Tuesday 25 April 2017

Bible Book:

Mark 13:5-13 Tuesday 25 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm 148


In the media race for our attention, the crucial thing is tobuild up an online profile. Using Facebook and Twitter (bothprobably too old school now), Instagram, Snapchat and many otherplatforms, anyone who aspires to be a superstar has to be followedby millions.

It's impossible to opt out and retreat into anonymity if youwant people to follow you. Of course, if you don't keep your latestexploits where everyone can see them, you will fast becomeirrelevant.

Today's conversation between Jesus and the disciples came aboutbecause his followers were being seduced by the opulence andgrandeur of the temple.

"As he came out of the temple, oneof his disciples said to him, 'Look, Teacher, what large stones andwhat large buildings!' Then Jesus asked him, 'Do you see thesegreat buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; allwill be thrown down.'" (Mark13:1-2)

Instead of believing the Jewish religious leaders' publicitymachine, they needed to realise what mattered: did they want todefend the symbol of faith or the one the symbol was pointingto?

"Many will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and they willlead many astray" (v. 6).

Jesus knew that his preaching of the kingdom of God had angeredthe Jewish priests and leaders. He knew the pressure would be onhis followers to recant their stories as false teachers and evenfamily disputes threatened the in-breaking kingdom of God.

We read later in the Bible: "Whenever you face trials of anykind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that thetesting of your faith produces endurance" (James1:2-3).

It's difficult to "consider it … joy" when you feel all themedia messages are against your way of life, but while ourInstagram account may not be followed by millions our Saviour'sprofile is one we are urged to share.

To Ponder

  • Is it a problem or a bonus that the Church doesn't have moneyfor multi-million pound publicity campaigns? Why?
  • How do we help people "consider it … joy" when they face trialsin their life? What pastoral gifts have you found helpful?
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