Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 3, 2012

three squares of teaching

If you are a student, seeker, or follower, this is your day.  If you are an antagonist or enemy of Jesus, it is clearly not.  Jesus seems to move through Tuesday with a sense of urgency in reaching people with his teaching and meets many challenges along his purposed path.  Between an early morning encounter with the withered fig tree and an evening conversation with a few of his disciples on a hillside overlooking Jerusalem, those who surrounded Jesus today would certainly get their three squares of teaching.  There would be no mention of meals or stops.  Jesus was about his Father’s work and there was much to impart before He would depart.

His arrival in Jerusalem would begin with a bang, as he is immediately and passionately challenged by the religious leaders.  They confront Jesus and insist on knowing by what authority he is speaking and acting, and who gave him that authority.  This is a direct challenge that Jesus answers with a question; a question that confounds the religious elite, and twists them in knots as they confer.

This will begin a pattern of teaching and responding to challenge that Jesus will answer in parable, or as in this case, not at all.  It is a pattern that speaks to the divine nature of Jesus’ words and actions.  They are so rich and not-of-this-world that he can only illustrate with story, or leave it to a changed heart to wrestle with and believe.  And on a lighter note, this is one area that you may want to avoid following Jesus’ example.  Can you imagine me being confronted by my wife with a challenge as to why I didn’t have time to wash the dishes that day, and answering “Well sweetheart, there was a man who had two sons…”  Yeah, we can all see where that would go!

Jesus continues in Mark chapter 12 to teach about this new kingdom that he is here to build.  He calls out the religious leaders and lays out his earthly mission in the parable of the tenants.  He confounds them again later as he answers their challenge on taxes.  “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (Mark 12:17 NLT).  Listen gentlemen, my Father doesn’t need your money.  The coins are Caesar’s; his face is clearly on them.  The heart is what my Father wants.  Give your denarius to man, give your heart to God. 

The Pharisees and Sadducees prove their ignorance and hard-heartedness so many times in one 24 hour span.  In one especially odd moment, they break into a nonsensical one bride for seven brothers hypothetical about who’s married to who in heaven.  Rather than belittle or dismiss, Jesus uses the question as another opportunity to teach truth about his kingdom and his Father.

Jesus answers every direct question and communicates truth to everyone with ears to hear.  He does not show anger, contempt or impatience, but rather takes each question as an opportunity to teach and lay out the truth of his kingdom.  There is so much of that truth to take in.  Take time today to consume Jesus’ words, digest his parables and allow the full measure of truth to saturate your true self.

The religious leaders went to school today.  With each divine response, their anger and hatred increased.  We are in full stride towards Gethsemane and Calvary, but Jesus will not be led by plots and schemes.  He is doing his Father’s work, in his Father’s time, sharing the good news of his kingdom.  A kingdom that is unlike any other before or after it and is not “to come”, but is right here, right now.  A kingdom of forever-changed hearts, whose currency is a sold-out love for their God, poured out in the form of loving their neighbor genuinely and completely.

Consume and digest the parallel narratives of Tuesday teaching…
Matthew 21:23-46, 22-25
Mark 11:20-33, 12, 13
Luke 20, 21


Responses

  1. Thank you Father for speaking to where I am.

  2. “He is doing his Father’s work, in his Father’s time, sharing the good news of his kingdom. A kingdom that is unlike any other before or after it and is not “to come”, but is right here, right now.”

    This challenges my focus – the work, the time – and who’s kingdom I am truly desiring to live in, right here and now.

    Keep enjoying and sharing the truth!

    Jerry

  3. I’m so glad that Jesus is not frustrated tuoghh! Sometimes with the darkening world I get so frustrated. But He isn’t!!! He has a plan and He is in control even the darkness will glorify His perfect name. 2 Thes. 2:7-8 says this: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming. It’s not even a fight with Jesus. The simple power in His mouth will slay the darkness. The world will only get darker so that His light might shine brighter!!! Praise Jesus!


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