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

Sunday, August 14, 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 NLT
Illustration of Mark 11:18-19 NLT —  That night, Jesus and his followers left the city.

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 9:10-19
  • 2 Timothy 1:7-8
  • 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.

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.