we have just witnessed?
There was this guy who cast out demons in your name.
He was not a follower of you.
He was not one of us.
So, we stopped him.” (smile)

Jesus was like: (Acts 5:38-39)
“Oh no.
Don’t stop him.
Leave him alone.
Otherwise, you may be fighting against God!
He is doing fine.
He must have some kind of faith.
He must have learned something about me.
So God is with him with this.
There is more than one way to follow me.
Also remember: whoever is not against us is for us.
Since he use the power of my name like that, he would not quickly change his mind and speak against me.
So whoever is not against us is for us.”

Then Jesus might have said something like this:
(3) “But it seems there is another issue here.
You were not able to cast out demons.
But this guy came along and cast out demons.
So, you felt insecure.
Or you felt jealousy.
You are my disciples.
You are following the blessed way.
(3) So if anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you are my disciple, they will have their reward.
So, don’t be jealous.
Instead, just be happy for him.
Don’t try to stop him.
God does not like that.”

Sometimes, we may not want to see someone succeeds when we fail.
This kind of attitude disconnects us from God.
So when we realize that, we may ask God to forgive us and take away our sins.

(4) Let’s talk about these phones again that need to be charged.
At this point, if we disconnect again these phones from its power source, it may not work.
Likewise, if we are disconnected from God, our life does not work very well.

Then what disconnect us from God?
The Bible calls it sin.
(3) But then what is sin?
It is lying, stealing, being mean to other people, gossiping about other people, being jealous and trying to live only for ourselves.
All these things are called sins.
Sin separates us from God.
Sin unplugs us from our true source of power, God.
These disconnect us from God and keep us from living good and joyous lives.

So as we are spiritually maturing, we recognize when we are envious or jealous.
Then we may laugh at ourselves.
And we may ask God to forgive our sin and ask God to help us to refocus on Jesus again so that Jesus could help us to overcome our own weakness.

(3) The world needs the good news of Jesus the Christ.
Everybody can use the name of Jesus to accomplish great things.
Jesus is for everyone.
Jesus is not only for our church.
But Jesus is for every church and every people.
So we may need to help each other to do the work of Jesus in this world.
And we may need to rejoice when someone else is accomplishing something great in the name of Jesus.
That is how you can live for God.

(3) So Jesus was like:
“Salt is good when salt is doing the thing that it needs to do.
If salt does not lose its saltiness, it is useful.
Likewise, you are children of God.
If you live like God, your heavenly Father, we are doing the right thing.
Then you are very useful in this place.

Then how does God live?
God is good to everyone whether they are good or not.
(3) For example, God shines his light to everyone whether they are good or not.

We are called to live like that.
We are called to be good to everyone like God:
We are called to be at peace with everyone.
Then we will be very useful in this world.
May this miracle happen in our life.

Let's pray:
Jesus, thank you for the faith that you have given us to follow you.
Thank you for your grace and mercy toward us.
Help us to focus on you.
Help us to think of you and follow your way of life.
Then we will have your eternal blessing.
Right Jesus?
Thank you, in Jesus name, we pray.

(So a former president of South Korea, Kim Dae Jung implemented Sunshine policy toward North Korea, to bless North Korea.)


Mark 9:30-37 (1)


Crucified God, Crucified Christ
Reading: Mark 9: 30-37
Additional readings: Colossians 2:12-15, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Philippians 2:5-8, Ephesians 6:12
Blanks: rise, servant, welcomes

(3) Jesus is God.
But on the cross, Jesus suffered and died for us.
The crucified Christ is the great mystery.
Why does God have to be crucified like that?
Why does Jesus have to be crucified like that?
For two thousand year, the cross of Jesus made people wonder.
It still makes me wonder.

Do you know Mahatma Gandhi?
He learned from Jesus about nonviolent resistance.
And he implemented this idea for the liberation of his people.

Then one time, Gandhi was traveling in Europe.
Then he saw the cross of Jesus at a church.
Then he cannot help but to stop and stand there for a long time.
For some reason it made him deeply wonder and ponder at this time.
He must have thought about his life, too.

What about you?
When you see the cross of Jesus, what do we see?
Each person may see differently.
So what do you see at the cross of Jesus?
What do you think about?

