Yesterday, Jesus cleansed the Holy Temple.
Ignited by the unfair trade and shady commerce taking place in His Father’s house, He upended tables, flipped chairs, and chased people with a whip.
Because of this, many Jerusalem residents have a sour taste in their mouths. Wasn’t this the Guy they welcomed with a flourish into their city just a few days ago?
Maybe that was a mistake, they thought.
Some, however, are afraid.
They are threatened by His increasing boldness.
After all, when palm branches and cloaks were laid at His feet during His triumphal entry, He didn’t deny the treatment. He didn’t shun the people who hailed Him as King.
In fact, when questioned why He didn’t, He said, “If these people don’t hail Me, the rocks will cry out.”
Jesus had, many times previously, shushed people who desired to crown Him King. “It’s not time yet,” He would say.
However, the day before yesterday, He welcomed the crown.
Did that mean it was time for His induction into Jerusalem royalty?
If so, some needed Him to go away.
So they seek to discredit Him; to make Him look less authorative in front of His followers. Approaching Him, they ask, “Who do You think You are? By what authority did You drive out the merchants yesterday? Who told You that was okay?”
Jesus, knowing their motivation, answered their question with a question.
“From where did John the Baptist get his authority?”
Of course – John the Baptist, the last prophet before Jesus who came in His name, baptizing all – had received his authority from God.
Those questioning Jesus knew this, so they refused to answer Him.
And because they never answer His question, He never answers theirs.
No way, they thought. No way would they ever acknowledge the obvious – that Jesus had authority from God.
In their pride, they retreated. They had failed to get the better of Him. He was just too clever. Maybe next time, they thought. After all, something had to be done. He was getting too popular – too powerful.
In their narrow-mindedness they missed it: Jesus had inferred He received authority from God Himself.
And, if that were true – of course they were too proud to ever let that thought gain traction – then what did that make Jesus? After all, He had often claimed equality with God.
What was He saying?
Nonetheless, the questioners never stuck around to figure it out.
Jesus gets all authority from God, because He and the Father are One. In the beginning, the Word was with God, and it was God. Make no mistake: Jesus is the Lord.
And He has full authority on His behalf.
It’s just too bad that they didn’t see they needed Him to have it.
After all, it is by no other Name that we are saved.
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