MUSINGS – November 15, 2018
WHAT GIVES YOU THE RIGHT
Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple courtyard, the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders came to him. They asked him, “What gives you the right to do these things? Who told you that you could do this?” Jesus said to them, “I’ll ask you a question. Answer me, and then I’ll tell you why I have the right to do these things. Did John’s right to baptize come from heaven or from humans? Answer me!” They discussed this among themselves. They said, “If we say, ‘from heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘from humans,’ then what will happen?” They were afraid of the people. All the people thought of John as a true prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Jesus told them, “Then I won’t tell you why I have the right to do these things.”
Finally, the chief priests had asked Jesus the right question. For years they have asked questions to entrap him. And it had never worked. Now they had, at last, asked the core question about Jesus. What gives you the right to heal, to teach new truths about God’s kingdom, and to prophesy?
People were calling him Rabbi. But he had not gone through the years of training to become a Rabbi. He hadn’t even gone online to http://www.themonastery.org to become legally ordained. Though he wasn’t recognized by the religious authorities as a Rabbi, the people recognized his teaching as powerful and as one who had authority.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, there people were starting to call him Messiah, the truly anointed King of Israel. And he had not been truly anointed by the ruling hierarchy.
In short, he was taking away their power over the people. So they asked the question that they should have asked from the beginning.
However, Jesus knew their hearts. He knew that they couldn’t handle the truth. And they certainly would not accept the truth that he was God incarnate.
It still goes back to the question that Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Who do you say Jesus is?
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