the Power

Day 67

Prayer for the day

Our help is in the Name of the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth.

Scripture for the day

Deuteronomy 7-9, Mark 11:19-33

Many have read the words of Jesus in today’s Markan passage and assumed that we lack power because we lack faith. While this is understandable, we miss the real point of the passage if we assume it’s about the power of our faith. Our faith is important, certainly, but we are fooling ourselves if we believe that faith equals power.

Instead, we need to look to the example in Deuteronomy. Moses carefully instructs the Israelites about the coming battles they will fight and the land they will inhabit. None of the victories they anticipate, he says, has anything to do with how strong or numerous they are. None of the land they inherit is truly earned.

The only reason they will have what they will have, says Moses, is because God has chosen them to have it. They have done nothing to earn this lovely land, nothing to earn the cities they will conquer, nothing even to earn their own food and drink.

Moses consistently hearkens back to the provision of God to show the people that they have been 100% supported and cared for by YHWH God. Nothing good that has happened to them so far has been a result of their stellar performance (in fact, usually it’s in spite of their performance), but is a direct result of the care and power of God.

Jesus does not claim that power resides in faith. Jesus knows, like Moses knew, that true power resides in the one in whom we have faith. Any idea that the power is ours is a misguided notion: the power rests securely with our God.

So then, our response to this power, as Jesus tells us, is to believe that God can do what God said God can do. Our response is faith. Faith in the God of power and might.

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