Bible Reading Day 63

by markburlinson

Day 63 – Mark 9:30-50

Read online.

Good morning!
Teaching for disciples:

Today’s reading shows Jesus focusing carefully and clearly on His disciples; He  has much for them to learn in these last weeks before the crucifixion. First He tells them plainly about his approaching death, but they don’t understand, and are afraid to ask. It is moments of honest self-incrimination such as this that attest to the authenticity of these accounts. Mark, Matthew, and the other gospel writers had much to lose by being honest, but still they recorded the facts as they had experienced them.

Next they stay in a house in Capernaum, where Jesus puts the disciples on the spot: He asks what they had been talking about on the journey, and they had been discussing which of them was the greatest! Of course none of us would ever compare ourselves to other followers of Jesus, would we?! Jesus has a great lesson for them (and for us all): unless you can become a servant (of everyone), you can’t be great . And when we welcome children in Jesus’ name, we welcome Him. Think of the implication of that for a moment: Jesus is childlike, and leads the way in servanthood, so to be like Him we have to become completely unlike the rulers of this world.

As we read on, we also find that we cannot be exclusive (anyone who is not against Jesus is for Him). There is no room for competition in God’s Kingdom. No wonder the disciples were embarrassed about their argument earlier! Not only is there no room for competition, but there is no room for compromise either. If there is anything that gets in the way of wholehearted discipleship, or causes a weaker brother or sister to fail, it is to be ruthlessly purged from our lives. The analogies Jesus uses are gruesomely powerful: cut off your hand, gouge out your eye. He’s saying this is a serious business, and the commitment is worth it! We are called to be salt – not just flavoring the world around us with the taste of Jesus, but sharing covenant commitment together. 

(To read more about the covenantal importance of salt, click here).