What Jesus Did! 'Fear of the Challenger' — Mark 11:18-19

Sunday August 14th, 2016

The leading priests and the teachers of the law heard these things. They began trying to find a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of Jesus because all the people were amazed at his teaching. That night, Jesus and his followers left the city.
— Mark 11:18-19

Key Thought

We are brought to the great irony of the story that will continue to unfold: those who hate and want to murder Jesus are afraid of him. They won't believe, but they will fear. Are their fears well founded? If they are trying to preserve the status quo, then their fears are well founded. If they are choosing the preservation of their own religious understanding, then their fears are well founded. If they are trying to maintain the facade of self-determination and control, then their fears are well founded. They will not kill Jesus for being a nice guy, a friend to outcasts, a helper to the weak, and a lover of children. They will kill Jesus because he comes to challenge everything they hold dear. What will we do with such a Jesus?

Today's Prayer

Almighty God and gracious Father, while I sometimes fear change in my life, your grace and mercy have taught me not to fear Jesus. However, dear Father, I do find that in my heart there are areas of reluctance that I do not want to relinquish to his control. This shames me when I am courageous enough to be honest about it. Please help me relinquish control of these areas of my life to your Son. Please use your Spirit to comfort and calm me as I must learn to walk by faith in areas of my life where I have tried to maintain control. In Jesus' name I ask this. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The next day, Jesus was leaving Bethany. He was hungry. Jesus saw a fig tree with leaves. So Jesus went to the tree to see if it had any figs growing on it. But Jesus found no figs on the tree. There were only leaves. It was not the right time for figs to grow. So Jesus said to the tree, "People will never eat fruit from you again." Jesus' followers heard him say this. Jesus went to Jerusalem. He went into the temple area. Jesus began to throw out the people that were buying and selling things there. Jesus turned over the tables that belonged to the people that were exchanging different kinds of money. And Jesus turned over the benches of those people that were selling doves. Jesus refused to allow any person to carry things through the temple area. Then Jesus taught the people. He said, "It is written in the Scriptures, 'My house will be called a house for prayer for all people.' But you are changing God's house into a 'hiding place for thieves.' " The leading priests and the teachers of the law heard these things. They began trying to find a way to kill Jesus. They were afraid of Jesus because all the people were amazed at his teaching. That night, Jesus and his followers left the city. The next morning, Jesus was walking with his followers. They saw the fig tree {that Jesus spoke to the day before}. The fig tree was dry and dead, even the roots. Peter remembered the tree and said to Jesus, "Teacher, look! Yesterday, you told that fig tree to die. Now it is dry and dead!" Jesus answered, "Have faith in God. I tell you the truth. You can say to this mountain, 'Go, mountain, fall into the sea.' And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that the thing you say will happen, then God will do it for you. So I tell you to ask for things in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. When you are praying, and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, then forgive that person. Forgive them sothat your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins."

Mark 11:12-25

Related Scripture Readings

There was a follower {of Jesus} in Damascus. His name was Ananias. The Lord (Jesus) spoke to Ananias in a vision. The Lord said, "Ananias!" Ananias answered, "Here I am, Lord." The Lord said to Ananias, "Get up and go to the street called Straight Street. Find the house of Judas. Ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying. Saul has seen a vision. In this vision a man named Ananias came to him and put his hands on him. Then Saul could see again." But Ananias answered, "Lord (Jesus), many people have told me about this man (Saul). They told me about the many bad things this man did to your holy people in Jerusalem. Now he (Saul) has come here to Damascus. The leading priests have given him the power to arrest all people that believe in you. " But the Lord (Jesus) said to Ananias, "Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to kings, to the Jewish people, and to other nations. I will show Saul the things he must suffer for my name." So Ananias left and went to the house of Judas. He put his hands on Saul and said, "Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the One you saw on the road when you came here. Jesus sent me so that you can see again and so that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit. " Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell off Saul's eyes. Saul was able to see again! Saul got up and was baptized. Then he ate some food and began to feel strong again. Saul stayed with the followers {of Jesus} in Damascus for a few days.

Acts 9:10-19

The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. He is our source of power and love and self control. So don't be ashamed to tell people about our Lord {Jesus}. And don't be ashamed of me—I am in prison for the Lord. But suffer with me for the Good News. God gives us the strength to do that.

2 Timothy 1:7-8

And so we know the love that God has for us. And we trust that love. God is love. The person who lives in love lives in God. And God lives in that person. If God's love is made perfect in us, then we can be without fear on the day when God judges us. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like him (Christ or God). Where {God's} love is, there is no fear. Why? Because God's perfect love takes away fear. It is {God's} punishment that makes a person fear. So {God's} love is not made perfect in the person who has fear.

1 John 4:16-18

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About this Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.