And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. Matthew 21:23-27
The religious leaders decided to challenge Jesus once again, and said to Christ “By what authority do you do these things”? Now the fact that the religious leaders are even asking this question, proves they witnessed Jesus miracles, they listened to Jesus teachings, they understood who Jesus is claiming to be, the Son of God, The Christ. So instead of the religious leaders acknowledging Jesus is the Messiah and being obedient to him, they decided to challenge him instead
Jesus responded with a question regarding the baptism of John the Baptist, “The baptism of John, was it from Heaven or from Men”? Christ was challenging the religious leaders now, basically asking them was John a prophet or not? Now it was pretty well known that John the Baptist was a prophet from God, however the religious leaders cared more about the opinions of people than the truth. They refused to answer Christ because the scripture said “they fear the people”. They feared the opinion of people more than they feared God
This question can be asked to all of us in our hearts, by what authority is Jesus speaking or performing miracles? Do you believe Jesus is God in the flesh? Or do you believe Jesus is just another prophet or created being? The deity of Christ is still a debated topic within the Church today, how can Jesus be your Lord and Master, if Christ is not God? That would be idolatry if Jesus was just a man or a prophet, this is why most Christians who deny the Trinity, have alot of theological issues with their doctrine.
Because the religious leaders would not be honest with Christ, then he refused to answer their question about the baptism of John. The important thing is are we honestly seeking Christ with all our heart, mind, and soul? Or are we just trying to fit Christ into our own religion and ideologies? We must unharden our hearts to receive the truth from God, if we don’t humble ourselves first, we can never truly know who God is
The religious leaders witnessed many miracles of Christ, they heard hours of teaching by Jesus himself, yet they still hardened their hearts and wouldn’t receive the true gospel. By what authority did Jesus speak or perform miracles? By His authority because Jesus is God in the Flesh, Amen!