Lesson 55


The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

Today's Scripture

10:32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him. 10:33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles. 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."


Today's Lesson

Today's Scripture provides the transition that separates all that has gone before with the final section of the gospel: the journey to Jerusalem and the crucifixion of Jesus. After the statements of Jesus about the rich young man, the disciples knew that Jesus was on a collision course with those who ran their country. The Kingdom of God would not include the rich and the powerful if the statements of Jesus were true. So, when Jesus told them that they must go to Jerusalem, they should have understood that there would only be a confrontation when they arrived. The principles of the Kingdom would not be compromised and it would not include the scribes, Pharisees or the Herodians.

 

What this meant is that any trip to Jerusalem was doomed to tragedy. Jesus understood this. But, while still in Galilee, the disciples had convinced themselves that this confrontation did not really need to take place. They could stay in the countryside for a long time and build a large following. There was no reason from their prospective to go to Jerusalem at all.

 

But from the very beginning Jesus understood that the confrontation with the authorities was inevitable. There must have been at least some temptation to delay the inevitable or to mitigate its outcome. But Jesus understood that this was the will of God. It was not to be hindered or set aside. He faced the inevitable with courage and obedience and turned His face toward Jerusalem.

 

We must get to the place in our lives where we too will bow to the inevitable will of God, regardless of the consequences. Too often we see the consequences of obedience and shrink back. We are afraid to be obedient unto death. We are even, sometimes, afraid to be obedient unto inconvenience. God is patient with us. He will never deny us because of our fear. But, we will never receive the full blessings of the Kingdom unless we are able to participate in it fully, without fear. The glory and honor that were due to Christ were because He faced the inevitable with courage and faith. If we face our own crisis with courage and faith we too will receive glory and honor.

 

Jesus knew that men would, "mock Him, spit on Him, scourge Him, and kill Him." But He knew that fulfilling the will of God was more important that all of that. It was THE most important thing that He could do. It was more important than life itself.

 

Are you prepared to fulfill the will of God? Even unto death? Can you see that the Kingdom of God is more important than the things of this world and what happens here?

 

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