Wednesday, May 15, 2019 -
As I read through the Gospel of Mark, several thoughts come to mind. First, how incredulous it must have seemed to those of that day when Jesus said repeatedly that their religious leaders would deliver Him up to death – the ones who anticipated the messiah’s coming.
But the religious leaders were so filled with pride, tradition, and power, they saw Jesus as a threat to their own way of lie. Jesus commanded those who chose to follow Him to abandon everything to do so, and that would have been even more difficult for the religious leaders who were in charge at that time.
The evidence of the fact that Jesus was indeed the Christ – the Son of God – the Messiah, was clearly provided for them to see, but their eyes were blinded by their pride and tradition and refusal to accept the fact that God sent His Son as Redeemer for their sin and the sin of mankind, rather than a political leader who world overthrow their oppressors.
Yet we see this same thing happening today. Many Christians look to their political leaders to deliver them, and the nation (or the world) from the things that Satan is using to threaten and oppress Christians today. But they instead should be looking inward, repenting of their pride, their tradition, the materialism, their refusal to surrender everything to Christ, their acceptance and perhaps involvement in sinful behavior, not only of themselves, but of the church as a whole.
Jesus not only offered the Jews the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth, if they would only accept Him. But they rejected Him (Matt. 21:33-46) in their pride and desire to live for themselves, and for the moment. Jesus Himself became upset because He would heal people of their sicknesses but they would not repent (Matt. 11:20).
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day considered themselves very righteous. They followed all of the religious laws and tradition, yet their hearts were full of the pride of the heart and refused to even consider the fact that they need to repent. How easy it is for us, today, to be just like them!