Hello

and welcome to Fight Night! In the red corner, the Pharisees and their usual suspects… In the blue corner, Jesus and his raggedy bunch of uneducated fishermen and low-lives. Day 22 begins with the religious leaders of the day baying for Jesus’ blood once again. Armed with trick questions designed to trip up this Galilean upstart, the Pharisees are soon going to learn Jesus has one or two surprises up his sleeve, too. Firstly, a parable that pulls no punches…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 12:1-18. You can find it on page 772 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

Jesus has done away with the codes; here’s a parable which the religious leaders will understand straight away! God represents the vineyard owner, God’s people are the vineyard; those sent with warnings symbolise the rejected Old Testament prophets, and the beloved son is Jesus. The parable predicts what the Pharisees and other religious leaders will do to Jesus by the end of the week: kill him. The story is aimed squarely at them and don’t they just know it! Fuming, they want to kick-start ‘Operation Crucify Jesus’ on the spot. But they know the crowds will riot. And so they look for a way to trap Jesus. Wet palms, limp handshakes and noses positioned near JC’s posterior, they butter him up, ready to catch Jesus off-guard, ‘Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ There! We’ve got him on the ropes now boys. If he says ‘Yes’, he’ll be accused of supporting Rome, the enemy. If he says ‘No’, he’ll be arrested for treason against Rome. As always, Jesus boxes clever, saying, ‘Yes, pay the tax – after all the man has a job to do. But more importantly, give to God what is God’s – which is everything!’

Pray

If Jesus says give ‘everything to God,’ what do you find hardest to hand over? Ask God to help you in this.

Live It

Putting God first in your life is a choice. Try shooting up a quick prayer in your head at various points of your day. You’d be surprised how much there is to be thankful for once you start looking for it!

Repeat

Notice how many times the religious leaders try and entrap Jesus. Time is running out – they want him out of the picture by the Passover festival (we’ll get to that) but how can you outsmart the brain of God? You can’t. Which is why dirty tactics and downright lies will be flung in Jesus’ face. Find out more as the next few days unfold.