Highlights In Today's Reading:
Consider Jesus' guidelines for "human relationships" (10:1-16,35-45). Joy for those who recognize Jesus as Messiah (11:1-10) contrasted by fear and hate from those who receive His wrath (11:15-18,27-33).
Just one day after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem (11:12), Jesus entered the courts of the Temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. . . . And He taught . . . Is it not written, My House shall be called of all nations the House of Prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves (Mark 11:15-17; Matt. 21:12-13; Luke 19:45-47; John 2:13-17; Is. 56:7; Jer. 7:11).
The Sanhedrin, composed of the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders, dispatched a delegation to interrupt and question Jesus as He was teaching, and demanded that He explain His conduct. They asked Him: By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority? (Matt. 21:23). They were referring to His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, accepting the hosannas and praises of the people hailing Him as the Messiah. He had allowed Himself to be saluted openly as the Christ, the Son of David, and then asserted His authority over the Temple. Many Jewish worshipers came to Jerusalem from a great distance; but, being under Roman rule, the majority only had Roman currency. Since heathen coins were unacceptable in the Temple treasury, they had to be exchanged for Jewish shekels, for which the moneychangers charged a large fee. Also, animals were sold for sacrifices at higher prices.
The religious hierarchy ignored the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled as the Promised Messiah. They also attempted to discredit the miracles in the Temple and elsewhere in His ministry. Blinded by their greed, these self-centered religious authorities were chiefly concerned with protecting their own financial status and prestigious positions.
The Holy Spirit led Peter to write: False prophets . . . among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways. . . . And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not (II Pet. 2:1-3).
Thought for Today:
The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever (Is. 32:17).
10:1 by the farther side of =beyond; people resort =multitudes gather; 11:8 strawed =spread, scattered.
For Mark 10:6: See Gen. 1:27; 5:2. Mark 10:7-8: See Gen. 2:24. Mark 10:19: See Ex. 20:12-16; Deut. 5:16-20. Mark 11:9: See Ps. 118:26. Mark 11:17: See Is. 56:7; Jer. 7:11.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Gene Green (TX) and Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM) • Country: Guatemala (12.3 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages • Religious freedom • 60% Catholic; 35% Protestant; 2% Animist; 1.5% Other; 1.5% None • Prayer Suggestion: When you are afraid, have confidence in and rely upon the Lord (Ps. 56:3-4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:9