Prayer: O Jesus, I want to serve you and your friends.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with a child in the middle of his disciples.)
In the second half of Mark’s gospel, Jesus deliberately withdraws from the crowds to teach his disciples about his suffering and death, and about their difficult duties as disciples. The more he explains, the less they seem to grasp, (as in this story).
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus said to his disciples, “The son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men and they shall kill him. After his death, he will rise again on the third day. However, they did not understand a word and were afraid to ask him.
When they came to the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way? They were silent because they had discussed which of them was the most important.
Sitting down, Jesus called the twelve and said, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all. Taking a child, he put him in their midst, and embracing him, said, “Whoever receives such a child in my name receives me and whoever receives me, does not receive just me but him who sent me.”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- What a contrast. Jesus talks about his death. The disciples talk about their importance.
- They go inside the house. The disciples are so important that Jesus leaves the crowds behind. This is private teaching.
- When confronted, the disciples know that they were wrong. They grow silent, not trying to defend themselves.
- Jesus makes the application easy to understand. Within the Christian community, the disciple must sacrifice and serve.
- The child represents the newcomer, the new believer. Serving and teaching new believers is the apostles’ primary task.
Affections (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you paid a great price to redeem me.
- You saved me. You died for me when I was a sinner.
- Now, others must be saved and I must pay the price.
- Help me to set aside my selfish desires. I will sacrifice for the Kingdom.
- O Jesus, I fall silent before you. You have done so much and I have done so little.
- Help me to serve, to bring your gospel to those who have never heard.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will look for chances today to evangelize.
- In all my relationships, I will try to serve others.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
They did not understand a word and were afraid to ask him.