Day Forty-One of Lent

April 15, 2019
By MB Discipleship

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.  –Matthew 21:14-15

It’s strange, but sometimes miracles aren’t well-received.

People often say they want to see miracles, and we live in a culture that often reinforces the idea of a sharp divide between natural and supernatural. You may think, “how could someone be mad at a miracle?!”

But human nature is complicated.

Jesus was at the temple in the days leading up to Passover – and to his crucifixion. Ill people, long before MRIs or penicillin or laser surgery, were coming to Jesus. We are simply told, he healed them. Hard stop, right?

Wrong.

The chief priests and teachers saw what he was doing, and saw how children were running around praising Jesus, and their response was to be indignant – like an angry, “how dare you!”

Think of it this way: imagine a judge going into the legal jurisdiction of another judge and walking up to an inmate in a prison and saying, “I’ve personally decided to overrule your conviction. I’m not going through any formal channels, I’m not going through a process of appeals, I’m just Judge Joe and I came to say you’re free, because I say so. Guards, let him go.” Or think of it like this – a specialist walks into a hospital room, looks at the patient, and says, “I don’t work at this hospital, I’m associated with one across town, but here’s the treatment I want to prescribe. So ignore your current physician and follow this regimen and you’ll get well. Nurse, start administering this IV medication.”

Territory and jurisdiction and authority. Going through official channels. Having the right permits. Making sure flow charts are followed. Sometimes these things are important. Sometimes they have to be ignored – but if you ignore them, there’s often a cost you have to pay.

If you believe Jesus is fully divine, you see this scenario unfold and say, “of course he had authority to sit in the temple and do that.” If you don’t believe Jesus is fully divine, you see this scenario unfold and say, “he wasn’t respecting the authority of local leaders and was brazenly acting like this was his territory, when he was on their home turf.”

The thing is, we still like our processes; we like our official channels; we like our systems of how things work. And sometimes, God steals into our hearts and says, “if you’ll let go of the process and look for my power instead, I can do things you can’t imagine. Are you willing? Will you trust me?”

Is there a place in your life where you’re more comfortable substituting status quo for the uncontrollable, transforming power of God? Are you willing to let go of predictability and control so you can follow Jesus wherever he leads?

*What area of your life do you prefer to try to manage and order on your own rather than submit it to God’s authority?