Today's scripture focus is Mark 11:27-33
Mark 11:27-33English Standard Version (ESV)
The Authority of Jesus Challenged27 And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
This passage makes me chuckle a little bit. It reminds me of conversations with my kids. "Mom, what's for supper?" "Chicken casserole." 5 minutes later, "mom, what's for supper?" "I just answered that, don't you remember?" And you can see their little brains turning that they remember asking, and they don't want to get chastised for not remembering, so they just say "Oh, yeah."
I feel like the disciples "we don't know" was just an "oh yeah" they didn't want Jesus to chastise them, but they didn't want the people upset either.
Jesus had done miracles, he had cast out demons with God's power, the triumphant entry was just a day or so before. He was not hiding who he was, why he was there, and yet the priests and elders STILL questioned him.
I wonder if they were caught between their tradition and their desire for the freedom Jesus promised. And if they could get Jesus to tell them, just one more time, then they would really believe him.
But probably not, Jesus knows men's hearts, and I know he knew their reason behind the question.
Jesus was beyond having his authority challenged, and very close to having it challenged on the threat of death. But he knew his purpose, and he was following the course.
I am so very thankful for that.
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