Here's a guaranteed way to make sure that you never get another answer from Jesus: be fake. I was reading Mark 11:27-33 today for my quiet time. The context is this: the religious leaders were looking for a way to destroy Jesus. He had just finished jacking up their "worship service" by turning tables over and creating havoc with a whip. The people right before that had been proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah. The people loved his teaching and were blown away by his miracles. So the religious leaders came together to come up with a question to trap Jesus so that they might have a reason to kill him.
However, before Jesus would answer their question (the question was one of the dumbest things that can ever be asked of God by anyone: "By what authority are you doing these things?" Just so you know, God never has to answer this and we should never be asking it), he wanted them to answer one of his questions. Their response to this question had to be well thought-out. The only problem is that there was no good way to answer the question (kind of like, "Did you know you're stupid?" :).
This was the response of the religious leaders: "We do not know." Jesus knew that they had an opinion. He knew that they were thinking something specific about him, but that they were not willing to share their opinion. That's why Jesus replied by saying, "Neither will I tell you..." He could of said, "Then I don't know either." But he didn't. He said, "Neither will I tell you..." If they weren't going to answer his questions honestly, he wasn't going to answer there's at all.
Here are two thoughts that came to my mind while I was reflecting on this passage:
1). When I play the part rather than be the person, Jesus will reveal nothing new nor answer any questions. It is so easy for me to jump into the position that I have rather than the person that God has made me to be. When I forget that I am person before I am pastor, my times with Jesus are stale.
2). Jesus prefers real and broken over fake and religious. Look at these verses:
- Psalm 51:17 - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
- Isaiah 57:15 - For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
- Isaiah 66:2 - All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Jesus is not longing for people to play the part. He's looking for people who have been broken apart and in need of healing. Jesus prefers real and broken over fake and religious.
To that I say: thank you, Jesus!!!