669Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2010
- Sep 5, 2010Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 5, 2010
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
A theological dilemma
"Now while the Pharisees were gathered together,
Jesus asked them this question: 'What do you think
of the Messiah? Whose son is he?' They said to
him, 'The son of David.' He said to them, 'How is
it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord,
saying, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right
hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'"?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his
son?' No one was able to give him an answer, nor
from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more
Jesus' listeners face a dilemma. If Jesus proclaims
himself to be the Messiah everything would change.
People would need to choose sides in a spiritual-
political-religious revolution that would turn their
world upside down.
Nonetheless, "the large crowd listened to Jesus
with delight" (Mark 12:37 NIV) as he asked these
challenging questions (see also Luke 20:41-44 for
another version of this teaching). Jesus tells the
crowds and Pharisees that the Messiah was more than
a descendant of David. The Messiah is David's Lord
and superior, radical theology for the listening
Suddenly the mood of the crowd shifted to apprehension
and fear. The throng sensed the embarrassed Pharisees'
cold hatred towards Jesus. Any more questions would
be far too dangerous for askers and listeners alike.
Jesus was clearly on thin ice as he spoke with such
authority and presence. People shifted uneasily on
their feet, some coughing and clearing their throats
in the thick and uncomfortable silence. The Pharisees
were not interested in engaging in good natured,
jocular debate. They were dead serious in their
growing resolve to permanently silence Jesus.
Many times I find myself wondering what relevance
particular biblical passages have. It can be
difficult in the best of times to understand and
appreciate some of these ancient stories. As one
who grew up in a distinctly Protestant home, I can
only try and imagine with my limited ability just
how outraged and determined these devout Pharisees
were in their growing resolve to destroy Jesus.
The furious Pharisees intimidated the great crowd
with fear. Speakers and listeners alike realized
any more being said could lead to a point of no
turning back. There are times when silence is golden
and this was one of them.
What are we to do with this story? Perhaps all we can
do is linger with the tension in the crowd and think of
what really was at stake. If Jesus is who he claims to
be, then we too, face the crowd's dilemma. We must then
accept or reject his astonishing spiritual-political-
religious revolution that continues even to this day.
Our decision is intensely personal and will affect how
we live, love, work, play, rest, and serve God and
God, what do we believe about this person named Jesus?
Help us live our beliefs about him today. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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