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Mark 148 - Testing and Being Tested

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” “What did Moses command you?” he replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.

Mark 10:2-5

I was, and am, and always be a lousy test taker. I don’t know what it is about me, but I just freeze up. Start hyperventilating. Shaking. All of which leads to failing.

And it didn’t matter what kind of test it was: the weekly spelling pre-test on Thursday, the actual spelling test on Friday mornings, scheduled tests, pop quizzes, end of term tests that counted for a lot of my grade. I never approached a test with confidence, it was always with fear.

No matter the subject, no matter how poorly I had studied and prepared, or how well I knew the material. When it came to taking tests, my palms started to sweat, beads of perspiration appeared on my forehead, my hands started to shake, and there was an unquenchable dryness in my throat.

No matter what I tried, I could never steady myself. My right foot started moving uncontrollably up and down underneath my chair. I was OK if the test was multiple choice because I could manage to put an X in the box for my answer, which is my technical term for a guess. But when an essay was required, I was a dead man. My penmanship was poor to start with, coupled with my low spelling capabilities I was always circling the drain at the C- level. Or lower.

The spiritual leaders of the day tested Jesus over and over. They were looking for a weakness, any weakness that they might exploit. They thought that if they could catch Jesus in some misstep, some wrong thinking or belief, that they could post the video on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok in order to blanket the countryside.

Problem was, Jesus never had to worry about taking any test. He wasn’t only supremely confident; he was and is God. So, his answers by their very nature were correct and superior.

Read everything there is about Jesus from the eyewitness accounts. Look closely and Jesus never:

· Corrects himself.

· Walks back a comment or opinion.

· Says he really didn’t mean it.

Jesus' words are always:

· Truthful – he never talks in grey terms, there is a right way, and it’s always found in Jesus' words.

· Transcendent – his words, opinions and perspectives are superior to anyone else in the history of the world.

· Trustworthy – we can depend on them; we can change the direction of our life and build our lives on him.

You have to give these Pharisees some credit. They had questions and asked them right at Jesus. There was no fumbling around in the dark. They were direct and straight forward with Jesus.

And Jesus came back to them with truth unvarnished. He spoke in terms that they clearly understood. There was no “pussyfooting” around when Jesus spoke.

· Isn’t it time we took the time to meet with Jesus so that we can unburden our souls to him?

· Isn’t it time we asked Jesus the hard questions we have lurking in our hearts?

· Isn’t it time we spoke directly and plainly with Jesus about what’s bothering us?

· Isn’t it time that we sit quietly and listen to what Jesus has to say?

And when Jesus speaks, it will be with a grace and love that has NOTHING but our best in mind. His words are for healing, bringing us back to him so that we can be the people he made us to be.

Are you ready to speak, and then listen to Jesus?

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