The Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' role as a servant. Join with us as we venture through one section of this vital gospel that recounts many of Jesus' actions during his ministry years.
Read Mark 11:27-33
They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you authority to do this?"
Jesus replied, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John's baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!"
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' …" (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know."
Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
Some of the Jewish leaders, especially religious officials, were out to get Jesus, to discredit him by trapping him in his own words. Here their strategy backfires, as Jesus decides only to be as open with them as they are with him. What do you think his purpose is in withholding this information?
Few of us will ever find ourselves in a situation like Jesus' here, where not only his reputation but his very life is on the line. Nonetheless, how might his response to his questioners inform the way that we deal with those who disagree with us? Jesus, the world is a noisy place, often dominated by those who seem to think that power comes from shouting the loudest. Help us to emulate you, to know—yes—when and what we should speak, but just as importantly when to remain quiet, and trust in the very different kind of power that you yourself wielded. Amen.