Hello

Bonjour! Buongiorno! Guten Tag! Great to be back for Day 6 of Higher Bible reading. Hard to imagine now, but only a couple of decades ago Sundays were a very quiet affair. No shops open, no Premier League football, no real sign of work going on anywhere. Our story today shares a similar background. The Sabbath two thousand years ago had become grim – you were barely allowed to breathe, never mind work. Jesus knew the heart of this special rest day was to enjoy God not to get tied up in knots. So when he appears to drive a ten-tonne truck through the day’s customs, trouble is inevitable…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 3:1-6. You can find it on page 763 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

Psycho alert! Why do the Pharisees plot to kill Jesus just because he does something good on the Sabbath? The day of rest was supposed to mark out the Jewish people as God’s specially selected people. Because God thinks of people more than just slaves or robots, he created us to live in a rhythm of work and rest. Things had got so out of hand by Jesus’ day that it felt harder work just to rest on the Sabbath day! Jesus uses a blatant example to expose what had gone wrong. Is it better to make people alive or only kill them, he asks? The Pharisees, however, have got so wrapped up in keeping the rules again they’d rather no work done on the Sabbath, even if that meant somebody staying ill as a consequence. Jesus knows when the rules aren’t working and so he heals the man. The Pharisees see this as a threat and begin to plot Jesus’ downfall.

Pray

When your phone is overworked you need to plug it into the mains to charge it. Feeling a bit dead on your feet? Overworked? Plug into God for an hour and ask him to charge you up.

Live It

Nowadays we live at the polar opposite of Jesus’ dilemma… Sundays have so much going on, it’s difficult to stop and make time to enjoy God. So our question today is: how can we live our lives with a balanced rhythm of work and rest? What can we drop from our busy schedules to leave time for God?

Repeat

It’s only Chapter 3 and already Mark is telling us what leads to Jesus’ death: clashes with the authorities. The Pharisees, who have no real power themselves, make friends with their natural enemies, the very influential Herodians. And so the clock is ticking for Jesus. Don’t miss a second, tune in tomorrow for the calling of the disciples!

Say What?

What is the Sabbath? In the Old Testament, God declared every seventh day a rest day. This was supposed to be a time to enjoy God, enjoy family and friends whilst recharging the batteries. By Jesus’ time people had lost the plot and were too scared to even move on the Sabbath. Christians today enjoy a rest day also.