What Jesus Did! 'No Way!' — Mark 11:31-33

Saturday, August 20, 2016

These Jewish leaders talked about Jesus' question. They said to each other, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' then Jesus will say, 'Then why didn't you believe John?' But we can't say that John's baptism was from someone else." (These leaders were afraid of the people, because the people believed that John was a prophet.) So the leaders answered Jesus, "We don't know the answer." Jesus said, "Then I will not tell you what authority I use to do these things."
— Mark 11:31-33
Illustration of Mark 11:31-33 — "Then I will not tell you what authority I use to do these things."

Key Thought

Jesus refused to give the Jewish religious leaders an answer because they wouldn't answer him. In fact, they weren't looking for the truth; they just wanted an answer to their question so they could trap Jesus in his words. But, they failed—just as they failed at stopping his teaching by killing him and failed at stopping his early followers by persecuting his church. Jesus is THE authority. They couldn't stop him anymore than they could stop the world from turning. What is scary, however, is that there is no real answer to life's problems for those who look at Jesus and his story simply for ammunition to discredit him. Like the opponents of Jesus of old, opponents of Jesus today are not given an answer because they aren't seeking one. We need to ask ourselves, what—or better yet, who—do we seek?

Today's Prayer

Father, please help me find my answers in Jesus. I confess that my own wisdom is flawed. Without your help, your guidance, and your grace I would not find your wisdom which the world holds foolish but which gives life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and his followers went again to Jerusalem. Jesus was walking in the temple area. The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the older Jewish leaders came to Jesus. They said to Jesus, "Tell us! What authority (power) do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?" Jesus answered, "I will ask you a question. You answer my question. Then I will tell you whose authority I use to do these things. Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from God or was it only from other people? Answer me!" These Jewish leaders talked about Jesus' question. They said to each other, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' then Jesus will say, 'Then why didn't you believe John?' But we can't say that John's baptism was from someone else." (These leaders were afraid of the people, because the people believed that John was a prophet. ) So the leaders answered Jesus, "We don't know the answer." Jesus said, "Then I will not tell you what authority I use to do these things."

Mark 11:27-33

Related Scripture Readings

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those people that are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Like the Scriptures say, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise people. I will confuse the understanding of the intelligent people." Where is the wise person? Where is the educated person? Where is the philosopher of this time? God has made the wisdom of the world foolish. This is what God with his wisdom wanted: The world did not know God through the world's own wisdom. So God used the message that sounds foolish to save the people that believe it. The Jews ask for miracles as proofs. The Greeks want wisdom. But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a big problem to the Jews. And the non-Jews think it is foolish. But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people that God has called (chosen)—Jews and Greeks (non-Jews). Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, God called (chose) you. Think about that! And not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of the world to give shame to the wise people. God chose the weak things of the world to give shame to the strong people. And God chose what the world thinks is not important. He chose what the world hates and thinks is nothing. God chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important.

1 Corinthians 1:18-28

If you are always trying to do good, then no person can really hurt you. But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, then you are blessed (happy). "Don't be afraid of those people {that make you suffer}; don't be worried." But you should keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer every person who asks you to explain about the hope you have. But answer those people in a gentle way with respect. Always be able to feel that you are doing right. When you do that, the people who say bad things about you will be made ashamed. They say these bad things about the good way you live in Christ. They will be made ashamed for the bad things they said about you.

1 Peter 3:13-16

Jesus answered, "I am the way. I am the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. If you really knew me, then you would know my Father too. But now you know the Father. You have seen him."

John 14:6-7

Comments

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.