Read: Mark 12:1-44
Centering Verse: Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)
- How are you building your life upon the cornerstone of Jesus?
- What would it look like in your life to give “God the things that are God’s”?
- How might you actively show your love for God and neighbor?
- How does the poor widow’s example encourage you to give?
It seems as though the religious elite and the authorities were not interested in really listening to Jesus and learning from him. Instead, they were interested in preserving the existing power structures which served them well. Somewhere along the way, their desire to serve God got replaced by a stronger desire to serve themselves. As a clergy person myself, passages like these have always convicted my heart and caused me to reexamine my motives. Do I still serve God out of the joy and commitment that first lead me into ministry? Or have I allowed the “perks” of the job to become more important? I honestly don’t think that we need to be an ordained clergyperson to ask ourselves this question. It is a challenge that faces all Christians – what are your motives in following God? A good way to measure our motives is to examine how we approach God. Do we go to the Scriptures regularly to hear God’s voice? Do we expect God to respond to us in holy power when we go to God in prayer? If so, then we’re most likely going to stay grounded in pure motives and intimate communion with God. If not, then we’re likely missing out on what God truly wants for us. This can lead to a self-centered, cynical heart, similar to that which is on display in the lives of those who are intent on trapping Jesus and undergirding their own power base. God seeks an open heart, receptive to his word and his work in the world.
LORD God, who knows the intentions of all persons, create in us clean and pure hearts. May we remain diligent in seeking you and your ways through the reading of Scripture and prayer. Amen.