devotion 9-4-14

Good Morning!Thunder rolling outside this morning; looks like a storm coming in!

Mark 12:35-40

35While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

37David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

38As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 40They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Now Jesus turns the tables in the debate – he asks a question, concerning the Christ, or Messiah – both words mean "The Anointed One", Messiah is the Hebrew, while Christ is the Greek. How can this One be a descendant of David, he asks, if David speaks of him as his Lord? This would be in contrast to the accepted norm in the Jewish culture, where the father is always honored above the son. The Messiah, then, must be something more than a descendant of David. And his position in the future must be something more than an earthly kingdom, but rather a kingdom where he rules alongside God the Father himself. This discussion, of course, is aimed at his questioners, who, we can be assured, are listening to his every word!
The people listen with delight – they see that Jesus is winning the argument against those who challenged him – and the crowd grows. And the growing crowd makes his persecutors that much more determined to kill him.
And then, speaking to the crowd, Jesus tells them to beware of the scribes (those who are certainly listening and already determined to kill him!) or the teachers of the law, for they like to walk around in their beautiful, flowing robes, and be honored and greeted. And they have the most important seats in the synagogue and are seated in the places of honor at banquets. Yet, they devour widow’s houses (this would refer to mortgages and foreclosure, and in other ways taking advantage of the widows) and then make a show with their lengthy prayers.
In other words, Jesus is saying that for these men, their religion is all about the show – it does not affect their hearts. They do not walk the talk – they do not do the things they talk about.
For all of us, the best sermon is the one we show by the way we live, when we live in a way that shows our love for God and our neighbor.

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