Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
“Thank you, Mark, for sending me the book Ten Questions from the
King and for signing it, too! I am about halfway through it now and
have been encouraged by it. Particularly the questions at the end of each
chapter as they are thought-provoking and compelling. I look forward to
reading the rest of it!” — Sarah P.
Please enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 4 of our new book
Ten Questions from the King!
To call the leaders of Israel a generation of vipers is to call them out in very strong terms. Jesus is definitely not giving them a compliment. He is saying their evil goes back a long time. The term viper, or serpent, takes us back to the Garden of Eden. This wickedness has gone on for many, many generations. Are these leaders doing what their fathers and grandfathers did? Have their longstanding religious traditions given them permission to act like serpents? If so, then who in this lineage will break the cycle of evil? Who will come to Jesus for a new heart so that generations afterward will have a chance to be different?
Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on the fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
The leaders challenging Jesus are not neutral by any stretch of the imagination. He is hitting them hard by calling them a generation of vipers. He isn’t playing games. He is inferring they are corrupt. He is inferring they have bad character. He is inferring they are wrong and have been wrong for a long time. He is warning them that they need to repent and move away from evil immediately.
But many people don’t want to move away from the traditions of their fathers. Instead, they would rather make themselves comfortable in the religious traditions they are familiar with, even when those practices are false. Many traditions gloss over sin and promise salvation to all—that is, to all who don’t challenge the authority or false beliefs within that system. Jesus was definitely challenging both the authority of the Jews and the status quo.
Speaking of false beliefs, Henri Nouwen, the Roman Catholic mystic, once said, “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” Mr. Nouwen is apparently very indecisive about Jesus being the only way to Heaven. He seems to think that people can believe whatever they want to believe, and they will be okay when they die. And, of course, Jesus gives a strong, resounding no to that foolishness.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
You see, the words of Jesus make you thirsty. His words should have had that effect on the Pharisees, and they should have that effect on us today. Everyone needs to investigate Scripture to see if what Jesus says is correct, because if His words are true, then we can only come through Him to be right with the Father. Strong statements like these cause people to search out whether Jesus is speaking truth or not.
Until the Nets are Full,
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Ten Questions from the King
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