Jesus Won't Play

David Gaunt

“Jesus entered the temple courts, and while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him.  ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ the asked.  ‘And who gave you this authority?’  Jesus replied, ‘I will also ask you one question.  If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’  John’s baptism, where did it come from?  Was it from heaven, or of human origin?  They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘Of human  origin’, we are afraid of the people for they all hold that John was a prophet.’  So they answered Jesus, ‘We don’t know.’  Then he said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’”  Matthew 21:23-27

Jesus is such a wise and direct person.  The exchange above found in Matthew 21:23-27 happened Tuesday morning on the week He would be betrayed, beaten, crucified, and resurrected.  The day before, Jesus had cleared the Temple of greedy money changers.  Now His enemies wanted to know by what authority He had done that.

These men were already looking to kill Jesus.  Now they wanted to ask questions to disprove His claims.  There are probably people like that in your life.  They will ask questions or get into conversations about God, the Bible, and Jesus, but they aren’t trying to believe, they are trying to disprove.

But there are those that are genuinely curious.  They are looking to find answers.  God will do business with them.  He will show Himself Faithful and True.

Notice that Jesus didn’t play their game, though He had already claimed God as His Father and sender.  But here Jesus reveals their lack of interest in truth, by asking them a question.  He asks them to share their convictions about the person and work of John the Baptist, but they won’t get that real or transparent about what’s really on their minds.

As you seek to impact people with the Good News of Jesus Christ this Easter season, ask God to help them to be “looking to find.”  Pray that they will not play games.  Pray that they will be drawn to Jesus by God’s working in their hearts. 

Don’t be threatened by their sincere objections and hard questions.  Trust God to be able to prove Himself to them.  If they are just playing games, God is still able to reveal that.  Give it time and keep praying.


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