Day 12

Our King

from the Mark reading plan


Mark 11:1-33, Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:25-26

BY Raechel Myers

Text: Mark 11:1-33, Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:25-26

The day our son was born, I was astonished.

The mere reality of birth was a surprise. One minute, there were four people in the room, and the next minute, there were five. The baby who was theoretically growing in my belly for nine months was an actual human being—he was here! He looked nothing like I’d expected, and his birth didn’t go anything like I’d planned, but he was here. I was shocked by how immediately I felt like a mother; the pride and protective instincts I felt for my child caught me off guard. The whole experience can only be described as astonishing. Unexpected, yet wonderful.

Fast forward six years. My baby boy was a kindergarten rock star, but one man hundreds of miles away made me feel fear like I’d never known. I was at the grocery store not far from my son’s school when I heard the news that Sandy Hook Elementary had been attacked by a gunman. Boys and girls my own child’s age were terrorized, injured, even killed.

I’ll never forget counting the minutes until my little boy’s eyes met mine as he pounced, carefree, off his yellow school bus. He was fine, but I was not. I was not astonished that day; I was afraid. I wept into the night, praying for protection for my own son, and comfort for the mothers and fathers and children in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, whose lives would never be the same.

Astonished and afraid. There’s a big difference, isn’t there? When I read Mark 11, I notice both of these reactions to Jesus upon His arrival in Jerusalem. Some were astonished and others were afraid.

In verse 18, just after Jesus overturned the tables and chairs in the temple, Scripture says the chief priests began “looking for a way to destroy Him. For they were afraid of Him.” But the crowd? In that very same moment, they were “astonished by His teaching.”

Later, in verses 30-32, the chief priests weren’t able to give an answer to Jesus’ question about John’s baptism. Why? Because “they were afraid of the crowd.”

This dichotomy appears often in Jesus’ ministry—the crowds are astonished and the religious leaders are almost always afraid. In Mark 1:11, when Jesus cleansed a man of an unclean spirit, Scripture says the crowd was “astonished at His teaching because, unlike the scribes, He was teaching them as one having authority.”  

This dichotomy of astonishment and fear appears in our lives, too. We’re astonished at the skill of Olympic athletes, and we are afraid of heights. We are astonished by double rainbows, and we are afraid of loud thunderstorms. As we read the reactions of those who received Jesus’ authority and those who hoped to explain it away, I wonder, How do I react when I encounter Jesus’ authority in my own life?

Does it make me afraid? Does it compel me to hold tight to the things I love, lest He shake up my plans?  

Or do I feel astonished at His power, the same way I was astonished at the wonder of meeting my baby boy? Am I surprised and delighted by the way Jesus works in ways I do not expect?

As we read the book of Mark today, let’s notice the authority with which Jesus rides into Jerusalem like the King that He is, how He surveyed the temple quietly in verse 11, then commanded the fig tree to wither in verse 14. Let’s watch the “unexpected, yet wonderful” way Jesus cleanses His Father’s house and answers the chief priests as they attempt to usurp Him.

Because Jesus is our King, and He is God’s Son, His authority doesn’t have to make us afraid. We can simply watch, astonished by the King of Kings, who has all authority in heaven and on earth!

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60 thoughts on "Our King"

  1. ed sheeran age says:

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  2. Bek says:

    Can someone please explain why Jesus tells the fig tree not to bear fruit anymore? Thanks

    1. Rachel says:

      Fig trees only grow leaves when they also have fruit. Having leaves in the wrong season, he cursed the tree for being false, not for being barren. Check out this link, it explains it very well.
      http://biblehub.com/commentaries/mark/11-13.htm

      1. Jenna says:

        YES!! I have been wondering about this for ages! Thank you!

  3. Diane Huntsman says:

    Believing that He can doesn’t always mean He Will… He can heal anyone.. He can grant us anything we ask of Him.. He can do the impossible.. But does He choose to act based on our belief that He can? No, not always.. Believing He can must be coupled with what He wills.. His no’s or His not yets are just as impacting as His yes’s … And I think our not giving up and persevering in prayer is vital as well.. His ways are not our ways they are higher.. I’ve prayed for so many friends to be healed from cancer, they died, isn’t that the ultimate healing? Heaven.. I would venture to say that not one of my now heaven residing friends would want to come back to earth.. Sometimes His answers aren’t what we want, they are actually better.. It takes a heavenly perspective to see that view.. Let us keep praying, keep seeking, keep asking.. He is faithful to give us what we need.. Always.

