As I’m writing this today, I look at what’s going on in our country, and our world.
It seems that people of authority want more authority.
The scribes and elders in Mark showed their lust for power too.
And, they had no intention of giving up their own power for Christ.
So, they decided to pose a trick question to challenge the authority of God.
But, we’ll learn in this Scripture from Mark that there is only one real authority on heaven or earth — Jesus Christ.
Mark 11 – Religious Leaders Challenge Jesus’ Authority
Jesus taught and performed miracles which took away from the authority of the religious leaders. So, they tried to trick Him with a no-win question.
What is Authority?
I was curious so I took a look over at my favorite explanation site, Wiki to see what they had to say about authority. Their definition fits in with what the religious leaders wanted. The definition says:
“Authority is the legitimate right to exercise social and political power, which a civil State usually makes formal by way of a judicial branch and an executive branch of government; in a theocratic state authority is realized with a charismatic, ecclesiastical government. In the exercise of government.
The terms authority and power sometimes are inaccurately used as synonyms.
The term authority identifies political legitimacy, which grants and justifies the right to exercise power of government.
But, the term power identifies the ability to accomplish an authorized goal, by way either of compliance or of obedience; hence, authority is the power to make decisions and the right to make such legal decisions and order their execution.”
Bible Study Lesson from Mark 11:27-33 – The Authority of Jesus
During the time just before our Easter, the Pharisees and other religious leaders continued their quest to try and trick Jesus into blasphemy; punishable by death.
But, they were never once successful in trapping Christ.
Jesus is Questioned by Religious Leaders Again
They came again to Jerusalem.
And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to Him, and began saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?”
And Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.”
They began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘From men’?”—they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet.
Answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” – Mark 11:27-33 NASB
Christ is challenged by religious leaders and the chief priests
Was this a trick question? Of course it was! d:-)
Did Jesus fall for it? Of course not!
But, the religious leaders trying to trick Jesus with a question is not as important as their motive.
In fact, these religious leaders and chief priests could care less about discovering the truth about Jesus.
The “authority” question was a trap – as most of their questions were.
Blasphemy or Just a Troublemaker?
In the eyes of the religious leaders, Jesus could answer only in one of these two ways…
- He could answer that his authority came from God (blasphemy)
- The other answer was that He just decided to disrupt the temple own His own (just another troublemaker and fanatic)
Either way, they would be rid of Him for good.
Jesus Could NOT Be Trapped
One consistency you will find all through the New Testament is that; not once did Jesus ever fall into any of the traps planted by the Pharisees and priests.
Christ answered their question with a question they could not answer without trapping themselves.
Whose Authority was Threatened?
They could not answer Jesus as verses 31 & 32 explain because they were mainly interested in getting rid of Jesus.
His teachings and behavior was weakening their authority. And, they had no intention of losing their power over the people, not to mention their wealth.
So, here is a question for us..
Are we interested in discovering the truth about Christ?
More personally, are you interested in learning more about Jesus and His plan for your life?
I hope I answered this honestly..
Love in Christ
If you would like to learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment and go to John 3:16.