The Passion Week Day 3

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As with all things on this journey you have been invited to take with me, the things I write are more often than not from the immediacy of my heart.

So today, as I sit and ponder the Scriptures that cover the corresponding day of Jesus’ last week on planet earth as a flesh and blood man, I am stricken with a conviction in the very first passages of the readings. 

There are many readings for today and you will benefit far more reading God’s words than mine, so my meditation today is brief. 

In Matthew 21: 23 -27, we discover Jesus has returned from his night’s stay in Bethany and has entered the temple to begin a time of teaching. 

The chief priests and elders confront Him and ask Him to explain by what authority He has been given that He would be doing all that He is doing. 

Jesus counters their question with a question and if they can answer His, He will answer theirs.

It is not a difficult question. 

He is simply asking them what they believe.

“The baptism of John {side note: John’s baptism was the baptism of repentance from sins} — where did it come from? From heaven or from men?”

Matthew 21:25 NKJV

Now first off, do you notice they have come demanding to know who His authority is derived from and yet…He controls this whole interaction…hmmmm

But more to the point of this pondering…see how they respond. 

They don’t say they don’t know for sure right off the bat. 

Nor do take a stand on a solid, core belief that lives deep in their gut. 

They step aside in a circle like coaches conferring about the next play in the game and they reason together. 

They think hard about the outcome of any answer they might give. 

If we say it was from men, the crowd might turn against us. 

If we say it was from God, then He will catch us in our own hypocrisy because we didn’t believe John. 

So they opt for ignorance as their best choice in the moment and Jesus wins this round as they retreat and wait for a more opportune time. 

Oh, it’s not that they don’t have an answer…they just choose to not commit to it out of fear for how it will come back on them.

And we can see the hardness of their hearts and the twisted thinking of their deceived minds. 

Sadly they do not recognize that Jesus can read their hearts.

But once again, I can step away from the story and see myself in moments when pushed to ask what I believe, I have feared the crowd or feared losing face and I have reasoned in myself and whispered limply…

I don’t know…

and retreated rather than face the multitudes or my own seared conscience. 

What do you believe?

What do you believe about Me when everything around you rises up against the knowledge of the Truth buried deep inside your soul?

To what extent can you stand on the faith you proclaim when you are the last one standing? 

So I ask myself and then I ask you….

When was the last time you explained to your own soul what it is you really believe about the baptism of repentance, the new life you have received, the holy calling placed on you and the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you? 

What do you believe about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in payment for your sins?

And what threats around you could cause you to reason within yourself and opt to say… I just don’t know…rather than declare what you believe?  

Hard questions to ponder today. 

Much to think about in the Scriptures provided as we continue this journey to the Cross. 

Scriptures:

  • Matthew 21:23 – 24:51
  • Mark 11:20 – 13:37
  • Luke 20:1 – 21:36
  • John 12:20 – 38