Hello

Congratulations on reaching the end of your first week of Higher Bible reading (your certificate is in the post). Day 7 starts with a bit of team building. Jesus gives special status to twelve of his followers who will be known as ‘apostles’. He chooses twelve so he can play four-four-two formation with one apostle spare to warm the bench, right? Er… no. Twelve was a significant number in Bible times, as there had been twelve tribes in Israel (for more info, check out Genesis in your Bible.) By choosing twelve Jesus was saying, ‘I am building a new Israel.’ Or ‘I am rebuilding God’s people in a new way.’ And if that wasn’t fighting talk enough, he marches his men up a mountain, far from prying eyes, to shape his misfits into a world changing team…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 3:7-35. You can find it on page 763 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

Jesus assembles his team and then seems to take a knock to the head. Why does he forget who his mum and brothers are? Well this is more than a case of amnesia. It is Jesus using powerful language to describe how important God’s mission is to him – more so than his own family, in fact. Now, this isn’t a green light to stop listening to Mum and Dad, or worse still, disown them. It’s about putting God number one in your life over everything – even over the people and things that matter most to you. It’s also telling us how much Jesus thinks of his new disciples. They are not merely ‘team members’ – they’re as good as family members. And that’s how Jesus sees you, too – a full family member.

Pray

Great conversations can be had around the family dinner table. You are God’s son or daughter, you’re family. Why not trying having lunch in a quiet place and start a conversation with God? After all, prayer is a chat between a heavenly Dad and his kids.

Live It

Write a Top 10 list of things that matter to you most. You might want to include things like family, friends, boyf/girlf, money, clothes, exam results, job, happiness, etc. How high does God rank in your Top 10?

Repeat

Did you notice that in today’s reading even Jesus’ own mum thought he’d lost his mind? Just goes to show when we start living differently because of God, tongues can start wagging. Mark’s Gospel challenges us to stick with it no matter what people think. That’s all for today. We’ll be looking at Jesus the storyteller tomorrow. Until then… tatty-bye.

Say What?

Who were the twelve tribes of Israel? In the Old Testament Jacob had twelve sons. Anyone seen Joseph and his technicoloured dreamcoat? Well Joseph and his eleven brothers are Jacob’s sons. Every one of God’s people appearing in the Bible can be traced back as a relative to one of these twelve brothers. They’re kind of a big deal!