    1. Denise says:

      Beautifully said. Thank you for this.

    2. Kaitlynn says:

      Wow. I’ve prayed for so many friends to be healed from cancer, they died, isn’t that the ultimate healing? ”
      This such a powerful and honest point of view. Thank you for sharing and putting it into perspective.

    3. rochelle says:

      thank you for this insight. wow.

    4. Sadie says:

      This is so true. I’m sure from the context you know this as well, that when we do get those hard answers that weren’t what we wanted, we need to be sure to not let that scare us from still asking and trusting for real life physical healing. He does have the power to heal. I’ve known people to die from cancer and I’ve known of someone in our church who was diagnosed with terminal cancer that was totally healed and cancer free. God does work miracles. Whether the answer is what we want or not, we can always trust that God is listening and that He is all powerful. Sometimes I think He is just waiting for us to ask for the healing. He wants us to have faith that when we pray and trust Him for the miracles that He is more than able to heal us and to restore us. He wants us to have a relationship with Him where we can go to Him with requests for healing and have child-like faith that He can and will do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for big miracles. If faith in God can move mountains and shrivel perfectly healthy fig trees then how can we not ask Him for healing from all diseases and trust that He can and will heal us? It’s not always how we think He should do it, but we need to remember that His ways are not our ways. He is so good.

    5. Maiya H says:

      Wow, I loved this. Thanks for this!

  4. Emily says:

    Ladies please keep my mom in prayer today. She was diagnosed with cancer yesterday and today she begins the battle. Let her feel our amazing GOD’S hands hold her tightly, let there be swift healing and a miraculous recovery or even a misdiagnosis. Mostly, let her see GOD move in an undeniable way that opens her eyes to HIS steadfast love for her. Thank you my friends.

    1. cj close says:

      Praying for your mom, Emily.

      1. Ashley R. says:

        Lifting your mom up in prayer. He is able!

        1. Emily says:

          Thank you.

    2. Rhonda says:

      Oh, Emily, your words brought tears to my eyes. I remember when my mother received this diagnosis several years ago. I clung & focused onto the word “TODAY”…that I would look for those small blessings each day, rely on God to get us through the day and not worry about tomorrow. Mom is cancer-free now, but I will always be thankful for those “days” in which I was able to share with her. May you as her daughter be given peace, direction, comfort and courage all of your “today’s” as you walk this path with her. Praying for you….

      1. Emily says:

        Thank for sharing your wisdom and for your prayers. You have blessed my heart.

    3. Jenna Hof says:

      Sending you and your mom a big hug. Whatever the pathway God leads you on, know that he is in the driver’s seat and he will take you on the best pathways for your lives. I pray that God guides you to the right Dr’s and clinics and possible treatments and that His peace i’s in your hearts on a level you’ve never felt before. Know that you are deeply cared for and loved.

      1. Emily says:

        Thank you.

    4. Maria says:

      Emily: Praying for healing for your mom or a misdiagnosis. I’m praying for God to give her supernatural strength and discernment for this journey.

    5. She Reads Truth says:

      Emily, I’m so sorry. Asking God to keep you both close.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    6. Kristin says:

      Prayers for God’s strength and love to be with you

    7. Sandy W. says:

      Praying for your mom Emily and strength for you and your family.

    8. Christa says:

      I’m a little behind in the readings and just got to today’s. Praying for your family and will do so as the Lord brings you to mind.

    9. Stephanie says:

      PRAYING!

    10. Tracy says:

      Oh Emily, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I too am going through caring for my mother with cancer. It is so hard to see them suffer. I am praying for you and your mother.

    11. Jessica R says:

      Beautifully said. I pray that the Lord will fill you and your mother with the Holy Spirit, his unfailing peace, and will add you both to my daily prayers. What is your mother’s name?

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