Unlimited: The Authority of Jesus
Feb 25, 2021 1790
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.“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”
Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) So, they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things” (Mark 11:27–33, NIV).
Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem, overturning the tables of the money-changers and chasing them out of the holy courts. The next morning, Jesus returned to those very same courts, He wasn’t afraid. But this time, the rulers of the temple were waiting for him.
For more than three years, the leaders of the Sanhedrin were hearing reports about the teachings and the mighty signs that Jesus has been performing. Now, when they finally got to meet him, they didn’t accept him; instead, they challenged him. They questioned his authority. By what authority does he do what he does?
In not answering directly, Jesus was not avoiding the question. Instead, he was showing them how little authority they had compared to his.
The people rightly believed John the Baptist to have been a prophet from God. It was he who baptised Jesus and acknowledged him as the Messiah – the Saviour – who was to come. So, Jesus tells the Sadducees that he will tell them by what authority he himself operates, if they tell him by what authority John the Baptist had baptised.
When they deceitfully said, “We don’t know,” Jesus unmasked the total lack of authority that these men had.
Soon enough he would be on trial for his life before these same men, and he would clearly remind them who he was and the full extent of his authority.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: I invite you to answer the question that the chief priests asked Jesus for yourself. By what authority did Jesus do these things? Then consider: what is the greatest authority in your life? Is it you yourself? Or is it anything else other than the person of Jesus Christ? Jesus is inviting you to entirely trust your life to him. Will you do it?