Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Mark 11:27-33 NIV
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
27 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. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?” 29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” 31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
Why doesn’t Jesus answer the question directly?
Jesus, You spoke and acted with God-given authority. You listened to the voice of Your Father and spoke the very words of God. You are the unique Son of God who spoke with the authority of God himself. There are people who do amazing things because they are confident that they walk in Your authority. Jesus, I don’t want to be a meek and quiet Christian, I want to hear Your voice and confidently act with Your authority. I know that listening to You is the key. To do that I need to spend time with You. I know that I will meet opposition when I speak of Your truth. The priests of Your time on earth are similar to the people today who are adversarial and look for ways to trip people up so they can be destroyed. You saw their hearts. Your response to them challenged their authority by giving them a question that they couldn’t answer. You exposed their motives and deceitfulness through their lack of authority and faith. Lord, I want to be able to respond in love and share Your Word in a way where people will recognize that I am speaking for You. I don’t want to be afraid. I don’t need to please people, I need to please You. Let me walk with the boldness of Your Spirit today and confidently speak and act in Your authority as I stand firm in following Your Word. Help me to walk in a close relationship with you, hear your voice, and speak your words with authority. Amen