38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
Question, who were the people Jesus had the biggest issue with?
Answer, it seems the teachers of the Jewish Law. (Mark 12:38-40)
In this section Jesus didn't just come up with a rebuke of the Jewish leaders out of a vacuum, but it was in response to the direct happenings going on since chapter 11-- his entry into Jerusalem.
In chapter 11 Jesus road into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey thus proclaiming himself to be King of the Jews. In response the leaders of the Jewish Law began to test Jesus; challenging his authority as King. If you'll recall, they asked him questions about divorce, marriage in heaven, and paying taxes to Caesar. Each time Jesus outwitted them which only discredited their own authority. And finally, in Mark 12:38-40, Jesus tells his disciples to beware of the teachings of the teachers of the Law because they will be most severely punished.
So here's another question, what was the main problem with the Teachers of the Law? While there were plenty of problems the main one, in my thinking, is that they did not recognize the authority of Jesus or consider him their King. They simply would not accept his authority in their lives or in their government.
What about us? Do we accept the authority of Jesus in our lives? Do we accept him in our government?
At first blush we all will answer "yes" to both questions, but do we really? Accepting the authority of Jesus as King means that we will trust him in our everyday lives (even when it's difficult) and in our government (again, even when it's difficult).
This morning, many people are disappointed with the American mid-term election results just as many are happy with them, but in the end, do we accept the authority of Jesus as King either way? Do we trust that he is King and in control no matter the circumstances?
Sometimes I have to remind myself that things will be alright despite my health complications, my financial struggles, my social issues, or my government. I have to remind myself of this because I believe that Jesus is ultimately the King of my life and my world in whom I will trust.