The Challenge (52 of 70) by Jerry Watts

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The Challenge (52 of 70)
Series Mark - God's Message for Today
Jerry Watts
Mark 11:27-33

Look at the title of this message and think about the word, "Challenge". What comes to you mind? Would some of your synonyms be 'contest', 'competition', 'trial,' or test? Certainly, recent TV shows promote the idea of a challenge. You challenge your body, your mind, and yes even your soul to be its best. This is a positive challenge.

Yet I will suggest that there is a dark side to this word. To challenge can mean to object to the truth of something even to the point of demanding proof. Most of the time this leads to dispute and conflict. Sometimes this challenge is right and many times, it is wrong.

Today we take a look at some challenges which the Bible clearly presents. This story is told in the three synoptic gospels. It's like God wanted us to be clear about this truth. Most people think there is only one challenge listed here, but I see three challenges.

1. By the Sanhedrin - The very meaning of word Sanhedrin gives us a picture of what it is. It is a 'sitting together' or a 'council.' As we read in scripture the Sanhedrin is said to have consisted of 71 members with the High Priest being the president. There were basically 3 classes of membership; 1) the chief priest (or heads of the 24 priestly courses (1 Chronicles 24), 2) the scribes, and 3) the elders. This sounds like a present-day legislature or a congress.

a. Their Assignment - They had jurisdiction in religious matters. They felt that they were the holders of the theological challis. In Jewish culture, they were considered the most holy, most godly, and seem to be the final word, UNTIL Herod and the Romans. They enforced the law of the Rabbis which had been developed from the law of God. This is one reason they came to Him.

Because they 'ran things', they are the ones who had set up the Temple, with its businessmen, its moneychangers, and approved all the 'goings on' ...

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