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Mark 169 - He Went Out



Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.


Mark 11:11


When I was in elementary school, the teacher would reward good behavior by appointing someone to be first in line. Being first in line was a great bonus, the medal of honor that was proudly worn and displayed. Being first meant that you got there first.


This was especially prized for when we went to lunch. Being first to the cafeteria had its own, special perks and rewards. The ice cream was still frozen. The milk was colder. You got your pick of the seats. And, most importantly, you could invite the cool kids to join you near the window.


Here in western society, there is a pandemic, and this pandemic is infecting and changing everything. From business, to communication, to technology, to work, to family, to worship. You name it, it has been radically altered by this pandemic.


It’s not the Coronavirus, COVID-19, not even the Delta Variant. For this pandemic, there is no vaccination,


We are infected with the influenza of the immediate. Think about it:


· Faster – is always, always, always better.

· Feelings – which are always available, are the measure of all things.

· Fulfilment – now must be better than waiting.

· Fear – is the fruit of an unfulfilled life.


The opposite of immediate is waiting. And we treat waiting like the plague. We will do practically anything to increase speed and reduce waiting.


I’m not talking theory, I’m talking about practical, daily life. And not just your life, but my life too.


Every day, I start out with a cup of coffee from the local Dunkin Donuts. Rather than stand in line, where I might meet someone made in the image of God, and someone for whom Christ died, I order it through my phone. This lets me enter the store, walk right by the line, pick up my waiting hot extra-large decaf with 2 Splenda’s and 5 creams. No muss, no fuss. And especially, no waiting.


You should see my blood pressure rise when, for some reason, my phone can’t connect with the internet. Or my particular Dunkin Donut store is offline. I immediately panic and wonder what’s wrong. Why am I being punished with the great pain and inconvenience of not connecting? What did I do to deserve this chastisement?


When Jesus entered the city, he went to the temple complex. He’s heard rumors and reports, he knows what’s wrong. He knows how they’ve missed the mark. How they’ve strayed from the truth.


But he does something very unusual, that very few 21st century leaders would do.


· First – he walks around. He took a personal tour of the area, taking it all in for himself.

· Second – he carefully looks and listens to what people are doing, what they are saying, observing their attitudes.

· Third – he waited. He certainly could have started correcting people right then and there. He had all the evidence he needed.


There certainly are times in Jesus’ life when he immediately responded to a need. To a problem. To an injustice. To sin. And there are times when he responds by waiting.


Think about this; God certainly could have created the universe, light, heavens, earth, plants, animals, and people all at the same time. But he chose to do it through a process, across six periods of time, six days.


I know this is hard to imagine, but there are times when God wants us to wait. To take our time. There are things in life that need time to work. To change. To grow.


Immediate is not like cleanliness, which is next to godliness. Immediate is not the highest of all human virtue. Immediate is not something to be sought after with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. As a matter of fact, Jesus tells us what the highest, most important possible achievement is.


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.


Matthew 22:37


While there’s no vaccination, there is an immunization to the immediate. A way to build up internal resistance to rushing. It’s to listen to the words of Jesus and follow his example.


He is the way, the truth, the life[1].


Before acting, look at how Jesus handled it. And then do the same.

[1] John 14:6

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