CONFESSION: Psalm 38:1-5
READING: Mark 11:27-33
REFLECTION/CHALLENGE: (Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John) Augustine of Hippo
Jesus, for the sake of men, desired to have Himself revealed by a lamp to the faith of those who believed, that by means of the same lamp His enemies might be confounded.… And the Lord, because they shut the door against themselves by professing ignorance of what they know, did not open to them because they did not knock. For it is said, “Knock, and the door will be opened for you” (Matt 7:7 nrsv). Not only did these not knock that it might be opened to them, but by denying that they knew, they barred that door against themselves. And the Lord says to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things” (Matt 21:27 nrsv). And they were confounded by means of John; and in them were the words fulfilled, “I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame.”
The exchange between the Pharisees and Jesus in Mark 11:26–33 shows both the Pharisees’ unwillingness to believe in Jesus and their unwillingness to state their beliefs publicly (because of their fear of the crowds). Is there a time in your life when you responded to the gospel in the same way?