Instagram Jesus Week 6: Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Mark 1: 21-23, Matthew 7: 28-29, Matthew 23: 1-12
Which of Jesus’ teachings do you find most astonishing?
What were the scribes and Pharisees doing that Jesus warned against?
Following Jewish laws and customs was serious business and scribes were assigned the task of performing public readings and teachings in places like synagogues. The scribes’ authority came from their ability to point people’s attention to higher authorities other than themselves. For the listeners, there were clear differences between Jesus’ and the scribes’ teachings. Where the scribes held a “they said” approach to authority, Jesus took an “I said” stance. It’s similar to my own children when they retort to each other, “Mom said so!” but all I say is, “because I say so.” The authority of Jesus is the ultimate, “because I say so” on every matter in life from the inner workings of our hearts and minds to the outward expressions of our beliefs and values.
In Matthew 23:1-12 we get the idea how far from God’s heart the scribes’ teachings were and the burden they placed on people. Outward facades of obedience replaced contrite and willing hearts before God, and manmade traditions were valued above God-given commandments; self-righteousness over God righteousness. Every law God commanded and prophecy given in the Old Testament pointed to and was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ standing right in front of them. Instead of relying on tradition, Jesus revealed his relationship with God, his Father, to assert his power and authority.
Jesus authority is a direct result of his relationship with his Father. His claim to Sonship sent shockwaves through people’s hearts and minds. Mark doesn’t tell us exactly what Jesus was teaching, but we get an idea of the types of teachings Jesus astonished crowds with from Matthew 6 and 7 (see Matthew 7:28-29). Jesus didn’t just teach, he revealed truth. He opened eyes and ears of listeners to believe in the God of the patriarchs and prophets as Abba, God the Father.