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Thought for the Week - A question of faith

In 1972 on the southern coast of Oman eight SAS soldiers had been secretly deployed to help the local troops counter a Marxist inspired insurrection.

These S.A.S. men with thirty local policemen were occupying a mud-walled fort when as dawn was, 300 rebel tribesmen who had come across from the Yemen attacked the fort.

For four hours 23-year-old commander Mike Kealy led his men in defending the fort, resisting all attacks and keeping up the morale of his men. Only two were lost while they killed 80 of the enemy, and Kealy was awarded a D.S.O. for his bravery.

In Mark’s gospel, chapter 11&12, we find wave after wave of men coming and attacking Jesus. It’s the last week before Jesus will be crucified. The chief priests and lawyers came to Him (11:27-33). Then Pharisees and Herodians come to trap him on paying taxes (12:13-17) and then Sadducees come in another wave to quiz Jesus about resurrection. Jesus fights back each wave of attack, amazing them with his countering questions and answers.

Taxes (v13-17) The first wave of attack is from the collaborating Pharisees and Herodians. If Jesus affirms taxation, He will offend His followers who are under occupation. If he rejects it, He faces charges of treason.

A Denarius was a day’s wages – Jesus asks whose image is on the coin. The Denarius bears the image of the emperor, but humans bear the image of God. So give to Caesar what is Caesar’s (money), but to God what is His, our lives. Genius!

Sadducees (v18-27) They were the establishment of the times, the power brokers in Israel’s supreme court. The Sadducees only accepted the first five books of the Scriptures, the Law, as God’s word. Their first words are “Teacher, Moses said…” because Moses is their authority.

They come to Jesus with a mocking attitude and ridiculous scenario – kind of like when atheists ask silly questions to try and belittle Christianity.

There was a Christian carpenter, Elmer Albright, and the other men would tease him: “Elmer, where did Adam’s son Cain get his wife?” But Elmer gave as good as he got: “Aw, I’m a Christian; I don’t bother with other men’s wives,”

So the Sadducees brought this old chestnut to Jesus to belittle the resurrection. Jesus counters their ridiculous scenario with quotes from parts of the Bible they don’t believe and the statement that they don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God.

God is the God of the living. Jesus is alive and we will live forever more with Him! Hallelujah!

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