And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? Luke 20:1-4
All throughout Jesus’ ministry, he was challenged and tested by the religious leaders. The reality is, if these religious leaders actually knew God and the scriptures, then they would have known who Jesus is. But the truth is , the majority of the religious leaders hated Jesus, because he threatened their religious system and establishment. As Jesus said “You love God with your mouths but not your hearts (Matthew 15:8)
The religious leaders were hypocrites, and when they decided to challenge Jesus, he was going to show them how fake they are. The religious leaders asked Jesus “By what authority do you do these things”, remember the religious leaders accused Jesus of being possessed with a demon, so they were basically implying Jesus was working for Satan (Matthew 12:24)
So Jesus called them out “Was the baptism of John a calling from God or a tradition of men”? Now we know John the Baptist was a prophet, in fact Jesus called him the greatest of all prophets (Matthew 11:11) So again if these religious leaders really know God and the scriptures, then they should know if John is a true prophet
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. Luke 20:5-8
Now Jesus is challenging the religious leaders, and they painted themselves in a corner. If they believe John the Baptist is a prophet, then why don’t they listen to him that Jesus is the Messiah. However if they deny John is a prophet, then they will be stoned to death by the people. The fact they remained silent leads me to believe they knew John was a prophet and Jesus is the Christ, however they still rejected Him!
Since the religious leaders refused to answer, then Jesus refused to answer the religious leaders any longer. This should be a reflection of our relationship with God also, are we being honest with our search for truth? Do we allow God to answer us or do we just hear what we want to hear?
Be careful who your “religious leaders” are, Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, He is our High Priest, the Living Word of God, no person overrides the authority of Christ Amen!