Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
Scripture: Luke 20: 1-8
Life can be mighty uncomfortable for us when we feel as if we have to be constantly minding our “p’s and q’s!” Throughout His public ministry it seems that the Pharisees, scribes, and elders were constantly trying to entrap Jesus. They were always questioning Him and hoping that He would answer their questions in such a way that they would finally have Him in the compromising position they desired that would seal His fate.
One day this same group of instigators found Jesus teaching in the temple and proclaiming the good news and they charged Him to tell them by what authority was He doing these things. “Who is it who gave you this authority?”
Jesus countered with a question to them. He asked, “Did the baptism of John come from heaven or was it of human origin?” The chief priests, scribes and elders now found themselves on the “hot” seat. They reasoned, “If we say from heaven, He will say, “Why did you not believe him?” But if we say, “From human origin all the people will stone us for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” They knew where they stood on that question, but they were afraid to reveal their answer lest they suffer public ridicule or suffering and possibly death. They decided to elude entrapment
Jesus knew His answer to the question they posed to Him, but He would not give them the satisfaction of an answer. Rather than convincing them, Jesus wanted the chief priests, scribes, and elders to take that large step of faith on their own.
O God, give us the strength we need to stand up and be counted. Give us the courage to speak out for what we believe. Give us patience when we experience suffering for the stands we take. These things we ask in Jesus’ name amen.