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February 24 | Mark 10:1-16


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


A Trap or An Invitation

by Mary Alice McGinnis


Have you ever tried to answer a controversial question without offending someone? The purpose of such controversial questions is solely to put someone in a dilemma - between two opposing viewpoints - with the intention of stirring up trouble. A common tactic used by many in our day, especially in the media and in politics.


The Pharisees often used this tactic when they encountered Jesus. Their intent was not to try to understand or gain more insight. Their goal was to undermine Jesus, His authority, and His teaching, especially in the eyes of the people. “How can we trap Jesus? How can we trick him into saying something that will either violate the law or turn the people against him?”


Jesus refused to fall into the trap of trying to prove Himself. He did not care what the Pharisees thought of Him. He did not concern Himself with how the “crowds” would view what He had to say. He kept His focus on staying true to the mission to which His Father had called Him.


In today’s story, the Pharisees ask Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answers their question with a question: “What did Moses command you?” Then in typical Jesus fashion, He goes right to the heart of the matter. He points right back to creation. How were we designed to be in relationship with one another when God divinely and perfectly created us?


He directed their attention back to the glory of our Creator God, and how He made us from the beginning. God created us ALL to be in PERFECT union with Him and with each other! Before the entry of sin into the world, harmony and unity was flawless.


Once that flawless unity was broken, none of us can now stand before God in His holiness on our own merits. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”



There is no place our brokenness is more evident that in the way we handle our marriages. Jesus said, Moses permitted divorce because of people’s hardness of heart.


In contrast, Jesus exemplifies with His life the perfect love of God towards us.


“Just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, to make her holy, by cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25b-28


The Pharisees depended upon following the law to prove themselves as worthy. They sought to prove their superiority and elevate their own status. Instead of trapping Jesus, their pride and self-sufficiency trapped them in hardhearted unbelief.


But the little children brought to Jesus had no such delusions of pride or self-importance. They were dependent. They felt the genuineness of Jesus’ love and were drawn to Him. They did not feel the need to “earn” His affections but were satisfied in enjoying His presence. Instead of trying to prove themselves, Jesus invited these little ones to simply come closer.


Where is the Holy Spirit pointing to the hardness of pride or self-sufficiency in your heart? Places where you are depending upon your achievements, success, trophies, or accolades to prove yourself worthy?


Why not stop trying harder and simply come closer. Lay down your pride and run dependently into the arms of your loving Savior who has already declared you are His.


PRAYER

Use the Lyrics of this song as your humble prayer today. (Jireh, by Elevation and Maverick City Music)


"I'll never be more loved than I am right now.

Wasn't holding You up.

So there's nothing I can do to let You down

It doesn't take a trophy to make You proud.

I'll never be more loved than I am right now.


Jireh, You are enough!"






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1 comentário


robin.lorms
24 de fev.

Good morning, Mary Alice. Thank you for making us think about people's motivations in their asking questions. I have some "contentious" friends who like asking argumentative questions just to stir up their audience. They really are not concerned with the answers to their questions as much as the delight they have in their inner feelings of the consternation of the hearers.

Today we see the Pharisees asking Jesus a simple question hoping for a 'yes' or 'no' answer so whichever Jesus chooses they can agree the opposite. Gotta love Jesus-- does not take the bait like they did when He asked them about John's baptism-- "was it from man of heaven?" They were stumped and Jesus declined to answer their…


Curtir
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