What Jesus Did! 'By What Authority?' — Mark 11:27-28

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Again [Jesus and the disciples] entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. They demanded, "By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?"
— Mark 11:27-28 NLT

Key Thought

The apparent religious leaders demanded that Jesus, the true spiritual leader, answer their questions about his authority! Before Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, it was natural for them to ask their questions because 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 where not only do we see Jesus' authority, but we also have responded to that authority with appreciation, admiration, and obedience.

Today's Prayer

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 to base my choices on that conviction and to live for him. In Jesus' name, I ask this. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 2:36-39
  • Romans 1:2-4
  • Matthew 28:18


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Illustration of Mark 11:27-28 NLT — "By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

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.