Argument about Authority

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Argument about Authority

Gospel text 11:27-33 :-

Jesus was asked by the chief priests, teachers of the law and elders where his authority had come from. Jesus avoided the question by asking them where they thought John the Baptist’s authority had come from. This was a trap because they knew if they answered ‘from God’ he would ask them why they hadn’t believed John. They knew if they answered ‘from men’ then this would upset people because John was believed to be a prophet. Instead, they said to Jesus that they didn’t know. Jesus replied that he would not then tell them where his authority had come from.

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Argument about Authority

Key points :-

  • This was an attempt to trap Jesus in order to get him arrested.
  • They asked Jesus ‘who gave you authority to do this’?  If Jesus answered ‘God’ then he could be accused of blasphemy.  If Jesus answered ‘no one’ then they could have accused him of acting unlawfully.
  • Jesus skillfully avoided the question by referring to John the Baptist.  John was very popular and people believed him to be a prophet.  If the Jewish leaders admitted that John’s baptism was from heaven then that would have meant they were admitting that Jesus was the Messiah. 
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