14 day plan


Day 5 of 14


Mark 11:23

23Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Reflection:  Imperfect faith

For further reading see Hebrews 11:1

I am married to a social worker, who has introduced me to the concept of “good enough parenting”. No parent is perfect, and when a decision has to be made about where a child should live, the standard cannot be perfection.

So it is with faith.

There is a “good enough” faith that Christians have. The absence of mountains being cast into the sea daily would indicate that “good enough” faith is what most of the 2 billion Christians in the world have. In The Second Mountain, New York Times columnist David Brooks says: “Faith is not so much living in that extra dimension of depth as much as it is glimpsing it and then longing for it.”

Perhaps “glimpse” is the wrong word. But “longing” captures that we ARE confident in what we hope for and ARE assured of what we do not see. Our faith is not in mountains we have failed to cast into the sea, because faith is the gift of God. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith –and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

Prayer:  Thank you Father for bringing me to faith. Even though my faith is small, it is your gift that has brought me from darkness to light and into the kingdom of your Son.

Mark 11:1-33

The Triumphal Entry

1When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this? ’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’”

4So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, 5and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go.

7They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it. 8Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted:


Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord!

10Blessed is the coming kingdom

of our father David!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!

11He went into Jerusalem and into the temple. After looking around at everything, since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The Barren Fig Tree Is Cursed

12The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. 13Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. 14He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard it.

Cleansing the Temple

15They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, 16and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. 17He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”

18The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching.

19Whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.

The Barren Fig Tree Is Withered

20Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”

22Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. 23Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for — believe that you have received it and it will be yours. 25And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

27They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”

29Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.”

31They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32But if we say, ‘Of human origin’” — they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet. 33So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”