A Bad Mix?

Psalm 84; Ezra 6:1-16; Mark 11:15-19 (read online ⧉)

The oration of the temple was not only of religious ificance; it was also of cultural, societal, and political ificance. This would be perceived as the raig of the Hebrews to a point of greater ificance than in the past, though not in the highest levels of . Also, as empire resources and taxes would also be going to art then maintain the sacrificial system, there is an implied assumption of loyalty of the Hebrews, a people not always known as being loyal and obedient to their foreign kings.

King Darius states part of his rationale, “…pray for the of the king and his children.” This is not just a political decision by Darius, but it is also a contingency plan for divine protection. While there was an official , it was not uncommon for rulers (and people) to cover their bases by trying to appease other deities. King Darius also knew that the local s would not appreciate the Hebrews being n more , so he made clear that this was his will.

Those who perceive a loss in their , or a threat to their , will often point to others as rebels or troublemakers to try and maintain their and/or influence. While the rules guiding the use and prices of the temple were clear, leaders still felt the need (or were convinced of the need by those with ulterior motives) to add more rules and requirements. Ultimately, this led to clearing the temple and insulting those in .

The leaders “…kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him….” People tend to become corrupted by the they hold, no matter how small or how large. It takes a strong will and humility to keep that from happening.

1) Religion is a ful tool for the ful or those seeking . Where do you see , or the lack of it, as the tool being used by those in or seeking ?

2) Even a small amount of , such as in our circles of influence, can be corrupting. Review how you have used in your circle of influence. Was it humble? Was it Christ-like?

3) Fear is also a common tool of . How have you seen fear and combined so that people have over others?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.