Not long ago I was asked by someone, “Nic, what are your thoughts about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem?” As I contemplated my response it occurred to me just how many
divisive issues are folded into that one question. Pulses quicken, jaws tighten, and blood pressures rise involuntarily at the mention of the topic. However, someone reading about this issue 2,000 years from now will not experience any of the same feelings. The words will lay flat on the page.
Over the last two weeks we’ve worked through two passages in Mark depicting interactions that occur between Jesus and His followers. In this week’s text from Mark 10, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees. The NRSV says the Pharisees “test[ed] him.” This same word in Acts is used to describe what is happening when Peter and some of the other early Christians are questioned by the high priest for preaching in the Temple. The Pharisees are not merely inquiring; their questions are driven by an issue with socio-political ramifications, divorce. In the region where Jesus is teaching, John the Baptist had already been beheaded for his position on the divorce of King Herod and here the Pharisees lay the trap. How will Jesus respond and what does His response mean for us today?
You will find it helpful to read Mark 10:2-16
in preparation for worship on Sunday. I’m looking forward to digging into another challenging teaching of Jesus together.
See you there,