Ever get caught in an disagreement or argument that really started as a conversation? What got you caught into a heated discussion and eventually an argument? Was it a challenge to you, your authority (perceived or real), your influence, or your pride? "Everyone knows your son was the starting pitcher because you are the head coach." I've seen that line dangled out there, and I saw the head coach "take the bait."
On Tuesday of Holy Week, the religious leaders are desperate to catch Christ in his own words, so they come to him with a simple question, "By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you the authority to do them?" Christ sees this plainly and says, "I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me." (Mark 12) Mark clearly notes that they weighed their answer by which answer would cause the most problems. "If we say from heaven, then he'll say why didn't you believe him (John) and if we say man, then the people will be angry with us because they believed John to be a prophet." (12:31 - 32) After their deliberation, they answered, "We do not know." (12:33)
Here is what we know. We sin. We challenge, even the authority of God at times when we know better than he does. We also know Christ, with clarity of mind not to get caught in the challenge set by the leaders, will still suffer and die for our pride, our sins.
Pray we focus on our heart and the sins and condition of our heart. Pray as David did in his psalm, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me." (Psalm 51)
Hope Men's Ministry