(3) When I see the cross of Jesus, I see also human weakness.
When Jesus was on the cross, most of his human friends were not there.
Peter who walked on the water and promised to die for him, was not there.
Thomas who encouraged other disciples to die for him was not there.
Those who acted like they wanted to protect their teacher whom they called the Messiah and the Son of God, were not there.
They all left.
They were brave people.
But they could not be here.

But ironically, because they were not here, they realized their weakness, they were able to serve God.
They could continually serve Jesus, because they saw their own weakness here at the cross.
Right here, they realized that without the help of God, they could not really serve Jesus.
They could not love him.

(3) What if they didn't experience the cross?
What would happen?
They might thought that they could do all things.
Then they might try to show off how powerful and brave they were.
Then when they preached, sometimes, they might be tempted to preach about themselves and what they could do.
They might have tried to promote themselves as the next leader after Jesus.

(3) But at the cross, they all saw it.
They all saw their human weakness.
So they wanted to totally depend on God and God’s power.
Then, God’s power was manifested through them.
And they were not confused about whose power it was manifesting.
They knew that it was God’s power, not their own.
So God was able to freely work among them.

In the Bible there were some people who were confused about this:
(#) For example, when Saul became a king without knowing much about his own weakness, he confused about this.
So sometimes, as for him, what people thought about him was more important than what God thought of him.
sometimes, he acted like what people said was more important than what God would say about him through prophets.
So he couldn't continually seek God nor serve God.

When Solomon became the king without really realizing his own weakness, he also confused about this.
So he married many wives.
And then he was not faithful to God at the end.

(3) But David suffered a lot and waited a long time before he finally became a king.
Maybe because he suffered and learned to be patient, he wasn’t confused about this.
He understood about his own weakness.
So after he became a king, he still remembered that God's power was working for him.

But one time, he committed a terrible sin against God.
When he realized it, he was so sorry for God.
Then he sincerely repented before God.
And he tried to do what is right.
And again he tried to be faithful to God.

He continually loved God and knew that without God’s help, he is nothing.
So as for him, God was everything.
He knew that only God could make him a person of God.

Other people also learned deeply about this while they waited.
(2) For example, Abraham learned this while waiting for a son whom God promised.
If you remember, God promised him a son.
But for many years, no child.
He waited for many years.
Then finally, he had the son that God promised.
His name was Isaac.
But still Abraham loved God more than his son, because he knew only God could give him the son.

Paul also learned about this while waiting.
Paul knew that he was called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, non-Jewish people.
But Paul also had to wait.
While waiting, he learned more about God.
Then when the time came, God gave him many opportunity to preach and serve the Gentiles.
And Paul knew this was possible because God was with him.

For our benefit, sometimes, there are some kind of suffering for each person.
Then we learn of our weakness before God.
Then we tend to serve God and people faithfully in God's way.

(2) In our Bible reading, today, Jesus mentioned about his coming death and suffering.
Jesus knew that he would be betrayed by a friend and be killed.
But after three days he would rise again.
This was the great lesson that the disciples needed to learn.
Through this lesson they would really learn to trust only in God.

So before it all happened, Jesus continually talked about this.
Jesus repeatedly said that he would die on the cross according to the Bible.
The Messiah was supposed to die like this.
So it was not an accident.
His death was necessary for our new life.
His death could help us to see new righteousness.

(4) Of course, the disciples knew about the animal sacrifice that had been done at the temple for the forgiveness of sin.
But those animal sacrifices were not the real thing.

Jesus was saying that he is the real thing.
His sacrifice is the sacrifice.
His death really takes away the sin of the world.
Through his death, everyone will be forgiven.

(3) After his death, there is no need of animal sacrifice.
His death and suffering would be more than enough to take away the sin of the world.
So after his death, no more sacrifice was needed.
So he reconciled people to God so that they could have eternal life.

God knew this.
So God didn’t protect Jesus even though God has power to stop all this.

But Satan tried to stop this.
Satan knew about this plan of God.
So he tried.
But when he realize that he could not stop it, he tried to make it painful hoping that Jesus would change his mind.
So Satan even seduce his friend Judas to betray Jesus.
Satan tried to make it painful.

(3) But Jesus died his death on the cross.
All the way Jesus was sinless.
That shocked the universe.
It reshaped the spiritual world of the universe.

