Lord, I pray today for Christian ministers and priests who will visit members of their communities who are ill in hospital. Grant that their presence will bring a reminder that Jesus cared for the sick and healed them. Help those patients to recall that those who pastor them support the medical staff. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ – AMEN.
Lord, thank you for Sunday and the chance to worship you in the company of all Christian believers worldwide. Help those who will attend worship today in order to pray for some matter that is weighing heavily on their heart. Help them to benefit from the worship. Assure them you have heard their prayer. I ask in Christ’s name – AMEN.
Lord, help me to enjoy today doing things that I can’t do in the week. Prompt me to list those things I need to do and help me to remember my family members who look forward to having me with them today. Help me to cherish the time I have with them and to express love and appreciation towards them. I ask in Christ’s name – AMEN.
“The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching”.
Mk 11:18 NIV
The number and variety of grounds for “picking a fight” are plentiful. People envy one another. They hold different ideas, believe different teachings, hold diverging opinions, and sometimes they are just plain jealous. And they bear grudges, stoking up resentments, and desire to get revenge. In some ways, Jesus was, in the teacher’s eyes at any rate, a “pretender to the throne”. They were the appointed teachers with official authority. But he had come along with a different approach. They taught what the official interpretation of the law said. He gave his own interpretation. He knew what God was like and said so. He gave his own line on the law. And the people flocked to hear him, making the official teachers jealous of his popularity amongst the people. And he made his teaching interesting and worth listening to by the stories he told. His parables were true to life – and the point he was making was always transparently clear. He gave them an idea of the Kingdom of God. And what he did bore out the message he brought.
So they started to plan. Not only was he popular. Because he was so different he was a threat to the tradition they taught. He threatened to turn things upside down. He had to be killed before he caused too much trouble. And before they lost too much business in the temple! He had healed people, taught them, befriended them, enlightened them – but they didn’t “get him”. And so they set the wheels in motion that led to Calvary.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, I pray for those who oppose Jesus today.
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