Wednesday, April 11, 2012
“And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” (Mark 11:27,28 KJV).
In today’s Scripture, Israel’s religious leaders are up to their usual tricks. By asking Him, “By what authority doest thou these things and who gave thee this authority to do these things?,” they are trying to trip up our Lord Jesus, to make Him stumble in His speech, and to intimidate Him into silence. Will it work, or not?
Verses 29-33 continue, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things” (cf. Matthew 21:23-27; Luke 20:1-8).
These chief priests, scribes, and elders were being dishonest, and Jesus knew their hearts. Why did Jesus ask them that question? God the Father sent both Jesus (John 6:39) and John the Baptist (John 1:6), so if these religious leaders could not admit to Jesus that God the Father had sent John, then Jesus would be wasting His breath to tell them God the Father sent Him (Jesus). This is why Jesus did not answer them.
In these verses, we read of Jesus Christ’s authority and wisdom. Because they refused God’s truth, the Lord Jesus decided to outwit them by asking one simple question (“He taketh the wise in their own craftiness;” Job 5:13; 1 Corinthians 3:19). Wow!