Then in this way, Jesus defeated the Satanic power of violence and pride.
Then he preached that the way of love and mercy is stronger.
His resurrection was the proof of it.

(3) So now God is blessing all those who follow this way of Jesus.
And through these people, God continually changes the world.
Through those who call on the name of Jesus, God makes the world more peaceful. Then as people are baptized in Jesus, God continually proclaims the victory of Jesus.
God is helping people to rise up and change the world.

(3) Jesus asks us to remember his death and resurrection.
That is the Lord’s Supper, the Communion.
Taking these elements, we are trying to remember Jesus who died on the cross for us.
We try to remember his death and resurrection.
Then we may see God’s power and our own weakness.
Then we may be truly reconnected with God.
Then we may be empowered to follow Jesus in the right way.
Then we may be able to walk in the power of God.
In this way, we may receive the power of God for our life and spiritually healthy.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for your death for us.
Thank you for your resurrection.
Help us to be faithful to you as much as you are faithful to us.
Help us to understand you and believe in you.
Help us to love you as much as you love us.
And may all your vision, dream, and hope be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven.
We pray.
In Jesus name, amen.


Mark 8:27-38


4 Steps of Spiritual Growth
Reading: Mark 8:27-38
Additional Reading: John 6:56-69
Blanks: what about you, suffer, rise, God, deny, save, words

Today, we will think about 4 possible steps of spiritual development that may happen in your life.
These steps happened in the lives of students of Jesus.
It happened in my life.
It may happen in your life.
So let’s have a look at them.

(4) 4 step of development goes like this.
First, you get to know Jesus.
Second, you share of Jesus.
Third, you will get to know more of Jesus.
Fourth, you will be sent by Jesus to do God’s ministry.

You may grow like this.
Let's explore a little bit more detail:
The first stage is to explore who Jesus is.
So here, you read about Jesus.
You get to know of Jesus and so on.

Two thousand years ago, many people followed Jesus. .
They just came and watched what Jesus was doing.

For example:
Do you remember Andrew, a disciple of Jesus?
Andrew came and watched what Jesus was doing, because Jesus invited him to come and see.
No commitment is necessary at this time.
Just come and watch.
Come and start your journey of faith.
Watch and learn the faith of Jesus,.

(3) Secondly, then you talk to other people about Jesus.
At this time, you don’t know much about Jesus.
But still you tell other people about Jesus.

That is what Andrew and Philip did.
They invited other people to come and see.
Philip invited Nathanael.
Andrew invited Peter.
They told others to come and see.
So Peter and Nathanael came and learned about Jesus.

At that time, Andrew and Philip didn't know much about Jesus either.
They didn't know about his future death and resurrection.
They didn’t know many teachings of Jesus.
But they shared with Peter and Nathanael what they found out so far.

Then they learned more about Jesus as they talked with Peter and Nathanael.
They discussed together about what Jesus said.
And they learned more about Jesus.

So, as you share with other people, you learn more about the story of Jesus.
Sometimes, only when you share what you know, you get ahead and learn more.
(3) For example, if you go to Israel, you will see the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
These two seas are very interesting.

In Galilee, there is full of life.
There are a lot of trees.
There are a lot of fish.
Many people live around Galilee.
There are fishermen working to catch fish at night.
A lot of children play and swim during the day.

The Jordan River flow through this sea.
The Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee and flows out of it.
And it continues to flow into the Dead Sea.

But in the Dead Sea, there is no fish; no tree; no birds flying above.
No people live around the sea.
No animal comes and drinks the water.
Life does not exist here.
So only tourists come and use this place.
At least, that is how people use this place.

Water flows into both seas.
But when the Jordan River comes to the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea does not let go of enough water.
The Dead Sea does not share enough water.
But then the weather is hot.
So water evaporates.
Then the Dead Sea has too much salt in it.
So no fish survives.
That may have some spiritual meaning.

When we share what we receive, there is life inside and out.
When we cannot share what we receive, there is no life inside and out.

When you share what you learn, people may also learn and grow.
When you share what you receive from God, God’s power work in your life. So you understand God even more .
When you share the story of Jesus, you learn more about the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.

(3) So sometimes, I ask you to have a chance to teach a Bible study.
I hope that sometimes, in future, some of you may teach 1st graders, 2nd graders, 3rd graders, 4th graders or 5th graders.
I hope that you can teach them at our next VBS here at the church.

