... "Tell us, by what authority You do these things, or who is it
that gave You this authority?" (Luke 20:2b).
Read Luke 20:1-8
The Jewish Sanhedrin or high court led by the high priest is the
recognized authority in Jerusalem. They aren't crazy about
Jesus driving the animals and moneychangers out of the temple
and teaching huge crowds right under their noses. So a group
from the Sanhedrin comes to ask who gave Him the authority
to do these things.
They expect Jesus to say His authority came from God. Then
they will demand proof, which they will refuse to recognize, thus
discrediting Him in front of the crowds. Jesus recognizes their
intended trap. He politely answers, "I also will ask you a question.
Now tell Me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?"
Suddenly, their trap is sprung, but they are the ones caught in it!
They could give an answer that would please the crowds, saying
John's authority was from God, but they know Jesus will ask why
then did they not obey him and receive his baptism. If they tell
Him what they honestly think, saying John's authority did not
come from God, they fear the crowd will rise up and stone them
to death because the people held John to be a prophet.
So the only answer they can give is no answer at all: "We don't
know where his authority came from." This is hardly a suitable
answer, since they are considered the leaders who are responsible
for religious instruction in Israel. They are completely humiliated by
the answer they have to give.
Jesus turns it back against them. If you will not answer Me,
"Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
Lord Jesus Christ, Your authority indeed came from God Your
Father, the same source of John's authority. Help me accept
Your authority and trust in You always. Amen.
Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries