Mark 12: 38-44
By Lois Parker Edstrom
Object suggested: Peacock feather, if available. (Check with the zoo.)
Pictures of peacocks
A peacock is one of the most colorful birds you will ever see. The male has bright blue and green tail feathers that are several feet long. When he wants to attract attention he spreads his tail feathers out into a beautiful fan. (Show pictures.) As you can see, at the end of each feather, there is a remarkable design that has the appearance of an eye.
Peacocks are large, powerful birds weighing six to thirteen pounds, but they are not strong fliers. They spend most of their time on the ground looking for food.
When a peacock spreads his tail feathers into a fan he also has a certain walk that could be called a strut. (Demonstrate) It is as if he is saying, “Look at me. Aren’t I beautiful? Please give me your attention.”
In the Bible Jesus describes people who were much like peacocks. They wore long robes that prevented them from doing practical work. They liked to be treated with respect in the marketplaces. They sat at the best places in the churches and at banquets. They liked to be seen and admired by others. Like a peacock, they seemed to be saying, “Look at me. Give me your attention.”
Jesus cautions us to do things for the right reasons. We should not spend our time trying to impress others. It is not what we look like that is important, but how we use God’s love to help others. God’s love makes us beautiful, and using our good, strong bodies and minds to do useful things gives our lives direction and purpose. Serving others and honoring God makes us real.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan