Where do you get your power from? Who or what do you give your power to? Is there a reason why you do? Is there a source that allows you to know? Is it something you can be confident in? Does it change? Does it stay the same? Can you trust it? Can you believe it?
Today’s reading comes to us from Mark 12…
The Parable of the Tenants
1And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed.6He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10Have you not read this Scripture:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
11 this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
12And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
Paying Taxes to Caesar
13And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”And they marveled at him.
The Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection
18And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying, 19″Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no offspring. 21And the second took her, and died, leaving no offspring. And the third likewise. 22And the seven left no offspring. Last of all the woman also died. 23In the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”
24Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?25For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?27He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.”
The Great Commandment
28And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Whose Son Is the Christ?
35And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”‘
37David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
Beware of the Scribes
38And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Offering
41And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.44For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
–from Mark 12
If you don’t have a source of truth how will you know? If you don’t have something that never changes then how will you have something solid to stand upon? If you don’t have something you can lean on when things get shaky how will you find support?
For me it is God and His Word. All things are able to be compared against the Word of God to prove their truth. Do you have a method to test what is true?
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on scientific discovery brings us the topic of The Importance of Science. It starts on the subject of the English author and politician Francis Bacon who wrote about science, religion, and philosophy. We learn about the time in which he lived and how it was considered the Scientific Revolution in Europe and how he argued that we need to take careful observations of nature in order to advance our knowledge of nature. Today’s devotional points this as being the reason that many considered him to be the father of the scientific method. We read how many of Bacon’s writings about science and philosophy made reference to the Bible. He believed that the Bible should be integrated with scientific knowledge which is captured in his book. He even quotes from today’s reading in Mark, Mark 12:24 in his book The Advancement of Learning in his defense of the importance of science:
For our Saviour saith, “You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God;” laying before us two books or volumes to study, if we will be secured from error: first the Scriptures, revealing the will of God, and then the creatures expressing His power; whereof the latter is a key unto the former: not only opening our understanding to conceive the true sense of the Scriptures by the general notions of reason and rules of speech, but chiefly opening our belief, in drawing us into a due meditation of the omnipotency of God, which is chiefly signed and engraven upon His works. Thus much therefore for divine testimony and evidence concerning the true dignity and value of learning.
Francis Bacon’s core belief of the combination of the Bible and Science are revealed through this. How about you? Is the Bible your source of truth? Is Jesus your rock and your foundation? Is He the cornerstone of your life?
For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.
I thank You that the battle belongs to You and that You have already won the battle. I thank You for incredible leaders You have surrounded me with who know how to lean into You and praise You. I thank You for worshippers. I thank You for teachers. I thank You for prayers. And Lord as I prepare for this day and the days ahead, I lift You up and ask in Jesus’s name that You will be with me – giving me wisdom and directing my every step. Help me Lord to glorify You and lift You up in the words I use, the thoughts I have, and the actions I take. Help us Lord to live out today in a way that will plant seeds, water seeds, that we may trust You to make them grow. Help us Lord to be the archers that shoot the arrows and that You allow to pierce the hearts of men that their lives will be touched by the message and the truth of Jesus so that their lives will be transformed and so that they too will be adopted into Your family and Your kingdom. I ask all this in Jesus’s name so that You Lord will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.