Tuesday, March 18, 2014

12th day of Lent: Authority

This post is part of a Lenten reading plan created to compliment the Lenten sermon series at Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo. You can follow that reading plan here.

Today’s reading: Mark 11:27-33

Key Verse: “Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you" - Mark 11:33.

There was a day when many people thought of God primarily as a heavenly disciplinarian or a divine curmudgeon. In this view, God was constantly out to get you and perpetually in a bad mood. Fortunately, many churches and preachers have moved away from this view of God. It doesn't, after all, square very well with the God who gave himself up for our sake.

That being said, there is an opposite error that appears to being making the rounds today, that is God as perpetually accommodating. We've mistaken God's kindness, love, and forbearance for subservience. We mistakenly thought that because God has come to serve us in the person of Jesus Christ God is at our service to do for us whatever we please.

Jesus, the kindness of God embodied, nevertheless proves prickly to our demands. Ask him something he doesn't want to answer, and he won't. Christ didn't come to accommodate us. He came to save us. There is a big difference between the two.

The Pharisees were right to ask questions about authority. The question, "Who is in charge?" is an excellent one for prideful humans to ponder. Their trouble was not the question, but rather their refusal to be open to the actual answer. Jesus was, and they were not.

If we're honest, we're not always open to that answer either.

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