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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 11:7-11 bible study (June 25, 2024)

June 25, 2024:  Tuesday Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 11:7-11

May the Peace and Salvation of Jesus Christ, and the Love of God fill your life today.

Good morning, all. It is good to be with you this Tuesday morning. I had my visit with my cardiologist on Monday. He shared with me the result of my echo cardiogram. The news was all good. He says that my heart is in good shape and that he saw no coming problems in the reading of the results. We are still wondering about my blood pressure. Like usual it read high at his office, but at home I have been regularly in the normal to normal-high readings. So, we continue to work on making certain that my readings are the accurate ones, and that the ones at the office are white coat syndrome which I know that I have. Please remember to stay constant in your prayer life. God treasures these conversations which we have with Him. So, take time to have them.

Today we move a little further into chapter 11 of Mark. At this point, the foal (a young, never ridden donkey) has been acquired for Christ's entry into Jerusalem. In order for it to be used for this purpose it must never have been ridden. Christ's entry into the city is a holy action as he brings God's grace, forgiveness, and life to the people. Indeed, He is received as a conqueror, but not the one who the people have been expecting, nor one like the nation experienced earlier in its history when Simon Maccabaeus entered Jerusalem after defeating the enemies of the Jews in battle. This took place 150 years before Christ's entrance. The hope of the people who welcomed Jesus into the city was that this was a repeat of Simon M, but with longer lasting results, especially considering that the Romans were now the interlopers in Israel. There are several things about the chants of the people that we need to know. 1) One chant was one offered to pilgrims as they ascended the Temple mount to enter for festivals and worship. This the chant most commonly reads "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." (Ps 118:26) However, literally it is "Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes” 2) “He that comes" is another name for the Messiah.  All of this is extremely important to the people after the historic struggle of the people with the king of Syria, Antiochus. When he conquered the Jews, he established horrific changes to the temple in 167 BCE. Antiochus saw himself as the emissary of Hellenism for Israel. He introduced the Greek style of life and worship in Jerusalem. Under the king of Assyria, it became against the law to circumcise a child, or to have a book of the Law in your possession. He instituted the worship of Zeus in the Temple, and the Temple courts became the site of brothels, and perhaps worst of all, he instituted the sacrifice of pigs in the Holy of Holies.  It was in response to this unholy time that Judas Maccabaeus revolted in 163BCE and drove out the Syrians. Is it any wonder that the people of Jerusalem responded to Jesus in the way that they did? Psalm 118 was written in response to the victories on Judas Maccabaeus.  It is the conqueror's Psalm! The Hosanna of this passage in Mark literally means, "Save Now” It is in this passage that we see the determination of Christs to be seen, and to challenge the powers of the Temple and the government.  This is certainly no hidden or secret entry into the city. Everyone knew that He was there. In verse 11 we see Jesus acting deliberately as he enters the Temple and looks around.  Then Jesus went back to Bethany to the friendship of people He loved, but even more to have time to strengthen His Spirit, as he knowingly faced the coming several days and His end at the hands of those who rejected and hated Him. Now we see that the twelve remained with Him, even when things became so difficult with such an obvious end. I pray that we have such a commitment to Christ that we do not flee our relationship with Him when our lives become more difficult that we had hoped they would never be.

With love in Christ, Pastor Kim

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