Anyway, I hope that try to share some knowledge that you have about God.
Try to share what you understand and learn from God.

(3) The third step is to learn more about Jesus.
As you share, people may ask you some questions.
You may know the answer.
Or you may not.
So you study more about Jesus.

Or sometimes, you may feel you have nothing more to give.
You have given everything you got.
So you may study more and learn more.
You ask questions and discuss with other teachers.
You study the Bible with good teachers.
In this way, you learn more.

(3) From our Bible text today we read Jesus mentioning about his death for the first time.
When they learned and shared what they knew, now Jesus was guiding them to go deeper.

(4) Fourthly, one day, when you are ready, you will be sent by God to do something.
As you get to know Jesus and as you get to understand your own self in God, you may hear this calling.

(3) But still at this stage, your learning continues.
You continually learn more about who you are in God.
You discover your spiritual gifts.
You discover how you should live.
You gain more conviction.

You get to know how to serve others using your spiritual gifts.
You understand how Jesus may use you and your gifts.
This journey continues, as you learn of Jesus, God and Holy Spirit.

At this stage, you need to learn to pray as well.
You can only learn praying by praying.
There is no other way.
That means, you need to be surprised sometimes, by the fact God really listens to your prayer.
You need that experience.
So you need to learn more about prayer.
As you pray, God will helps you to discover who you are in God.
You will learn this by talking to God.
By talking to God, you may also know personally what God is like.
Then your faith may be matured.
Then you may have peace.
You may be able to rest in God's power.

Now you know more how to communicate with God.
You are not afraid when you come to God in prayer.
You know God is very gentle and good.

(#) Then one day, Jesus may also ask your full commitment.
Jesus may say:
“Be fully committed to God.
Meaning, take up your cross and follow me.”

Jesus may ask you to suffer for the truth.
Jesus may say:
“Stand up for me and for my truth.”

Then you really need the power of the Holy Spirit.
You really need the Holy Spirit empowering you to take up your cross and sacrifice your life for the truth

Your faith may be matured like this.
We may need to repeat this process until we get it right.
Then we may know who Jesus is.
We may know more and more who you are in God.
And you are peaceful about it.

Then you may go even to some nations where there is no church nearby.
But still you will be able to live as a Christian.
You will worship and believe in God.

You know how to share your life.
You know how to serve God and people.
You know how God may use you.
So you may serve God and people according to your calling.
You may have opportunity to serve God.

I hope that you experience this kind of spiritual development.
I pray that you have various opportunity to grow like this.

Let's pray:
Jesus, thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for helping us to serve you with our gifts and talents.
Thank you for guiding us and giving us strength.
Thank you for creating various opportunity for us to know God.
Thank you for using this church so that people may grow in you.
May we be able to learn more of you and serve you.
May we be fruitful in all we do.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Mark 5: 1-20; 7:31-37


Tell the story of God’s love
Reading: Mark 5: 1-20, Mark 7:31-37
Object: A bottle of old soda

(3) Today we are going to have a look at two healing stories of Jesus.
Both happened in the area called Decapolis.
Let’s read these stories.

First story goes like this.
(1) Let’s read together: Mark 5: 1-20

(3) Jesus came here by boat.
(4) Then Jesus cured the man that people thought hopeless.
Then Jesus asked the man to go to Decapolis and tell people about what Jesus has done.
So he told them about what Jesus had done to him.
Then, many people might have believed in Jesus because he told everyone what happened spiritually.

This place, Decapolis was not a Jewish place.
But they all spoke in the Aramaic language.
In those days they and Jewish people spoke in Aramaic.
So, they understood each other.

Sometimes later, Jesus came here again.
(3) Let’s read together to know what happened: Mark 7:31-37

(3) When Jesus came here for the second time, some people in Decapolis immediately thought about a person.
This person was not able to speak and hear well.
They thought this man needed a miracle.
So they brought this man asking Jesus to heal him.
Jesus was like:
“Why not.”
Then Jesus healed the man so that he could speak and hear so well.

But then here is something different about this healing.
Last time when Jesus cured a man, he asked him to go and tell what God has done for him.
(#) This time, Jesus cured a man and said to them not to tell anyone.
What is the difference?
This man could talk now.
People wanted to hear him.
They wanted to ask:
“How could he cure you like this?”

