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Jesus is clear. Jesus doesn’t have to answer questions. That is shocking to me. I deserve to have my questions answered. How dare Jesus does not answer them.

Even more clear is that Jesus knows who is in charge and is confident that He is about doing the work of God. That rattles us all, I think.

  • Jesus gets to ask the questions of me.
  • I must answer them.
  • I don’t get to be the know it all lecturing Jesus.
  • If I think I am a “religious leader”, I am off to a bad start.

I am not in control. Jesus has been given all authority by His heavenly Father. Jesus is in control. That is the starting point for everything.

Is “I don’t know” a good answer? Not in the world of Jesus it isn’t. Jesus knows I know the answer. My job is to be honest and “fess up”. Jesus is waiting for an answer.

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.[1]

Source: Mark 11:27-33

The present tense in “they say” and “Jesus says” enlivens this dialogue. The dialogue itself ends with Jesus’ outwitting the Sanhedrin. Because they don’t dare answer the one question he asked, he needn’t answer their first question—much less their second question, to which he doesn’t even allude. The shame to which he puts the very ones who’ll get him crucified cancels out what would otherwise be the shame of his crucifixion.[2]

Here is the deal: I think I can outsmart Jesus. I think he can be boxed into a corner. He cannot be. No way at all. There is a lesson here.

  • I need to humble myself.
  • I need to get down off my high horse.
  • I really do!

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mk 11:27–33). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (p. 192). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.