HOST: Ron House
And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Jesus was trapped, or so the Jewish leaders thought. Though the text doesn’t give any background information, you can imagine the plotting and scheming that had gone on prior to this encounter. The chief priests and elders had put their heads together and come up with the perfect trap. They had planned every detail carefully—the time, the place, the question. On the surface, the questions are simple and straight-forward, yet in their minds, there was no safe answer. If Jesus said that it was by God’s authority that He did these things, they could seize Him immediately on the charge of blasphemy. If He claimed any other authority, He was guilty of working against the authority of the Jewish leaders. They had Him! But Jesus’ wisdom was far greater than theirs. He immediately saw through their guise and knew their intent. He turned the tables on them and put them in the same situation. If they answered His question, He would answer theirs, but they could not. Once again, Jesus had proven Himself to be superior to them in wisdom and authority.
What impresses you most about how Jesus dealt with His enemies?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!