CORE-3 // Risk // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture:  Matthew 21:12-17

Dear Church,

Jesus entered into Jerusalem riding a donkey, fulfilling the vision of the prophets–the Son of David, long-awaited Shepherd King who has come to set his people free.  And once he passes through the gates, he heads immediately to the temple.  His first stop is not the palace to challenge King Herod’s corrupt violent regime and confront Roman political brutality (though that comes later).  He goes to the temple.  But he doesn’t go there to pray.

His first priority is not to overthrow Herod or Caesar, but to turn over tables in the temple courts and throw hands with the money changers.  And as he riots he screams scripture, ‘my house shall be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.’

Once the religious entrepreneurs have fled the scene, in the empty space Jesus welcomes the blind and the lame and heals them with the power of God.  Children stream in and begin to sing praises. And the Holy Ones are…indignant.

Before he offended anyone else, Jesus enraged the ones who believed they knew his Father best.  He centered truth so holy that it appeared disruptive and profane, especially to the religious folks who thought they were sacred experts.

In this story you can’t overlook the thing that is hidden in plain sight in every Jesus story: Risk.  Jesus took risks.  He risked offending people. He risked alienating people. He risked being misunderstood.  He risked being disliked, hated, betrayed and killed. Jesus risked everything because he knew the power of the truth of God’s revolutionary, radically transformational love.

Risk is one of our core values at the Grove, and this Sunday we’re going to be talking about the holy necessary risks Jesus took in his life and the holy necessary risks Jesus calls us to take in our lives.

Warning: it’s going to be. more than just talk.


Pastor Kate

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