Numbers 2:1-3:51, Mark 11:27-12:17, Psalms 47:1-9, Proverbs 10:24-25
Today is the 4th day of March welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you today. Feeling a little bit more…a little bit more like myself here moving through the jet lag. And today, at least in my life it’s a mile marker, a milestone marker. Today is my birthday and I’ve stopped celebrating the passing of another year in my life in my biological age. I’m 15 today. This is my 15th Daily Audio Bible birthday. So, watch out. You got a raging teenager going lead you through the rest of this year in the Scriptures, but I'll…I’ll try to act more my biological age than my Daily Audio Bible age. But anyway, it’s a…at least for me, it just marks…I can’t believe it…15 years. Wow! That is…I can’t believe it. But anyway, let’s move into the Scriptures and allow God to speak to us into our day. And, so, we’re reading from the English Standard Version this week. And we’ll read Numbers chapters 2 and 3 today.
Alright. So, in our reading from the Gospel of Mark today Jesus is in Jerusalem, the holy city that we just returned from and He’s walking in the temple complex and it’s like He gets ganged up on because the chief priests, not the minor ones, like the chief priests and the scribes and the elders, they came to Him and…and they’re asking Him, “like, by what…” you know… “like, by what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you the right to do this? And Jesus is like, “I’ll answer that question if you answer one of mine.” And then He asks the question about John, “is he from heaven or is he from man.” So, we can read this and ho like, “Jesus is very astute. He’s very observant. He knows what’s going on. He sees what they’re doing. And, so, He outwits them with this question.” And although that's…that’s true, there’s more that He’s asking, then it might seem, because He’s not just trying to catch them in their own trap or catch them in their own trick. He’s asking a question that would inform, that would reveal their hearts whether or not they have eyes to see and ears to hear. So, he’s like, I’ll answer that question, but…but I’m not gonna answer that question if you don't…if you can't…if you don’t have eyes to see or ears to hear the answer. “So, let me ask you a question? What about John? Was he sent from God or was he just some crazy guy?” And, so, they discuss it and they’re not saying like, “hmmm…let’s truly ponder that question.” They’re trying to figure out the right answer that will keep them protected and safe in their power. Like, so, they’re like, “if we say from heaven then it would be like, why didn’t you believe him? But if we say he was from man then the people are going to freak out because they thought he was a prophet.” And, so, they’re like, “we don’t know.” And, so, Jesus is basically then saying, “you don’t have eyes to see and ears to hear, so I’m not telling you by what authority I do these things.” And then immediately he launched into a parable to illustrate to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, especially because He's…He’s there with the chief priests and scribes and the elders. And, so, He’s telling this story for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear the story of God and man. So, He talks about a beautiful vineyard being cultivated and developed and made right for…for…for growing. And, so, this man who owned the farm then leases the farm to tenant’s, right? These would be the ones in authority. These are the ones Jesus is specifically identifying as these high priests, scribes and elders in this parable. But not just them presently. All the way back. The line of the Levites that were reading about in the book of Numbers. Like, we’ve just zoomed a couple thousand years forward and this is them, at least in office. And He was like, “the time for harvest came and the farmer sent someone to collect and that person got beat. These are the prophetic voices that have been sent all along, calling the people, inviting the people back. But the leaders beat them or killed them or struck them on the head or treated them shamefully until finally, God said, “I’ll send my beloved son. Surely, surely the people of God will respect the son of God. But instead they identified this beloved son and decided, “if we can get rid of Him, we can have it all.” And, so, they killed Him, right? In the story is the story of God and man and the story of redemption. And Jesus concludes poignantly, “what will the owner of the vineyard do?” You know, like “after all that’s happened, after they’ve beat up servants, killed servants, and killed his son, what’s he gonna do? He will come and destroy the tenants”, right? And the tenant’s in this story is aimed at the people Jesus is talking to, these religious elite people who are so entrenched in their tradition and so accustomed to their power that they do not have eyes to see or ears to hear. In so many ways this parable is like an invitation to the chief leaders to open their eyes to what they are not seeing, the kingdom of heaven in the world. And just like the parable goes, they left there and plotted. They’re gonna arrest Jesus and get Him out of circulation. So, if there is one thing that we should be beginning to see fairly clearly as we move through the Gospels, this kingdom is here, it is happening, it is moving forward, it will reach its fullness, but it can go completely undetected if you don’t have eyes to see and ears to hear, which is why in part we’re spending this year with this word that we’re just simmering on all year, this word “vision”. We also have a word, “settle”. But this word, “vision”, is a specific kind. It’s eyes to see the kingdom at work in this world and our place in it. May we not be deeply religious people who are completely aligned.
Jesus, we invite You into that. We way ask again for her eyes to be opened. We may be asking this many many, many, many, more times all year long to keep it on our radar to understand that it’s available. We can open our eyes. We just have to look around and stop looking for everything that’s challenging us or everything that’s bad. We have to look for that which is holding back the darkness. That’s the kingdom. And when we see light poking out of the darkness no matter where it’s coming from, we need to recognize it. We need to take Your words to be true. Those who are not against us are for us. Wherever light is peeking out, no matter where it’s coming from, may we recognize Your kingdom at work in this world. Come Holy Spirit into this we pray. In the mighty name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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It’s…well…it’s my birthday. That’s going on around here. Probably try to find an hour or two to take a little reflective drive or something and just continue moving through the jet lag. It's…I mean there are some hours now that…that are making sense, but a lot of the hours don’t because you’re just kind of moving back…moving back into this time zone. So, thank you for your prayers over that.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.