What Jesus Did! 'By Whose Authority?' — Luke 20:1-8

Saturday, November 14, 2015

One day Jesus was in the temple area. He was teaching the people. Jesus told the people the Good News {about the kingdom of God}. The leading priests, teachers of the law, and older Jewish leaders came to talk to Jesus. They said, "Tell us! What authority do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority?" Jesus answered, "I will ask you a question too. Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from God or was it only from other people?" The priests, the teachers of the law, and the Jewish leaders all talked about this. They said to each other, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' then he will say, 'Then why did you not believe John?' But if we say that John's baptism was from someone else, {not God,} then all the people will kill us with rocks. They will kill us because they believe that John was a prophet." So they answered, "We don't know the answer." So Jesus said to them, "Then I will not tell you what authority I use to do these things!"
— Luke 20:1-8 NLT
Illustration of Luke 20:1-8 NLT — "Then I will not tell you what authority I use to do these things!"

Key Thought

Jesus has now entered the battlefield. Yes, he is in the Temple of God. However, his opponents are now going to bombard him with questions in hopes of getting him to commit some heinous religious offense that they can use to make him seem scandalous. Jesus' agenda, on the other hand, is to share the Good News. So outwitting his opponents at their own game, he sends them away with a question they didn't want to answer. They won't answer him, so he sends them away without an answer to their question. He is there to minister. He won't get caught up in their games with the end so near. Let's remember that we must not let religious games ever take the place of God's mission and ministry through us.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for getting so upset sometimes with religious questions. I know there are important issues of truth. Please help me see these. On the other hand, dear Father, I don't want to get caught up in the religious arguments and miss the opportunity to minister to others as you would have me do. Please remove any contentious spirit from me and help me to focus on the things that are matters of your concern. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Timothy 6:20
  • Titus 2:15
  • Romans 15:17-20


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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.