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?"
— Mark 11:27-28
The apparent religious leaders demanded Jesus, the true spiritual leader, to answer their questions about his authority! Before Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, this was a natural thing to have happen. The Temple and all things religious were their domain. They were the respected authorities. They supposedly were motivated by the best interests of Israel and the preservation of their religious institutions. In light of their rejection of Jesus, the crucifixion of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus, their question about Jesus' authority becomes silly. How dare they challenge the one who has the power over life and death? How dare they doubt the religious authority of the one for whom God demonstrated his approval and love? So the real question for you and me today is this: "On which side of the cross and resurrection do I view Jesus?" Hopefully we view him on the side on which we not only see Jesus' authority, but we also have responded to that authority with appreciation, admiration, and obedience.
O Father, forgive my foolish ways and my foolish pride. I believe that Jesus died and rose again. I believe he has the authority over life and death. Help me base my choices on that conviction and live for him. In Jesus' name I ask this. 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."
Related Scripture Readings
“So, all the Jewish people should know this truly: God has made Jesus to be Lord and Christ. He is the man you nailed to the cross!”
When the people heard this, they felt very, very sorry. They asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter said to them, “Change your hearts and lives and be baptized, For each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Then God will forgive your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is for you. It is also for your children and for the people that are far away. It is for every person that the Lord our God calls to himself.”
God promised long ago to give this Good News to his people. God used his prophets to promise this. That promise is written in the Holy Scriptures. The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a person, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness Jesus was shown to be God's Son. He was shown to be God's Son with great power by rising from death.
So Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (power) in heaven and on earth is given to me.