Hello

Day 18 of Higher Bible reading kicks off with a few playground taunts. You know the old: 'My Dad's harder than your dad!' or 'My Mum's fitter than your mum!’ Well the disciples have one of their own: ‘My faith can batter your faith!’ Real mature, boys…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 9:30-50. You can find it on page 770 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

Competition brings out the best and worst in us. At its best it drives us to achieve things we didn’t think possible. At its worst it releases the inner prat! And here’s a classic case of ‘prat attack’ from the disciples. Arguing about who had the biggest faith muscles (sounds like a lame conversation, doesn't it? Maybe they were sick of ‘I Spy’), Jesus tells them that to impress God, you need to ditch the macho talk and start behaving like a child. In Bible times, Children were not given much respect. Jesus is telling the disciples (and us today) that there is no kudos to be earned following him. Becoming a Christian won’t necessarily make us the popular kid at school; it won’t enhance our career prospects; people won’t be battering down the door to hear what we have to say. Quite the opposite. Being associated with Jesus often singles us out for ‘special treatment.’ We might get fun poked at us, we might upset people, we might get judged. And in some times and place, people will get a lot worse than that for confessing the name of Jesus.

Pray

Jesus is turning upside down everything the disciples think. Before we start feeling sorry for them in their confusion we need to ask how confused are we? What areas of our thinking need to be turned upside down to match Jesus’ thinking? Pray that God will help you change in this.

Live It

Being a Christian isn’t exactly a step up the social ladder. It can feel like a step down. How about brushing your reputation aside and daring to befriend outsiders in your school or college?

Repeat

Jesus ends with some pretty graphic stuff: gouging out eyeballs, slicing off feet, unscrewing hands! Does he need to speak to a trained counsellor? Nope. These words are not to be taken literally. He’s using words like a poet might, to highlight the dangers of walking away from God’s best for us. Today he might say something like, ‘If clicking on certain websites lead you into temptation – set up a web filter.’ That’s it for today. The disciples still have a long way to go in learning God’s lessons, so stick with us. Bye!