God, I pray for the leaders of my local church today. Give them everything they need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
Read Mark 12:35–40
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’[a]
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight.
Warning Against the Teachers of the Law
38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
a Mark 12:36 Psalm 110:1
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever found yourself doing things just so people would see you do them?
After all the times the religious leaders have tried to catch Him out with hard questions, Jesus asks one of His own (35–37). There is no record of anyone attempting to give a serious answer. But I’m not surprised that the crowd enjoyed it (37).
I don’t think Jesus was out to humiliate the teachers of the law (35) by giving clever responses to their questions and then catching them with a few difficult questions of His own (35–37). I’m sure He genuinely hoped that some would see the truth of what He was saying. At the same time, though, He had to warn the crowd that their leaders were not setting a good example (38–40). Those who claim to speak for God carry a great responsibility (40b). It is not just their words and beliefs that matter, but also their actions (40a) and motivations (38, 39).
Whatever the nature of our ministry involvement, we have something to learn here. We are not to seek public acclaim. If we serve and pray in humility, God has promised to “lift us up” (James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:6, 7). However, that is in His way and His time, and may not be anything like what we had imagined
Read Matthew 6:6. Take time to do just that today. Find a quiet place to make into your prayer room and lift your heart up to God.
Jesus, I want to know You more, not for any acclamation or reward, but just for the reward of knowing You.
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