IN THE HOT-SEAT
Jesus, may I see the world through the lens of Your Word today.
Read Mark 11:27–33
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”
29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”
31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIf someone asked why you are a Christian, how would you answer?
It sounds a bit like an ambush, doesn’t it? Jesus is walking around the Temple, perhaps meditating or praying, and suddenly a whole group of “chief priests, teachers of the law and elders” shows up (27)! There are a lot of people. And as they gather around Jesus, many more will come to see what’s going on. The spotlight is on Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t consider their particular question worthy of a direct answer. Instead, He asks them a similar question, but about John the Baptist’s authority rather than His own (29, 30). These are the religious leaders – the crowds listening expect them to be able to tell them whether or not God has sent a particular person (32b).
Have you ever been in one of those situations where someone asks you a question about God and the whole room suddenly goes silent? Everyone is listening. You’re on the spot.
Sometimes people ask us questions in order to catch us, or to make us say something that confirms their belief that Christians are judgmental or hypocritical. At other times, people may ask us questions about our faith because they genuinely want to know. The challenge we have is to discern the motive behind the question and to answer accordingly.
Do you know someone who just likes to argue about religious topics? Start to intentionally pray for them today, that God will touch their heart.
Lord, give me wisdom and discernment when I am questioned about my faith or faced with questions designed to trip me up.
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