Some Sadducees present Jesus with a "gotcha" question about belief in the resurrection of the dead. If God's word to Moses is true, and if the resurrection is true, then there is a problem. The Sadducees present a scenario in which these two things seem to contradict each other.
That is the way of skepticism. Skeptics and those determined to doubt everything can never be convinced beyond any doubt that they should become faithful.
Jesus shows that these kinds of apparent contradictions disappear when looking at the question in faith and hope. That is, knowing the power of God and believing his word, we can rest assured that God's promises answer all question.
Jesus teaches those who would be disciples in the Kingdom of God to pay their taxes and to let God use life experiences to stamp his own image on our heart.
In response to religious leaders who challenged his authority, Jesus tells a story identifying them as rebellious vineyard workers. The vineyard is fruitful, but these managers refuse to offer the "owner" his rightful share. In other words, God's people want to worship him, but the established religious leaders garner the glory for themselves.
This also motivated their rejection of Jesus and his obvious divine authority. So, Jesus lets them know that he is the promised deliverer of God's people. He is the appointed leader of the Kingdom of God. Though the ones with positions of authority reject Jesus, he is God's choice, and God will soon make it clear that Jesus is the "cornerstone" for the entire Kingdom of God project that is underway.
When the cornerstone of a building is laid, the dimensions for the whole thing are determined. It is only a matter of the process of building. When the building is ready to be finished, the last thing is to set the capstone, locking everything else in place. As disciples in the Kingdom of God, we rejoice that the cornerstone is laid and the capstone is coming soon.
On Mount Zion, Jesus promises that his disciples can pray to God and move mountains out of their place and into the sea. The greatest mountain we all must move is to forgive those who have offended us and hurt us. The good news is that because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, his disciples can know how to pray so that God will help us move that mountain of forgiveness.
The crowds in Judea celebrate the coming of King Jesus, as they should. The story challenges disciples of Jesus in America to remember that Jesus is our King. He has promised - and proven - that he will provide everything we need. He is worthy of our celebration every time we gather to worship in his name.
Jesus leaves Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. As Mark tells the story, nothing of importance happened in Jericho at that time. Jesus is focused on getting to Jerusalem for the showdown with the authorities of the Jewish establishment. He plans to reveal himself at last as the Christ, the long awaited savior, the "Son of David."
Mark has been careful so far to preserve this secret identity of Jesus. Anytime demons proclaimed his authority and divinity, Jesus silenced them. Those who were healed were often admonished to say nothing about it. It has only been very recently (Mark 8) that even the Twelve began to put things together and understand Jesus is "the Christ."
Why, then, does this blind beggar, Bartimaeus, already know that Jesus is "Son of David"? The answer directs us to know how to be faithful disciples in our own time when so many blind their eyes to the truth of Jesus.
2021 has already been off to an eventful start. For those who love the truth, Big Tech censorship of anyone questioning election integrity, for example, seems to set the tone for much more trouble ahead (2 Thess 2:10). How should disciples of Jesus Christ respond? How should we engage the challenging times ahead? In a capstone lesson on discipleship to The Twelve apostles, Jesus calls us to see cross-shaped opportunities to serve others, rejoicing in the chance to drink the "cup" of Christ, being baptized in the fire of the emerging Kingdom of God.
Why does Jesus teach the disciples that it is impossible for a wealthy person to enter the Kingdom of God? What hope is there for Americans who are all wealthy compared to many places around the world? In this study we learn that Jesus can save even wealthy people, if we will humble ourselves to receive from him the gift of salvation.
The disciples think they're helping Jesus in his Kingdom of God work by shooing the children away. Jesus shocks them by telling them that if they want to be a part of the Kingdom they need to become like those children! In this lesson, we consider Jesus' example to understand what it means to have a child-like faith.
In teaching the truth of God's will regarding divorce, Jesus teaches all disciples an invaluable lesson of discipleship. Disciples seek the will of God, not loopholes for their own will.