Day 10

January 12

Mark 12

In Jesus’ parable of the tenant farmers, the evil stewards treat the owner’s land and crops like it was their own, not by taking care of it, but by taking possession of it. This is exactly what the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were doing. They were treating Israel like it was their personal possession. They were treating people as if they existed to serve and honor them, and anyone who stood up to challenge their status, pride, or authority was mistreated or killed.

Before you are too quick to judge the religious leaders of the day, stop and take stock of your own attitude. Are you right? Most of us think we are right. Most of us think our opinion is the correct one. Anyone who challenges our way is likely met with an argument. Why are we so defensive?

Admitting you are wrong makes you vulnerable. It threatens the stability of your world. It also kicks you off the throne of your own little kingdom by pointing out that your decisions are flawed. If you admit someone else is right, it means you’re responsible to change to accommodate this new truth, and that takes work. It’s much easier and far more stable to maintain the current system in our heads, “I’m right.” That’s far more comfortable.

This prideful attitude is a major obstacle for growth, particularly in a relationship with Jesus. In essence, salvation is the hardest thing anyone will ever do. It’s admitting Jesus is right, and we are wrong. That takes guts, or it takes a “crash and burn” experience that finally convinces us that our way is no good.

Look at the people Jesus honored: Shepherds, women, children, tax collectors, fishermen, and adulterers. These were people who never saw themselves as authorities on anything. They admitted their unworthiness, their sin, their low position, and their ignorance. The only people Jesus rebuked were the religious people who thought they had all the right answers.

In order to protect yourself against rejecting the very things God is trying to accomplish, it’s healthy to start shutting down our pride before it manifests. Instead of asserting what we “know,” start asking, “What can I learn that will change my mind?” When you approach your Bible, “God, let your Word change me today.” When you pray, “God, not what I want, but what you want.” Instead of telling others what you think, ask, “What can I learn?”

Mark 12:10, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

Can you identify any conversations in the past week where you were right and someone else was wrong? How convinced were you?

Pastor Philip Hahn

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