Mark 11-12 ~ Day 20 ~ Examples of radical commitment!
I noticed that Jesus referred to several different prophets from the Old Testament in today’s reading. First, when he told his disciples to go get the colt, he was referring (or fulfilling) Zechariah’s words, when he said to the people of Israel 500 years earlier, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem. See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech 9:9)
Second, when we read about how Jesus got mad at the money changers in the temple, he quotes Jeremiah, “Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you?” (Jer. 7:11)
Lastly, he also quoted a Psalm written by a prophet when he talked about the builders rejecting the stone that becomes the capstone (Psalm 118:22). That was today’s reading, but he also quoted Isaiah back in chapter 7 and referred to the prophet Elijah in chapter 9.
For me, as I was reading Jesus quoting and fulfilling prophecies written 500 years early, I was pondering how he knew them all. Obviously, as a human child and adolescent, he was taught everything in the Law by his parents and going to the synagogue. But, his knowledge went far beyond that! Remember what we read back in Mark 1:22, “The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.”
The fact is, we can’t forget, that Jesus was fully human AND fully God. That means he was there and knew each one of these prophets first hand! That’s how he was able to quote them so easily! He was the one who gave them the words to write. It’s mind blowing when you think about it, don’t you think?!
So, I looked up how some of these prophets died. There are no authentic records telling of the death of Zechariah. Jewish tradition says that Jeremiah was stoned to death in Egypt. Yet, Jesus knew how each one died. I was hit afresh with this realization when reading the parable of “The Evil Farmers” (12:1-12). The servants sent to collect some of the harvest from the tenants were beaten, treated shamelessly and killed. Those were the prophets that Jesus sent to the Jewish people! He knew exactly what the Jewish people did to each one he sent. This made me think of what I said yesterday, following Jesus is a radical commitment. Today’s reading is further proof of that!! 😳