I considered breaking today’s passage into smaller segments, but as I continued to read through the chapter it was as if each encounter with Jesus became more and more intense. I could almost feel the tension in the air as the scribes and Pharisees approached Jesus with their self-righteous, pompous, attitudes. Then the tables were turned…again.
Truly, I could feel the weight of the scribes and Pharisees as they turned up the heat on Jesus. However, Jesus did not become angry, put out, or even weary of the persistent attacks against Him. He knew what position He held with His Father and He knew the will He had to carry out. Jesus walked in the Spirit and did not give in to the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). But before I could go to far with my accusations of the scribes and Pharisees I was challenged through some questions out of the book Mark: Jesus is God’s Son.
“Listen to the questions (from the scribes and Pharisees) come out of your mouth, then be stunned by the wisdom of Jesus’ response. Then feel the weight of Jesus’ answer. His answers not only exposed the hypocrisy of the questioners, but they challenge all of us to contemplate our own lives and attitudes” (Lavender, 109)
- How many times does God send someone to me to collect the harvest He has cultivated in me and yet I “beat them” and send them away empty-handed? (Mark 12:1-12)
- How many times do I place my trust in financial security instead of giving my total self to God? (Mark 12:13-17)
- How many times do I try to gather all my facts and knowledge about doctrine so as to prove myself before man instead of seeking the relationship God so desires for me to have in His presence? (Mark 12:18-27)
- How many times do I truly love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and then love my husband, children, family, friends, and neighbors the same way? (Mark 12:28-37)
- How many times do I dress in church clothes, sit in seats of honor, take advantage of people, and say long prayers? (Mark 12:38-40)
- How many times do I hold back all that I have instead of giving it all to the Lord? (Mark 12:41-44)
Lord, turn up the heat. Turn up the heat not to burn me up, but to reveal the sin that is still in my heart and keeping me from drawing closer to the warmth of your embrace as I enter into Your presence. Thank You Lord for being a God who turns my eyes and heart to You.