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

Friday, August 14, 2020

When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done [to clear the marketplace out of the Temple], they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so amazed at his teaching.

That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city.

— Mark 11:18-19 NLT

Key Thought

We are brought to the great irony of the story that will continue to unfold: The ones 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 all of the false religious concepts and practices that 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 reluctance 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 9:10-19
  • 2 Timothy 1:7-8
  • 1 John 4:16-18


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Illustration of Mark 11:18-19 NLT — That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.