Lenten Devotional

March 7, 2018

All Day

Category: Adult Education

Mark 11:15-19 

When Enough Is Enough

Well, we see a side of Jesus here that won’t be filed in the feel-good, warm and fuzzy Jesus collection of passages. He has reached his breaking point of tolerating the crooked moneychangers and the salespeople of overpriced, sacrificial animals. What was the final straw that seems to have broken his usually untroubled demeanor? The increasing approaching reality and apprehension of crucifixion? or “I’ve had enough and can’t take it anymore?” or “Don’t they understand what I’ve been trying to tell them?” He had been there the night before and it is recorded earlier in the chapter that he entered the Temple and he looked around, taking it all in. (v 11) Did his observations fester overnight, building up more and more resentment inside of him? Ever had a long night like that?

Jesus had taken on human form and we can assume that this included experiencing human emotions which would explain if the trigger had been any of the above. (Or maybe even something else that was not recorded.) We often don’t see the reason that causes someone we are interacting with to erupt. It is easy to think that it is the most recent interaction that triggers an explosive response, but often it’s been an accumulation of a multitude of situations in someone’s life that has led up to the outburst. Not unlike a volcano, which takes a long time to build up pressure but can release it all from one day to the next without any warning. To be fair, we need to be sensitive to this happening in those around us and help to ease their burdens, if possible. It seems that those around Jesus did not detect anything or perhaps they did not feel they could approach the one they called Rabbi directly. We are often not any better and don’t always reach out to those we suspect have pressure building up in their lives. I certainly had my volcano moments earlier in my life but now work hard at resisting and releasing the pressure that work, family and just life puts on us all.

Some think this passage along with the previous fig tree story (Mark 11:12-14) are a foretelling of the new times to come, and that the old ways will not be tolerated. Like many passages in the Bible, we will not always know the drivers and goals of God’s plan but that we are to embrace it. As a guy, there’s a certain appeal to his physical clearing of the Temple, giving them what we can imagine they deserved. But that’s where I’m reminded that at times I need to be more like Jesus