The Gospel of Mark Chapter 12, v.41: (Please see Reading Tips to the right -or- at the bottom of the page)
The Widow’s Offering
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said . . .
Jesus Speaks about the Future
Chapter 13 As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.” 2 Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” 3 Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, 4 “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?” 5 Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 6 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 7 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 8 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. 9 “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 10 For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. 11 But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
About Today's Contributor . . . Molly works in fintech and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three kids.
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The first thing that came to my mind in reading this passage is, wow, following Jesus is *hard*! None of what he described sounded particularly like “Good News” to me - from having to give up many of your earthly possessions (a theme he has repeated throughout Mark so definitely stands out as important to me) to having buildings fall into rubble to withstanding war and persecution. I thought, when is the good stuff going to come into this picture?! This thought brought me into a broader reflection in general about life - boy, it often does seem hard. Just when I think I have everything “under control”, a curveball hits. Maybe this is what Jesus is preparing us for - to fortify us against life’s curveballs by relying on His power and His resources rather than our own. I thought about how the curveballs I have encountered as an adult have taught me to hold things more lightly. Life will change but Jesus will remain constant.
What stood out to you? Have you encountered any curveballs lately and how did faith help you through?
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Bible Reading Tips . . .
Start by asking God to interact with you
Ask for a fresh perspective
Expect to be challenged in your assumptions
Try imagining yourself in the story
Slow down and pay attention to your feelings, thoughts and reactions
When something bothers you, talk to God about it
Want to dig deeper? We recommend "The Bible for Normal People" podcast.