There is an acquaintance of mine who has a particular way of operating in the world, a way that at one time in my life I admired. This individual has a cockiness, a surety about opinions and events that seems to give weight to those ideas and opinions. It is something more than confidence that exudes from this person.
I wonder if Jesus felt those same waves of uber-confidence being pushed at him from the Pharisees and Sadducees that come testing him today in Mark's Gospel. They come at Jesus with a sureness of their understanding of how the world works, a confidence in their own knowledge and experiences, that they shut out the ability to see and be open to a different perspective.
One of the things we are taught in seminary when preparing to work on a sermon is to look at the Scripture readings for that day through different lenses. To try to appreciate and understand these known stories from an angle which makes us uncomfortable. By being so completely certain of our "rightness", by being set in our ways so securely, we are setting ourselves up to having Jesus look at us and say "you are quite wrong."
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.