The Text

Mark 11:27–33 (CSB)
27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came

28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”

29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.”

31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’

32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet.

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Devotion

The salvation of God is not a pop quiz that awaits you when you get to the kingdom of God.

It is not what you know. All the books, seminary, private Christian school, homeschool, mom, dad, pastor, church, denomination, theology, right Bible tranlation, verse memorization–none of that will matter before Christ himself.

Salvation is: Do you know God because God dwells in you? Do you love God because God gave you his heart and Spirit so that you can love Him? Have you given your sin over to the Christ because God has granted you repentance?

We don’t treat relationships like this–do we? This is not a sitcom where the wife accuses the husband of being dumb and the husband scrambles for an answer so that he doesn’t get in trouble. What if your kids do that–instead of telling the truth, they scramble for a lie so that they avoid punishment.

Here’s the upside-down-ness of the kingdom of God.

If you try to lie to the only God who knows the deepest, darkest parts of your heart, you will be punished for all of eternity.

If you come with truth–I am a sinner in desperate need of your grace. Guess what God does? He gives you every blessing starting with his Son and the inheritance of the world.

Stop looking for right answer to avoid punishment. Believe and trust in Christ so that you will be saved.

The Discussion

1. Do you believe and trust in Christ?
2. Do you pride yourself in how much factual knowledge you possess about the Bible?
3. What is that going to get you?

The Prayer from the Psalms

Psalm 13 (CSB)
For the choir director. A psalm of David.

1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?

3 Consider me and answer, LORD my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death.

4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.

6 I will sing to the LORD because he has treated me generously.

O Lord,
You have not forgotten me.
You have not hidden your lovely face from me.
Your comfort and wisdom warm my soul.
Your joy and hope fill my heart all the day long.

You are mindful of me and when I call out your name, you answer me. You have answered me by saving me. You saved me by giving Yourself to me.

One day, I might stare down Death, but when I do, I will only see a crownless king with a broken scepter who has been stripped of power where there is little left to wield.

My Lord and God, all of my trust is in you alone for you alone have the words for eternal life.

Because of You, I sing and dance with complete gladness.

Thank you for You.

In Your Son’s incredible and mighty name, I pray.

The Resources

Calvin’s Commentaries.
by John Calvin.
Baker. 2009.
Olive Tree

Mark: An Expositional Commentary
by R.C. Sproul.
Reformation Trust Publisher. 2011.

New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark
by William Hendriksen.
Baker. 1981.

The Gospel according to Mark: The English Text With Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (The New International Commentary on the New Testament)
by William L. Lane.
Eerdman’s. 1974.

Mark (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT Volume 2)
Edited by Thomas C. Odin & Christopher A. Hall
IVP Academic. 2005.

Mark (The Story of God Bible Commentary Series)
by Timothy G. Gombis.
Zondervan Academic. March 9th 2021.