DayBreaks for 11/12/15: What Impresses You?
(Sorry, friends! I’ve been traveling! Will try to get back on a regular schedule!)
Tourists. As Mark 13 opens, the disciples are like tourists, gawking at the more striking features of “the big city” that they were visiting for the high and holy festival of Passover. If there had been cameras in those days, you can almost picture the disciples mugging for the camera in front of the magnificent opulence of the Temple. Little bands of tourists wearing bright orange hats would be milling through the plazas and colonnades of the Temple as tour guides with bullhorns shouted forth impressive statistics. “Some of these foundation stones weigh 5 tons and were brought into the city through the massive efforts of thousands of masons and slaves.”
Appreciative “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” would follow each stunning stat.
It was, all in all, a heady atmosphere. You couldn’t help but look up to see the towering heights. When I’ve been in places like Chicago and New York City, I know full well that standing on a sidewalk and staring up at the towering heights of the Sears Tower or the Empire State Building is the surest way possible to have me be easily identified as a tourist. But I can’t help it! I don’t want to look like some hick from the outback who is bowled over by skyscrapers, but they are just so impressive. They simply dwarf you! And so I steal as many heavenward glances as I can.
The disciples were like that. They don’t want to look like simple fishermen from Galilee and the like, but let’s face it: you just don’t see stonework like this back on the farm. Their enthusiasm is so great that they cannot resist pulling Jesus into the action. Their master seems oddly unmoved by the ramparts and architectural heights of Jerusalem. He is the only one NOT craning his neck and mugging for the camera. So the disciples try to bring him around. “Teacher! Lookee here – isn’t this one massive hunk of limestone!? Isn’t the craftsmanship on these carvings impressive? Can you imagine what it must have taken to raise up such a high edifice!?”
But Jesus meets their breathless enthusiasm with a shrug of his shoulders. “Yes, I see them. But you know what? Even the biggest of these stones will soon fall and be thrown down. One day, there won’t be a single building to look at here.”
We humans are easily amused and impressed. What impresses you? I’m convinced that God isn’t one bit impressed with our great skyscrapers, warships, rockets, art, music or anything else that we’ve come up with since the beginning of time.
What does impress Him? When we act in faith: When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” – Luke 7:9
TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, how I would love to be able to delight your heart with even my small faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen.