The Gospel of Mark records one teaching moment after another during Jesus' final week before Resurrection. His teaching is as relevant today as it was when He taught it during Passion week. I encourage you to read chapters twelve and thirteen to devour the lessons He taught. Look at a brief account of these:
THE STORY OF THE OWNER OF THE VINEYARD...A man planted a vineyard, then hired farmers to work the vineyard. At harvest he sent workers to collect some of the fruit. The farmers beat some of the workers and then killed others. Then the farmer sent his own son...they killed him as well.
Jesus then asked..."What will the owner do? He will destroy the farmers and give the vineyard to others." He is speaking of Himself when He said, "Haven't you read the scriptures? The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."
They knew Jesus was speaking about them...how they had rejected God's own Son...And Jesus was predicting they would be destroyed!!! They became angry and immediately began questioning how they could arrest Him.
The journey to the cross is now intensifying...
TO PAY TAXES OR NOT TO PAY TAXES...Now, some of the community leaders wanted to trap Him with trick questions. They asked, "Teacher...is it lawful to pay taxes or should we not pay taxes?"
Without giving specific numbers, Jesus said, "Give to the government what is rightfully theirs and give to God what is rightfully His."
It's extremely simple to see the lesson for us today. Pay taxes and give what is rightfully God's.
TO THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION...Even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob died...physically...but, they are more alive now than ever. AND, God is God of the living...not the dead. If you know Him and have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ...you have life forever. He is the God of the living...NOT THE DEAD.
Here's the point. The only way for you to have life, is to know God through His Son. Then God is YOUR God because you are among the living. The opposite is dreadful...to be dead to sin is to have NO relationship with God. This is the result of people rejecting God's Son.
HERE'S A GREAT LESSON...THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTS...They asked Jesus, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?" Jesus said, "Listen, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
This is a priority test of your relationship with God.
1ST PLACE: Do you love God the MOST in your life? Does He know it? Do other people see it?
2ND PLACE: I know you love yourself, but, do you love other people as much as you love yourself? Do they know it? Do you show them? I'm not talking about a select number of people that you love...I'm talking about everyone...even the unloveable!
Jesus tells them that there is coming a day when the Temple would be destroyed..."Not a stone left on a stone." Then He teaches about the return of Jesus to earth and the many signs leading to His return. It is great stuff. This message is filled with hope for a day that is coming when all is made right in God's eyes. There will be some difficult days leading to His return, but, when all has settled...He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords and WE WILL BE WITH HIM!!!
I ask you to take some time and read these two chapters in the Gospel of Mark. In fact, why not read them aloud with your family. Today is Wednesday...right in the middle of the week when Jesus taught these valuable lessons before resurrection!
Tomorrow is Thursday...The march to Calvary becomes more intense...See you then.
May God Bless You!