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Mark 133 - Arguing



When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.


Mark 10:14-16


We are a people that like to argue. We’ve developed thick skin. It takes a lot to shock us. We’ve developed a shell, a hard coating to protect ourselves. You can think of it as a turtle’s hard shell or the hoofs on a horse. In either case, the sensitive, valuable parts of the body are safely protected by the hard shell or tough nail-like substance on their feet.


When we use and rub our skin over and over, a thick callus develops. Whether on our feet or hands, these callus’ protect live flesh, nerve, and bone underneath.


These people who ran out to Jesus didn’t have such a defense. They were exhausted with all the arguing and bickering that the teachers of the law and the disciples were embattled over. The disciples had tried to cure a young man who was in deep trouble. He had terrible physical and emotional problems. And, at the root of these problems was a spiritual problem: he was possessed by a demon.


Now, if you’re reading this from the United States or some other westernized culture, you’re going to roll your eyes and say, “These poor, backward, delusional, ancient people who are so unenlightened: like me.” However, it may interest you that your position and assumptions about demonic possession is very much in the minority, even in today’s modern world. Just because you may not be able to measure it, does not mean it’s not real, that it doesn’t exist.


The crowd, overwhelmed with amazement, run to Jesus. They’ve got unanswered questions, Their leaders can’t seem to agree on the problem or how to fix it. The people, their leaders, nor the disciples are able to cure what’s wrong.


Sound at all like our world today? Leaders, experts, pundits, politicians, social media personalities, bloggers, anyone with a cell phone with more than one bar has a world-wide platform. And from this platform, they not only get to proclaim their particular, personal perspectives, but get to argue against and with everyone else.


The world has become a very angry and contentious place. But while the technology certainly has changed, the feelings and angst is not all that different from today.


Jesus doesn’t try to run away from controversy. He walks right up into it and does the most important, powerful, and effective thing possible.


He asks a question.


If you’re looking for one thing to do. One skill to learn that can not only transform your personal life, but to also help people. This is it – learn to ask questions.


Whenever God asks a question, it’s never for him to learn anything. It’s for him to teach us and for us to learn about him, about ourselves, about others, about life.


What question do you think God wants to ask you? What about himself do you think he wants to reveal to you today? Tomorrow? What inner pain or potential do you think God wants to reveal, heal, feel?


God has a great and good plan for you and your life. It started long ago. You might not have understood then, or even now. Understanding is way overrated. But God wants you to know, to understand with every fiber of your being that you are loved by him. And that love brought him from heaven to earth, to die and rise from the dead for the expressed purpose of bringing you back to God.


You might have strayed far away from God, or you might just be a little bit off. In either case, we’re all lost. No GPS, no phone app, no philosophy, no personal discipline can fix us. No amount of pleasure, power, prominence, or position can repair the kind of brokenness that we have inflicted on ourselves and each other.


Only a person can, and that person is Jesus. Fully God. Fully man. He’s God come down to do what we cannot do. To live the life we couldn’t live. To pay the price we couldn’t pay. To die the death we couldn’t die. To be physically raised from the dead, showing that his once-and-for-all sacrifice was not only acceptable to God, but strong and effective to repair us now and for all eternity.


This Jesus deserves more than our thick skin. He deserves all our attention. All our thanks. All our praise. All our worship.

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