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Mark 12:13-40 – Jesus Debates the Jews: Meditative Musing for Dec 12

When the Jewish leaders were unable to intimidate Jesus by demanding His credentials, He showed their incompetence by asking where John’s baptism was from – heaven or men. When they admitted they didn’t know, he told a parable showing God was about to take their place from them. They left, but sent others to discredit Him.

First came the Pharisees, orthodox Jews, with the Herodians, the of the Romans. They asked, “Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not?” “Yes” turns the crowd against Him; “No” turns the Romans on Him. Jesus outsmarted them: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” His enemies could not turn His words on Him.

Next the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, came with a silly story about a woman widowed seven times by seven brothers. They wanted to know whose wife she would be in the resurrection. Jesus also silenced them.

Then a scribe asked Him which is the greatest commandment. Jesus said to love God and neighbor. This man said, “You are right! This is greater than sacrifices!” Jesus said, “You are not far from God’s Kingdom.

Then Jesus had a question: What about Messiah? Whose Son is He? The people said, “David’s Son.” So Jesus asked, “Then why did David call Him Lord?”

He closed with a warning against their leaders.

The great throng heard Him gladly.” Rather than discredit Jesus, the rulers made Him greater in the people’s eyes.


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