The Challenge of Jesus
Mark 11:27-33 // We are in Mark 11:27-33, a section of text involving escalating conflict and a confrontation between Jesus and the religious elite. There is a faceoff taking place in the temple, the most authoritative place in Israel, and involves Jesus versus the most authoritative body in Israel: the Sanhedrin. The chief priests, scribes, and elders (the Sanhedrin) demonstrate a complete reluctance to meaningfully engage Jesus. They do not want to submit to his authority and they refuse to honestly examine the overwhelming evidence regarding Jesus and his ministry. Ultimately, we see that they are motivated by self-interest and fear.
Even though this faceoff took place roughly 2000 years ago, does it sound familiar? How do we navigate a world that reacts to Jesus very similarly to the reaction we see in our text? How do we help people follow Jesus in our cultural context? In Mark 11:27-33 we see Jesus recognize their hearts are hard, but he still moves forward engaging them! He stays the course. He continues, motivated by love and his mission, presenting them with the truth about himself.