In Jesus’ Words: By what authority? (Matthew 21:23-27)

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The average church sermon is probably only remembered for about twenty minutes after it has ended, or until we get to lunch.  But the words of Jesus have been remembered and recited for over 2000 years after he spoke them.

Jesus only directly answered three of the 183 questions he was asked, according to gospel accounts.  Sometimes he would put the question back on the person and sometimes he stayed silent.

Jesus asked more questions than he answered.  His own questions were intentional, to make people think or challenge their view.  He often asked people what they wanted or what they believed.  “Who do you say I am?’’  “Who do you seek?’’  

Jesus may not have regularly answered their questions, but he always spoke right to their heart. He asked though he already knew their answer.  And when they doubted, he would simply say, “Come and see.”  Jesus’ logic could not be undone then, and it still stands today.

~ Matthew 21:23-27  Jesus’ Authority Questioned ~

When Jesus entered the temple complex, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority?” 

Jesus answered them, “I will also ask you one question, and if you answer it for Me, then I will tell you by what authority I do these things.  Where did John’s baptism come from? From heaven or from men?”

They began to argue among themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’  But if we say, ‘From men,’ we’re afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought John was a prophet.”  So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

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About Life and Heart Matters

I love sharing the stories I see around me every day - of life, family, of the heart and of the spirit. I've written for Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, participated in speaking engagements across the U.S and France, and enjoy working with humanitarian efforts. I also like spending time running, swimming and reading, all of which can be done on a beach somewhere!
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3 Responses to In Jesus’ Words: By what authority? (Matthew 21:23-27)

  1. Okay, you have my curiosity! What were the three questions that Jesus answered directly? Sure hope the answer is in another one of your posts…will definitely be pondering this! Thanks!

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    • Thanks for reading, and you have a great site. Jesus said, “keep asking, keep searching” and that is what he wants us to do so that we may find the truth for ourselves instead of just having it told to us. Most of Jesus’ answers were not direct, such as “Haven’t you read?”, or “Give unto Ceasar’s…”. The questions he did answer directly have to do with knowing God. 1. What is the greatest commandment? (Matthew 22:36-40) Love God with all your heart. 2. How can we know the works of God? (John 6:28-29). Jesus replied, “This is the work of God – that you believe in the One He has sent.” 3. Why do you speak in parables? (Matthew 13:10-18) Because they do not see or understand, and it fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah saying ‘lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.’ Job also never had any of his questions answered by God, but in the end, Job finally came to understand who God is, which is what we all ultimately want to know.

      Liked by 1 person

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