Luke 20:1–8 (ESV)
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
20 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave
you this authority.” 3 He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4 was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” 5 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will
say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus
said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Today’s reading is taking place in the final week before His crucifixion. The chief priest and the scribes
with the elders are trying to trap Jesus. They need a good solid reason to arrest him. The people supporting Jesus is growing to the point that if you cannot convince the people that He is wrong, then your life will be in danger when the people
turn against you. In today’s reading, they are questioning the authority of Jesus. You need to realize that they have seen the miracles and heard his teachings, and they still don’t get that Jesus is the Son of God. The question
they ask is a legitimate question: “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” Notice that they are not necessarily disputing what is going on in regards to the miracles... they were not refutable.
They were in a dilemma. If Jesus was the Son of God, then why did they miss this and why are they standing on the wrong side and not God’s side. Jesus knows this. So when they ask him a question, he throws a question right back to them
which will open up their problem. Jesus asks: “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4 was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” Either way they answer... they are in trouble. Either in trouble with the people,
or in trouble with the religious leaders. One answer they would lose their jobs and the other possibly their life. They chose to not answer. The irony is that by denying Jesus Christ as the Son of God and your Lord and Savior is death sentence.
I think it is important to see John’s answer:
Behold, the Lamb of God (John 1:29-34)
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not
know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent
me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
I pray: O Lord, I know that you are the Messiah, the Christ... the Son of God. Your authority is from God because you are God. Help me to always follow your ways. Forgive me when I follow my ways which is from man, and help
me to set my eyes and life on you life and will. Amen.