Then they went to their town and told everyone about this.
They could not stop talking about it.

(2) It is like this: (Shake the bottle of old soda.)
Have you shaken a pop bottle and open it?
What happened?
It goes all over.
That's what happened.

They enjoyed talking about Jesus and this man.
Even though Jesus asked them not talk about this, it was too difficult not to talk about this.

Now there might be some reasons that Jesus told them not to talk about this.
(3) Why do you think that Jesus asked them not to talk about this?

Maybe Jesus wanted something more than a simple excitement.
Jesus wanted them to have a spiritual understanding of what happened.
(3) Maybe, Jesus wanted them to truly understand.
Jesus wanted them to understand the spiritual meaning of this healing.
Maybe Jesus wanted them to see more clearly and really see.
If they really saw, they would wanted to be with Jesus.

(3) Or Jesus maybe be saying that their intention of bringing this man was not right.
Jesus cured the man.
But it was not right.
The ministry of Jesus was not a circus.

It is the manifestation of God’s love.
Nothing more, nothing less.

If they can see that, they can tell the story.
Then they can help other people to understand the true meaning of this story.

(2) Maybe Jesus knew this man didn’t want to be part of a public show.
So Jesus cured this man being away from everyone.

Maybe this person was extremely introvert and a very shy person.
So Jesus wanted to heal this man in a very private way.
Jesus dealt with him very gently.

Maybe that is why Jesus told them not to tell anyone.

And again, his miracle is not a show.
Jesus was just helping one person at a time.
And when Jesus wanted to help someone, he really wanted to help that person.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Our ministry should be like that because each person is very important in God’s eyes.
We can help one person at a time.
That is enough for God.

(3) For this kind of ministry, Jesus trained his disciples.
He spent three years with them.
He gave them opportunities to speak for him.
He died for them,
He rose back up for them.
He gave the Holy Spirit to them.
Then Jesus sent them to do this unique ministry of God.
Jesus sent them various places.
Then they went and told the story of Jesus.
Because they understood about God’s love, they could tell the story.
Then people understood that Jesus is the manifestation of God’s love.

Now Jesus is trying to help us understand this God of love and tell the story of God’s love.
Sometimes, we need to do this one person at a time.
Sometimes, we need to pray for one person at a time.
Sometimes, Jesus is trying to help us to share his love and tell his story to one person at a time.
May we be available for this kind of ministry.
Then may God miracle happened in our life.

Lets’ pray:
Jesus, thank you for coming into our life and heal our life.
May we learn of your love enough so that we may also tell your story of love.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.


John 6:51-58 (6)


The Body of Christ
Reading: John 6:51-58 (6)
Additional Reading: John 6:56-69

(3) If we believe in Jesus, we become the body of Jesus Christ.
That means, we can become an expression of Jesus Christ.
That means, we can carry out God’s mission in Jesus’ name.
That means, we may do these activities in the power of the Holy Spirit.

(1) They are leitourgia, kerygma, didache, koinonia, and diakonia.
It sounds like Greek.
And it is Greek.
We see these action words in the Bible.
We are called to do these as the body of Jesus.

It means worship, proclamation, teaching, fellowship, and service.
Let’s think about them together.

First, Leitourgia.
It means worship:

(3) Jesus said: (John 4:19-24)
God is spirit.
So his worshipers must worship God in the Spirit and in truth.

That means, the Holy Spirit has to help us to worship God.
And if we want to truly worship God, we need to understand the truth that Jesus taught through his words.
These miracles have to happen if we want to truly worship God.

God desires that people worship God in the Spirit and in truth.
So we pray that the Holy Spirit may help us to worship and the truth of Jesus may be revealed in our worship.

(3) So in our worship, we also participate in the Lord’s Supper as the truth of Jesus has to be revealed.
In this way we remember Jesus the Christ who died for us and saved us.
In this way, we welcome Jesus into our hearts.
In this way, we proclaim that the world needs Jesus.

God deserves our worship.
We worship God because God is good and kind and merciful.
God makes us spiritually healthy.
God empowers us to live.
God heals us.
God restores us.
Through Jesus the Christ, God saves us from our sins.

So we praise God who comes into our lives and make our lives fruitful.
We praise God who leads us to serve God’s world.
We sing songs to God.

We also worship Jesus, because Jesus is God.
We also worship Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is God.

As the body of Christ, we worship God like this.
We try to worship God whether we are alone or together.
We try to worship God anywhere and anytime.

(2) Kerygma.
It means proclamation.

As the body of Christ, we proclaim that Jesus is our Lord and our Saviour.
We want to proclaim who Jesus is in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In order to proclaim in the right way, we study and learn about Jesus.
We study to understand who Jesus is.
We talk about the story of Jesus.
We try to get our theology right.
We try to understand who is Jesus so that we may believe him in the right way.
It is important to understand Jesus in the right way.
Then we can proclaim him in the right way.
Then we can proclaim who Jesus is and what Jesus wants to do on earth.

Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is helping us to understand his idea, his dream and his vision.
If we understand, we may proclaim his vision in the world.
If we understand, we may proclaim his dream, so that people may learn of his dream and join in.
So Jesus asks us to speak for him and proclaim his truth.

(3) We also remember that Jesus died speaking up the truth.
That means, as the body of Jesus, we may also live or die for the truth.
But either way, Jesus is with us and will be with us forever no matter what.
That means, in Jesus Christ, we have eternal life.

(3) Didache.
It means teaching.
In order to help people proclaim, we need to teach them.

Sometimes, we need to explain the truth and the wisdom of Jesus. (Eph 3:10)
We need to explain why Jesus has done what he has done.
That means, sometimes, we need to teach the meaning of his life.
We need to teach so that people may understand what Jesus is all about.
We need to teach so that people may understand why Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s hope.
Why did God raise Jesus from the dead?
Why did God make Jesus the most important person in the world?
Why is God uniting all people under his name? (Eph. 1:10)

In order to help people understand this, we may need to give people a chance to meditate on this and discuss about this.
So we may need to provide small group Bible study.
And we may need to encourages people to read and pray with the story of Jesus.
Then they may understand who Jesus really is.

(4) Koinonia.
It means fellowship.
But Koinonia means more than having a fellowship event.
It is about sharing life.

God has the divine koinonia.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit love each other and have the bond of perfect unity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit has the perfect koinonia.
We are trying to learn from Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) how to live like that.

(3-4) In the book of Acts 2:42-47, we read an example of how early Christians shared their lives with each other and lived out this koinonia.

Let’s read together:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
All the believers were together and had everything in common.
They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

This is how they have koinonia.
This is how they had spiritual fellowship sharing their possessions.

We may be not called to live exactly like that.
But we are called to share our lives.
We are called to live with God's people, have Christian fellowship, pray for one another, take care of each other, and proclaim Jesus together.
In this way, we live as the body of Jesus.

(5) Diakonia.
It means service.
The word, Deacon came out of this word: Diakonia.

When we say that we are the body of Jesus, it means that we are his hands, feet and so on.
That means, we are called to do his works on earth.
That means, we are called to serve others.
The body of Jesus, the church does not exist for itself.
She exists for service.

So, we try to find something that we can do for others.
We cannot do everything.
But we can do something.

What can we do?
(3) In order to do know this, we may need to check what our heart tells us:
We need to check what we can do:
We need to check what we love to do:
We need to think about how God wants to use us.

If we still don’t know, we may watch how other people serve God.
We may watch how God uses them.
We may read about how other people was able to serve God and people.
Then we pray about it before God.
Then we may realize how we may use what we have for Jesus.
Then through us, people may see how Jesus is still alive and still with us.

(3) These leitourgia, kerygma, didache, koinonia, and diakonia are intertwined.
They support each other, as you can see.
Through leitourgia, kerygma, didache, koinonia, and diakonia, we live as the body of Jesus Christ on earth.
But we are not able to do these by our own power.
We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to do these.
Then we may be able to help the world to worship God, proclaim Jesus, teach the wisdom of Jesus, have true fellowship, and serve in the name of Jesus.

As the body of Jesus, in this way, we may continually live the life of Jesus.
Then the story of Jesus may be known, truly, deeply inside out.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you love us and are interested in our life.
You have given us this community so that we may learn of you .
Help us to be your hand and your feet.
Help us to obey you through our life so that the world will know you and understand you.
We pray this in Jesus name.