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The Power of Repetition

Devotions

Do you ever need to be told something more than once before you truly get it? Or maybe you repeat something to yourself in order to truly remember it? As a Master Teacher, Jesus knew the power of repetition to help His followers learn. And no matter how frustrating their lack of understanding might have been, He did not lose patience.

Like His closest followers, we too can be slow to understand. Christ’s patience while repeating the same message to His followers was truly extraordinary. Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection over and over again in the Gospel of Mark, and still, the disciples didn’t seem to understand what was coming. In Mark 10, He had been answering questions from the Pharisees and teaching the people. When they left for Jerusalem, Mark records that “again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him” (v. 32).

Clearly this was not the first time Jesus had tried to prepare them for the difficult days ahead. He could not be clearer than He was in verses 33–34, delivering detailed information on the next days, followed by His resurrection. Still, there seems to be a lack of understanding, and James and John immediately switched subjects to discuss which of them would be most powerful in the kingdom (v. 37). Jesus emphasized that they are not to pursue a power position but to follow His own example which would be marked by humility and suffering.

Four times in Mark 10 the author repeats the setting of Christ’s teaching as being “along the way” or “along a road.” Christ used every situation, setting, and opportunity to repeat His message. Why? He wanted His listeners to hear, to understand, and to believe.

>> What is Jesus’ attitude toward His listeners? In what ways does He demonstrate patience while sharing Truth? In what ways might God be calling you to show patience to those in your life who will not or cannot understand His truth?

Pray with Us

Servanthood is an important theme in today’s Scripture. “The Son of Man did not come to be served” (Mark 10:45). Lord Jesus, help us become true servants, worthy of your name!

BY Mary Martin, Former Professor of Christian School Education

Dr. Mary Martin previously served at Moody as program head of Christian School Education and chair of the Education and Counseling division. She has also served as a classroom teacher, principal, and head of school. Mary is the author of Impacting Student Learning through Christ-Centered Instructional Leadership and currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, Michael. She speaks at numerous education conferences each year and loves mentoring Moody graduates.

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