by Rev Donald Schatz
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”
(Mark 11:23, New International Version)
William Barclay tells us that this ‘mountain’ imagery was common among First Century Palestinian Rabbis. The image of moving a mountain was a regular example of removing difficulties. A truly wise Rabbi who could help his disciples overcome hard thoughts, days, and seasons was called a ‘mountain-mover.’
In this verse, and those surrounding it, Jesus is building spiritual resources for his disciples. Christ is close on his betrayal and crucifixion. His thoughts are for equipping the disciples for the terror of ‘their world ending’ on that Friday, but more than that Jesus is equipping those ancient brothers for the ministry that lay before them.
Note the closing words of this verse: “…it will be done for him.” Literally, the text reads “it will be for him.” The point is that the disciple is not the one doing it. The power is God, and God is our ultimate ‘mountain-mover’.
What was true for Christ’s disciples then is true for Christ’s disciples in the 21st Century. Jesus is our mountain-mover. He moved the mountains of sin, of death, of the power of Satan, of hell, and of hell-on-earth in its varied disguises. He did it for us. If he did that, he will continue to be our mountain-mover.
I live with mountains in view daily, well as long as the clouds don’t obscure them. Perhaps you live with mountains in view as well. They are constant reminders not of obstacles, but of the greater power of our God! Personally, I like those mountains right where they are. However, I am glad of the reminder that the Lord is on my side, and that the other mountains in my life are no match for him.
Move a mountain anyone? Done!
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO