If you hang around students long enough, one of them will think they've come up with a fantastic question that will stump their teacher or parent. The goal is to waste time, distract the adult, and try to show that they are “smarter” than the adult. It usually doesn't go well, as the adult sees right through it and in most cases is able to answer the question with ease. Mark 12 is full of such conversations as one group after another tries their hand at challenging Jesus. While their questions come from unbelief and skepticism, the underlying truth they are challenging is something many still struggle with today. The question before us today really is, "What happens when we die?"
Someone has said, “We tend to hang very heavy weights on very thin threads.” But to do so is a set-up for failure. Jesus offers an alternative: himself. Hang on him what you will. He can bear it. How can you know? He already bore the weight of your sin. There is nothing heavier. In an encounter with people who chose an alternate thread, Jesus claimed something preposterous. It’s so counterintuitive we tend to dismiss it, even see it as a threat. But hear Jesus out. He has done something marvelous. Because of it you can trust his promise. We’re glad you’re with us today. This is what we do here: rehearse Jesus’ promise so we can hang the heaviest of weights on it. And live.