Mark 12:28-34 Better Than Sacrifices and Offerings

It all starts with a right heart

It all starts with a right heart

We join Jesus in the temple again today. It has been one long day of confrontations for Him, but He has one last round to go with the religious leaders. This time is a little different. This time the seeker may actually be after the truth, instead of out to trap Him.

Mark tells us that one of the scribes came up and was listening in on Jesus’ debate with the Sadducees. After hearing how Jesus answered them the scribe asked a question of his own. The question he asked was “Which commandment is the most important of all?” (verse 28).

Jesus didn’t hesitate for a moment when He answered. Neither Mark nor Matthew mentions any negative feelings towards this question or questioner. I believe this scribe truly wanted to know the answer. Read more »

Mark 12:18-27 On The Other Side

The grave is not the end

The grave is not the end

Jesus is still in the temple. He has met several challenges already. Now the Sadducees are going to have a go at Him. We already know that defeat awaits them, but let’s look at how they get there.

Today’s story is another repeat from Matthew’s stories. We talked about the woman in the Sadducees hypothesis when the asked “Whose Wife is She?” Check out our study on that point.

We get to look at this story again and see what else we can find in it. We are going to be treading on some of the same ground, but also looking a little deeper. I want to look at what we will look like when in our resurrected bodies. The Sadducees didn’t have the scriptures of the New Testament, so they are at a little of a disadvantage in this conversation. Even though they lacked some of what we have, they had plenty of evidence supporting life beyond this life. Read more »

Mark 12:13-17 Whose Likeness Is It

My King's Seal

My King’s Seal

Jesus is still in the temple dealing with the religious leaders. We are into round three of this confrontation. This time it is a group of Pharisees and Herodians questioning Him. Their topic of choice is taxes to Caesar. They are not really interested in their tax question, only in trapping Jesus in something He might say.

I am struggling again today in finding something different to bring out. We covered this encounter when we looked at Matthew’s gospel. In case you want to reread it, you can find it under “Taxes to Caesar.” The two accounts are almost word for word, so where do I go now? (I’m glad Luke and John don’t include this one.) I was prompted to look at the “set-up” speech that this group gave Jesus. I don’t know exactly where it will take us, so we are all simply going to hang on for the ride. Read more »

Mark 12:1-12 The Power of the Story

Jezabel would kill all God's prophets, if she could

Jezabel would have killed all God’s prophets, if she could have

Jesus is still in the temple today. He was just confronted by the chief priests and scribes about Whose authority He was ministering in. They didn’t get the answer they wanted and now Jesus is about to add more fuel to their fuming hearts.

Jesus chooses to share a parable about a vineyard owner and his tenants. We all know this story pretty well. We looked at in when we addressed Matthew’s telling of it. You can revisit that story of The Wicked Tenants if you want to.

When sharing Matthew’s account we put ourselves in the story as it was told. Today I want to live the story through the history of Israel instead. The chief priests and scribes actually listening to Jesus’ story that day recognized that He was speaking of them. We are going to look at exactly how the religious leaders behaved as these tenants. Read more »

Mark 11:27-33 Fear Forbade an Answer

Who caught who?

Who caught who?

Jesus and His disciples are in the temple again. Jesus went there every morning after coming in from Bethany. Today was no exception. This is the third day of His visit, as far as I can tell. This is right after seeing the withered tree on the way into town.

I just noticed that Matthew’s account has the chief priests and scribes approach Jesus early on in the day. Matthew 21:23 says, “And when He entered the temple.” Mark tells us Jesus “was walking in the temple” (verse27). I don’t know if this is right after Jesus got to the temple or if He was walking around ministering to those who couldn’t get to Him. This also begs the question, what “things” the chief priests and scribes were referring to. Were they asking about yesterday’s cleansing of the temple? Were they talking about the people Jesus was healing, currently or previously? Were they talking about Jesus’ teaching, currently or previously? What were they trying to build their case on? Read more »