Hello

We’re broadcasting live from the River Jordan, former stomping ground of John the Baptist. Whatever happened to that wild-eyed man from the desert? Turns out he ended up in prison before finally losing his head – literally. Why? For openly criticising Herod Antipas’s taste in women (the dirty old dog had married his own brother’s wife!). With that in mind, the Pharisees ask Jesus about his own views on marriage and divorce. Smell a rat? Yup. They’re trying to trap Jesus into saying something that will upset Herod and land his head on a plate, too. Exclusive to Day 19 of Higher Bible reading…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 10:1-16. You can find it on page 770 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

So many of us are bruised by marriage breakdowns. The impact of a divorce can leave us devastated with long-lasting effects. This was never God’s plan – ideally we would all grow up in loving and trusting families. But sadly, this isn’t always the case. Jesus’ response to divorce in today’s reading could be read as cruel and unfeeling in light of all the broken relationships we see around us today. However, the way he deals with the children following the divorce question allows us to glimpse his heart on the subject. Children are often the most vulnerable people in a family break-up, as it seems they don’t get a choice in what happens. Jesus always sides with the vulnerable and in this passage we see how he cares for the feelings of children. Could it be Jesus speaks out against divorce because he is siding with those who hurt the most – the innocent? Perhaps Jesus wants us to work on growing healthy relationships rather than ending them, which can lead to devastation all round.

Pray

Maybe the mention of divorce has brought up all kinds of hurt, fears and brokenness today. Ask God to bring his comfort and healing to you. He knows what you’re going through and he cares incredibly for you.

Live It

As you think about broken relationships in your life, is there anybody you need to forgive for causing you hurt? Nobody is saying this is easy stuff. It isn’t. However, in being brave enough to forgive (and that doesn’t excuse their behaviour) you are taking vital first steps in letting go of your own pain.

Repeat

If any feelings raised by today’s issues seem too hard to cope with, we strongly suggest you get appropriate support. Some people benefit from talking with trained counsellors, whereas others find it easier to talk with a teacher, youth worker or a friend. Writing a journal might be a good way to start getting out any bottled-up feelings. And of course Jesus always wants to help – so don’t forget to pray. Well it’s been a difficult day today. You’ve done brilliant! See you again tomorrow when Jesus answers more difficult questions.