“And they said to Him, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?’ ” Mark 11:28
For three years the scribes and pharisees had followed Jesus, provoking and testing him, striving to find a way to get the better of him in theological debate and through this diminish his standing before the people. At every turn, and in every scheme, Jesus had demonstrated that he was filled with the Spirit of God. In addition to this his teaching had been accompanied by a multitude of powerful miracles.
Through the majority of his public ministry Christ had tried to keep his identity as the incarnate Son of God a secret knowing that this claim could be used by his enemies against him. So in humility he went about his work, making no claim for honors, striving only to serve the suffering, down trodden sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.
But while his lips made no proclamation regarding his deity his actions fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the Messiah and broadcast his true identity.
Seeing this the Jewish leaders sought a different strategy. If they could just get him to admit that truth he had been so reticent to acknowledge they could then denounce him. So they come to him questioning his authority believing that in doing so they will have trapped him.
But Jesus turns the tables by asking them to admit truth regarding John the Baptist that they had avoided acknowledging while he was alive. There was no way that they could answer his question and retain their dignity. Once again they were beaten.
How many times our pride gets us in trouble. It was only because Jesus had no sinful pride that he was able to time and time again meet temptation victoriously. Too often we fall because in a hasty attempt to defend our honor, or even God’s honor, we rush ahead of the Holy Spirit.
Christ was not in his life, and I believe he is not now, concerned with defending his honor. His only concern is saving his lost and dying children. And in the end, it’s his refusal to defend his honor so that he can save our souls that will earn for him even greater honor and praise.
If we will follow his leading… If we will walk in his foot steps…we will share in his glory as we cast our crowns at his feet.