Wednesday, March 19, 2014

13th day of Lent: Conviction

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 12:1-12

Key Verse: Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them - Mark 12:12

Jesus' story could not have been more pointed. Those God entrusted to care for his people had abandoned their vocation and rejected God's rule in their lives. Not only that, instead of heading the message of the prophets, these rebellious leaders had killed the messengers of God.

The religious leaders of Jesus' day knew Jesus' story was about them because his story stood in a long line of similar condemnations of Israel's leaders. Ezekiel told similar stories about the shepherds of Israel who fattened themselves off of the very sheep they were commissioned to care for. The religious leaders not only recognized the nature of Jesus' story, they recognized themselves in it.

We call that recognition conviction. We can respond to conviction in one of two ways. Jesus presents the first response in his favorite sermon, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." The chief priests and the teachers of the law modeled the second, "They looked for a way to arrest Jesus because they knew he had spoken the parable against them."

What's your first response to the convicting word of God? Repentance? or attempting to silence the voice of God?

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