Fear is a powerful motivator. Many of our choices are based upon fear. Feeling afraid is a natural response to the perception of danger and can help keep us safe from harm.
The fear of the chief priests, scribes, and elders is a prime example (Mark 11:27-33 and 12:12). These Jewish religious authorities hope to entrap Jesus with their questions and have him arrested, but they fear the people’s response. They perceive a potentially dangerous situation, and so feign ignorance and walk away unscathed.
Compare their response with that of the vineyard owner’s son (Mark 12:1-11). The son is sent into a clearly dangerous situation. Two servants have gone before him, and both have been killed. And yet the son goes willingly into the vineyard. Is he blissfully unaware of the impending threat to his life, or perhaps he knows the risk and chooses to obey in spite of fear?
Knowing that this parable speaks of Jesus’ rejection and death, we conclude that the son knows full well the danger he will face. He knows he will be killed and cast out. He knows that obedience to the father’s will is costly, and he chooses to act, not upon fear, but faith.
Prayer: Faithful Lord, help us always to follow your example of obedience to the Father’s will. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Paulette McHugh, Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, SC.