Summary: An Exposition of Mark 11:27-12:12
How many of you have ever heard of Murphy’s Law? “if anything can go wrong, it will.” Have you heard of some other laws that correspond to Murphy’s Law? Such as:
- Everything takes longer than you expect.
- Left to themselves, all things go from bad to worse.
- If everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
- The other line moves faster. If you change lines, then the other line—the one you were in originally—will move faster.
- All papers that you save will never be needed until such time as they are disposed of, when they become essential. - John Corcoran
- When you come in late for work, everybody notices; when you work late, nobody notices.
- Checks are always delayed in the mail. Bills arrive or time or sooner.
- When you’re right, nobody remembers; when you’re wrong, nobody forgets.
Whoever came up with all of these laws for life was also making an observation about life: no matter how you plan or prepare, something always interferes. Someone always does something to frustrate your plans; somebody or something is always gumming up the works in some unexpected way. This morning, I want to point out Someone Who has a habit of interfering with our lives: Jesus Christ.
Do you remember the last time the Lord interfered in your life? We are creatures who gravitate toward comfort zones, where everything is nice and predictable, where we think we have a pretty good handle on life. You don’t expect to live trouble free, but you like to think you can maintain a certain amount of control over your circumstances. Even if life cannot be perfect, you like to think that you have a pretty good grip on things.
Then God starts to meddle with things. He pricks your conscience about some sinful habit that you want to ignore. He reminds you that you need to be reconciled to someone that you did wrong. He keeps bringing up some promises you made to Him that you haven’t kept. He starts teaching you some lessons you don’t really want to learn. Right when things get comfortable, God starts to upset the applecart. He just won’t let sleeping dogs lie. And sometimes, if you are really honest, you don’t appreciate it. You wish the Lord would just leave well enough alone, sometimes.
Jesus had a habit of interfering with other people’s comfort zones. In fact, the last week of His life on earth, His interference really annoyed a certain group of people so much, they confront Him and try to stop His meddling in their lives. His answer to them is an answer to all of us about Jesus’ right to interfere in your life. Let’s read about it in Mark 11:27.
I. WHAT RIGHT DOES JESUS HAVE A RIGHT TO INTERFERE? (v. 27-28)
This passage takes place on Tuesday of the week before Jesus is crucified. Sunday He rides into town like a king, with everybody praising Him. Monday He went on a rampage in the Temple, driving out all of the moneychangers. Now He comes back this morning, strolling through the Temple, daring anybody else to start back up their businesses. He acts like He owns the place! This was too much for a group of men who think they own the place.
The chief priests, scribes, and the elders were all members of the Sanhedrin- the Jewish Supreme court, if you will. They send a deputation to talk to this upstart Carpenter turned Teacher. Basically they ask Him a two-pronged question: Who do you think you are? What gives You the right to interfere with these people in this Temple? Who gave you the authority to come riding into town like royalty? You can hear the accusation in their voice. They outraged that Jesus would dare to meddle in things that are not His concern.
And we still do the same thing today. Oh we don’t mind if Jesus stays at church, safe from our everyday life, where He won’t interfere. It’s great that we can pray, and talk Him into helping us out of a jam, but we don’t want Jesus making us look weird in front of our friends. Reading about Jesus in the Bible is OK, but I don’t really want to bring Him up too much in conversation- it might make the person I’m speaking too a little uncomfortable.
You know I love you, Lord, but I don’t really have much time to pray at home, or read my Bible. I have a pretty tight schedule, and I just cannot make it back to church on Sunday nights, or Wednesday might. Lord, I really don’t feel like I can help out in that area where you want me to serve. Can you get somebody else, please? And Lord, you know I love you, but don’t interfere with how much money I give, or how I spend my paycheck. Jesus I’ll serve you and love you, but please don’t interfere with my friends, or my job, or my school, or my time, or my plans. Whenever you have this kind of attitude, you are asking the same question these men were asking: Jesus, what right do you have to interfere in my life?