Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/7/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Ally Drummond
Laity Jurisdictional Delegate
Kansas City District
Esther Hay
Laity Jurisdictional Delegate esther.hay@windstream.net
Prairie Rivers District
Joyce Jones
Laity Jurisdictional Delegate jjones2345@neb.rr.com
Missouri River District
Sabrina Aubuchon
Administrative Assistant
Salina District

Today's Lectionary Text

Mark 11:27-33 

Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Today's Devotional

In reading this passage, we are once again surprised at how Jesus handled this situation.  Time and time again, he challenged us to question the status quo, usually using parables to make his point.  This time, when the religious leaders weren’t brave or insightful enough to give an answer either way, Jesus refused to give them the satisfaction of telling them who gave him the authority.  He had demonstrated his position repeatedly already, so there was no point in telling them this time.  “Make them stew on that for a while” I can almost hear him say.
 
These pious scribes and elders knew what stand they took (they did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, nor that John was a prophet with any merit), but they did not voice it out loud knowing that Jesus’ and John’s “fan club” as it were, wouldn’t take kindly to this public stance.  They were afraid of the crowd.
 
This brings to mind another situation that we often find ourselves in:  what public stance do we take, when it comes to our faith?  In this day and age, people are made to feel that any public proclamation of faith should be kept under wraps, so as not to offend or push upon others who don’t believe.  If nothing else, one stands the chance of being ridiculed with rolling eyes.
 
Is this what Jesus wants?  He was not shy about voicing the truth and neither should we be.  Of course, we don’t want to be offensive toward others.  But we can be a gentle, living example of what faith can do.  If someone asks why we have a serene confidence, we needn’t be afraid to say why.  Let’s not allow the small percentage of people who might criticize us discourage us from being a witness of God’s amazing grace.  After all, do we ultimately answer to the authority of man . . . or of a higher power?
 
-Melanie Good
Wellsville UMC 2014 Lenten Devotionals
 
 

Prayer for Reflection

Dear God, help us be brave enough to proclaim our faith and be a living witness to your word.  Amen.
 

 

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