What Jesus Did! 'Heavenly or Human?' — Mark 11:29-30

Monday, August 19, 2024

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"I'll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question," Jesus replied. "Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!"
— Mark 11:29-30 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus didn't try to defend his authority. It would be amply demonstrated. In fact, he had already demonstrated it throughout his ministry by casting out demons, healing people with diseases, and speaking with the power and wisdom of God himself. If his opponents refused to believe, there was nothing he could do or say in the natural realm to change that ... except maybe die and be raised again, and even that wasn't enough for his critics and adversaries. Jesus didn't back down at their petty little displays of their token authority. Rather than argue with them about authority, he challenged them back with a question that would stump them. His question demonstrated what they refused to believe. Jesus knew authority. Jesus spoke with authority. Jesus was authority, so he asked them to answer him. They couldn't (Mark 11:30-33). They were left with only the bitterest of plans ... they must kill him! Even then, as we know today, they didn't have the authority or power to pull off their mission! They were successful only because Jesus submitted himself to them to honor God's plan. Praise God; Jesus is the one with authority over us all!

Today's Prayer

Father, I cannot tell you how comforting it is to know that the one to whom you have given authority over my life is also the one who died to save it. Thank you for grace. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for placing all authority in him. In Jesus' name, and to his glory as Lord, I offer this prayer. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 8:5-10, 13
  • 2 Peter 1:3-4
  • Revelation 5:9-14


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Illustration of Mark 11:29-30 NLT — "I'll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question," Jesus replied. "Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!"

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.