One day as He was teaching the people in the temple complex and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came up and said to Him: â€œTell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Who is it who gave You this authority?â€
They discussed it among themselves: â€œIf we say, â€˜From heaven,â€™ He will say, â€˜Why didnâ€™t you believe him?â€™ But if we say, â€˜From men,â€™ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.â€
So they answered that they did not know its origin.
And Jesus said to them, â€œNeither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.â€ Â Â Luke 20:1-8 (HCSB)
This is one of those scenes in the Bible that if I was a producer or director â€“ I would love to do this scene! I can just see in my mind the very â€œholy-lookingâ€ priests, scribes, and elders from the church. They are all dressed really well and they smile and give â€“ when others are looking â€“ and make snarly remarks and gossip when they aren’t so â€œholy.â€
And then here is Jesus talking and teaching â€œcommon peopleâ€ (whosoever!) about how much God loves them and wants them to be with Him. Everyone is smiling and having a wonderful time (in worship ’cause God is there!) until the â€œholy folksâ€ show up and I can see the smiles fall away.
With their noses in the air (either really or by their unspoken attitudes), the church leaders set out their 50th trap question and ask Him by whose authority Jesus speaks and does miracles. WHAT?!! Talk about â€œmajoring on the minors!â€ They do not ask what prayer might bring the miracles or talk about the follow-up with those who have been healed. No, they are trying to get Him to take God’s name in disrespect or prove He is a scammer!
Jesus sees their hearts. I see His eyes going hard at first as He knows that these guys have done the same thing to everyone â€“ cut someone down so they can look better. And then there is this little smile that threatens to break through on Jesus’ face. Instead of playing their game, Jesus asks them a question.
The men do not have the moral standards to answer honestly. They can’t even answer the question without talking it over! They figure out that no matter how they answer they cannot turn the table again on Jesus. So they look stupid and say, â€œWe don’t know.â€ That’s just a lie. Jesus isn’t going to play The Lie Game.
And Jesus does the same to me. He does not want me to lie to myself or to anyone else. He wants truth to be a characteristic of our life together. His Spirit will expose lies and deception in my life. That is always a good thing but it is often also a painful thing. There is nothing that I can hide from my LORD, including my intentions, my heart. Jesus wants me to be His disciple from the inside â€“ out. I can always count on Him to give me His truth, His whole truth, and nothing but that truth. Praise Him!
Final scene: Jesus and I walking along with our arms around each other and smiling. Fade. Another day and it is raining and I am crying as Jesus carries me in His arms. The sun is peaking from behind the clouds. Tomorrow is another day.
Yesterday, Today and Forever written and sung by Vicky Beeching