God's Chosen King - Sunday, Mark 11:27-33
Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent, we are continuing in Mark chapter 11. Yesterday, Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple and announced God's judgment on it. Now the chief priests and teachers of the law are angry, and they will begin to challenge him in public.
Can I put myself, for just a moment, in the place of the chief priests and the teachers of the law? It is their job to oversee and run the temple — and now this man from far away Nazareth has come into town and is acting as though *he* has the authority there. How would watching Jesus's entry into Jerusalem and his actions at the temple make me feel, if I was one of them?
I wonder how their voices sounded when they asked Jesus, "Who gave you the authority to do this?" I wonder if it sounded something like, "Just who, exactly, do you think you are?"
The very first Temple was planned by King David, and built by King Solomon. True authority over the temple belongs to God's anointed king. I wonder if Jesus is coming into Jerusalem like a king who has been anointed — that is, blessed and chosen by God — but is not yet seated on his throne?
I wonder what Jesus's throne in Jerusalem is going to look like?
Instead of answering their question, Jesus asks a question right back at the chief priests and the teachers. He asks if they believe that John's work and words really were sent by God. I wonder why this was such a hard question for them to answer?
Do you remember when Jesus was baptized by John, all the way back in Mark chapter 1? Heaven was split open, and God's Holy Spirit came down on Jesus, like the oil that is poured over a king's head. I wonder if Jesus is asking the chief priests and the teachers if they can see that he has authority because he is God's chosen king?
When I look at Jesus, and all that he has said and done throughout Mark's book, can I trust that he is God's chosen king? Can I believe that he is the one who has come to bring God's good rule to our world?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day?
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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