What Jesus Did! 'No Way!' — Mark 11:30-33

Thursday, August 20, 2020

[Jesus asked,] "Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human? Answer me!"

[The Jewish leaders] talked it over among themselves. "If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn't believe John. But do we dare say it was merely human?" For they were afraid of what the people would do, because everyone believed that John was a prophet. So they finally replied, "We don't know."

And Jesus responded, "Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things."

— Mark 11:30-33 NLT

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 try to 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. The Jewish leaders 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 try 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18-28
  • 1 Peter 3:13-16
  • John 14:6-7


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Illustration of Mark 11:30-33 NLT — "Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things."

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.