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TUESDAY, APRIL 7th, 2020
Gospel of Mark 11:27-33 and 12:1-12
Again they came to Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking in the temple, the chief priests, scribes, and elders came to him asking, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell
you by what authority I am doing these things.” Then Jesus began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally, he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?” When they realized he told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
Jesus, like every other person, finds that his actions on one day show up the next. Monday’s actions in the temple greeted him on Tuesday morning. The chief priests, scribes and elders confronted Jesus by questioning his authority. Jesus responded to their question with a question – which was his custom. He then told them a parable that pronounced them guilty of usurping God’s authority. Authority from God always threatens those who thrive on positional power – even when it is expressed through religious institutions.
How do you know if you are allowing God to be the supreme authority in your living?
Have Thine Own Way, Lord (Adelaide Pollard, 1902)
Have Thine own way Lord; Have Thine own way……Thou art the potter I am the clay Mold me and make me after Thy will……While I am waiting yielded and still.
Have Thine own way Lord; Have Thine own way……Search me and try me Master today Whiter than snow Lord wash me just now……As in Thy presence humbly I bow.
Have Thine own way Lord; Have Thine own way……Hold over my being absolute sway Filled with Thy Spirit till all can see……Christ only always living in me.
Guide me, O Living God, by Thine authority. I dare not reject your gift in Jesus Christ. Show me how to build my life with Jesus as my cornerstone. AMEN
(A Prayer of Thomas ‘A Kempis – “O Lord Jesus, forasmuch as thy life was despised by the world, grant us to so imitate thee, though the world despise and with thy image always before our eyes, to learn that only the servants of the Cross can Tind the way of blessedness and of true light. Hear us and save us, Lord Christ.”)