Jesus lifts the lid on the heart of human nature this week. He comes face to face with some of the most devout men of his day, the rulers of the Jerusalem temple. To us they would have looked like godly leaders, full of wisdom and virtue. They were the great men of Israel. If anyone was going to bow in worship to the Son of God - surely it would be them? But one of the great shocks of history is that instead of bowing to Jesus, they killed him. And in Mark 12 Jesus tells us why: “They said to one another, “This is the son, the heir, come, let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.” In a terrifying parable Jesus exposes the motive of his killers. It was not because they misunderstood Jesus. It was not because they failed to see that he was the Son of God. Rather, it was precisely because they saw he was the Son of God that they killed him. Isn’t that extraordinary? These were among the most virtuous, noble men on the planet and at the bottom of their hearts lay a murderous hostility to God. This is humanity laid bare - and it’s an appalling sight.
And this is the humanity Jesus loves...to death.