24“I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied.25“Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”
They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t believe John.26But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.”27So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”
And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”
This seems like a little battle of wits and words here, but it is really much more. First, by simply asking Jesus about his authority the leading priests are showing they don’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus just entered Jerusalem in a way to perfectly fulfilled prophecies these priests would have probably had memorized and surely studied. He then cleared the temple out, again in fulfillment of prophecy. He then ended the day by healing the sick and one more time telling these same priest that the children singing his praises were just fulfilling prophecy. After all that, they come back and ask about Jesus authority. They refused to see the obvious.
Now Jesus isn’t just playing with them when he asks them about John’s baptisms. No, he is challenging them again to choose between thinking spiritually, like God, and thinking humanly. He is giving them another chance to see what is unfolding before them. Their thoughts reveal that they don’t even attempt to truly analyze and answer the question. Searching for the truth, never crosses their mind. They simply want the answer that will benefit them right now. And because of that, Jesus dismisses them and doesn’t answer their question either.
Our world is full of people who aren’t looking for the truth, but rather looking for the easiest or most opportunistic answer. And God will not play in that world. He calls all humanity to at least pass the minimum standard of being willing to look for the real truth to the important questions. If someone won’t at least show that level of sincerity, God won’t waste his time revealing anything to them. But here is the real question, how often don’t we do that same thing? Are there times and situation and places that we just don’t want to really see, and hear, and be changed?
Lord, don’t let me avoid the truth out of convenience, or fear, or comfort. Help me to hear the real questions and seek the real answers. Help me seek the truth. Help me seek You. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*