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Today’s Devotional: Mark 12

You can download this week’s entire Daily Devotional in booklet form here.

Jesus followed up the back-and-forth with the religious leaders (11:27-33) with a parable teaching what was happening right then: God sent prophets to Israel calling them to repentance, yet Israel continually ignored/rejected them (vv. 1-5). God then sent his eternally begotten Son, but Israel would not only reject but kill him (vv. 6-8). God would thus judge that generation of Jews who rejected their Christ (vv. 9-11). This infuriated the religious leaders who thus sought to do exactly what Jesus just said they would do (v. 12; cf. v. 7).  

The Pharisees and Herodians then tried to get Jesus to say he was either for or against Rome (vv. 13-15). Being “for” Rome would infuriate the Jews; being “against” Rome would be an act of treason. Either way their goal was his execution, but they failed (vv. 15-17). Then the “liberal” side of Israel’s religious leaders (v. 18) tried to get Jesus to speak against the Law (vv. 19-23), but they also failed (vv. 24-27).  

One scribe, having heard Jesus’ answers to the Sadducees, asked Jesus which of God’s laws was most important (v. 28; Jewish traditionalists added 613 commands to “protect” the Law). Jesus’ answers (vv. 29-31) impressed the scribe (vv. 32-33). While the scribe agreed with Jesus, true faith is seen in a whole-life commitment and action, which Jesus said he yet needed (v. 34).  

Jesus then proved from Scripture that he, the Messiah, while a human being was also eternal God (vv. 35-37). He also warned Israelites against their hypocritical religious leaders that God would judge (vv. 38-40; Matt 23 gives Jesus’ full warning).  

These proud, self-righteous religious leaders flaunted their wealth and made a show of their giving, but Jesus pointed out that what matters in giving is the heart (vv. 41-44).  

Truths to Nail Down and Apply

  1. Some right responses to God’s truth and agreement with it is not saving faith (vv. 28-34). There must be complete and total dependence and reliance on Jesus Christ.
  2. Jesus responded to attacks with wisdom—the correct and right application of Scriptural truth to different situations.
  3. Man may look at and be impressed by externals, but God looks at and knows the heart (vv. 41-44).
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