What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus cleverly responds to those who would try to trap him not with condemnation but with questions that unlock their motives.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- I could better utilize the art of returning a question with a question.
- Beware of those who are prideful and like having the best seats and being known (verses 45-47).
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning faithful disciple-makers:
RE: today’s chapter:
We have more encounters with spiritual leaders It is an interesting study in the way that Jesus answers (or refuses to answer) questions. The first question is absolutely sincere and is basically, “What gives you the right” to do the things you are doing? Like, Jesus messes with the temple commerce in the verses before. Of course, to answer this explicitly will be viewed as explicit blasphemy. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t “bite.”
And yet, he turns right around and DOES engage the two questions that are CLEARLY a trap and utterly insincere. The phoniness of it galls me. The spies who “pretend to be honest” and “hope to catch” Jesus in his answer, ask about taxes. It is doubly duplicitous because they would have HATED the Romans and the fact that they had to pay taxes to support Rome… and yet, they try to use this as a trap for Jesus. And then, the Sadducees who didn’t even believe in the resurrection ask a convoluted question about marriage in heaven. Again, the question is utterly against their own beliefs, but they so hate Jesus they will play loose with their own convictions in order to trap Jesus.
One of the takeaways for me is to be wise in how I respond to questions. Sometimes they are sincere and sometimes they are a trap; sometimes we should bite and other times, not. Pausing, perhaps, to ask God’s wisdom and permission before jumping into thorny and tricky questions about faith and life… always a good idea. And I’m afraid I sometimes jump before breathing such a quick prayer.
How about you?