This Sunday we’ll be reading Mark 12:13-34 as we continue our study through that gospel.
We don’t know if this is the next day, or exactly when this fits into the time-line…but after Jesus has had his initial confrontation with the leaders of the temple, we then have this section where the religious elite try to corner Jesus again, seeking to trap him with questions. We’re going to look at all two of those traps…and we’re going to think about how Jesus evades them…and we’re going to consider some important truths that get revealed as he dodges those snares.
The first section deals with their question about paying taxes, and if God fearing Jewish people are betraying God by paying taxes to a heathen authority. Jesus’ answer is brilliant, and it makes a very important point about loyalty and commitment. What does his answer say to you? What is the most important thing, from Jesus’ perspective (based on his answer)?
In the second section, the religious “scholars” pose an elaborate “theological” question, trying to get him to side with one camp or another, hoping to stir up division based on his answer. What is the first thing Jesus points out to these guys? What is it that the so called scholars of his day were mistaken about in their question? What does v27 reveal to us about God’s mission priority?
The third encounter Jesus has doesn’t appear to be a trap…rather, it’s a moment of agreement. This is a famous passage, where Jesus employs some real reductionism in his response. Does anything jump out about what Jesus provides as an answer to this possibly complex question? What do you take away from his response? What does it say to you, if anything, that we have this moment of agreement between Jesus one one whose company have been identified as Jesus’ enemies all through this gospel? Who in your life might be someone who “isn’t far from the Kingdom of Heaven”?
We also have a baby dedication this Sunday – and I get to pray over my newest Grandson! Hope to see you Sunday!