Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mark 11 -- What are You Holding?

Mark 11 brings with it a significant transition in this Gospel account. Jesus makes his "triumphant" entry to the city, goes on to cleanse the temple, and leaves. The religious leaders were once again planning on how they would kill Jesus, and the religious leaders were living in fear of the people because they had started to see Jesus as a prophet worth listening to.

The religious leaders were in quite a dilemma. The had repeatedly condemned the work of Jesus in public. They knew if what Jesus was teaching they were in trouble, and their whole livelihood was at stake. The were planning how to kill Jesus. It is obvious they are not very good at planning to kill someone. It seems as though throughout the Gospel they are planning to kill Jesus. In the end they get their man, but it sure takes a while.

As for the religious leaders dilemma. I think we all have this dilemma in some ways. There are things that I have believed about Jesus over the years that I have learned to be not as true as once thought. I have had to go through the painful experience of saying I was wrong in how I thought. That is not simply before I was a pastor. Recently I have gone back and read through my paperwork for entering ministry and for my ordination. To be honest with you, I am amazed they let me in. I was looking at some old sermon noted the other day, and felt I might have to apologize for my teaching. The religious leaders of the day, had build a strong wall between them and Jesus. they made sure people knew they were not on the side of Jesus, to the end that even if they wanted to state differently, they couldn't.

I wonder if that is how we function with Jesus. The religious leaders were so tied to tradition and keeping things the way the have always been change was not possible. Are we so tied to Jesus that out faith is unwavering? Would denying our life in Christ be denying our very lifestyle? That is not to say we have it all figured out, and that we are not going to learn more about who Christ is and who we are in Christ. Are we willing to be seen as foolish for holding onto what Christ has showed us? I hope so. The religious leaders were holding onto the wrong things, they missed God in their midst. May we not make the same mistake.

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