“And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, 28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Mark 11:27-33 (KJV)
WHERE DOES JESUS GET THE AUTHORITY TO DO SUCH THINGS AS PURIFY THE TEMPLE?
If you are anything like me you are thinking to yourself that these religious leaders must be “fuming mad” at Jesus. Here for the second time in three years He has come into the Temple compound, and tossed tables, money, caused animals to scatter, and “offended” many of the people and upset the business of the Temple people. The thing we must realize is that God was offended by their “Business” in His house. They were more concerned with the pocketbook than with the hearts of the people. They were more upset over the money than they were with the shattered lives of the people around them.
Who gave Jesus the authority to do what He did? Who did He think He was anyway? We know the answer to that question – He was/is the Son of God, in the flesh. He is the Creator of the world. His authority came from Heaven. His authority came from His position as Creator, Son, Savior, Messiah, Lord, Redeemer, Master, Healer, Sustainer, the Almighty, and many other titles and names that is given Him. Now, where does the authority come from? Who gave Him this power? Did He need to ask permission? NO! It is all His.
These leaders would not answer Jesus’ question concerning John the Baptist. They knew what He would say if they would acknowledge John as a prophet of God. They were also afraid to answer he was just from men lest they received ridicule and rejection from the people. They would not stand on anything, so they would fall for a lie instead. They would have suffered rejection from the people because they saw John the Baptist as a prophet of God. How foolish, and how weak. It only proves they wanted only popular approval.
Why did Jesus not answer their question? If they were rejecting John’s message, they would not believe Jesus’ message of Himself. Why waste the time and effort to bother with an answer. There are times when an answer is not warranted or deserving of those who ask it. This was one of those cases.
Jesus was always willing to answer honest questions. He answered many of them. This was not an honest question. It is like you or me proving our identity, and then, having someone ask us, “Are you sure you are who you say you are?” Only with Jesus it is much more severe.
Jesus is the Son of God, became flesh, who died for our sins, carried our sins away at His burial, and after three days He rose from the dead for our justification, and He is one day soon returning for those who are His in the rapture of the Church, and then returning to earth to rule and reign for a thousand years and then for all eternity. Do you know the God/man Jesus?
-Tim A. Blankenship