October 19, 2021
Daily Reading: Mark 10-11
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
The Bible, God’s Holy Word, is the greatest repository of knowledge the world has ever known. In it, great truths are revealed in both the spiritual and physical realm. One only has to read it, study it, and meditate upon it to learn stuff that others will never know or understand. One such arena that the Bible specializes in is its exposé on human nature.
It’s been said, “The Bible is not just a book that men read, it is a book that reads men.” So true. Today you will, or have read, about a conversation between the Lord and the chief priests, scribes, and elders in Jerusalem. In this story there is a golden nugget of truth that if understood will explain a lot about people, their motives, and their conflicts.
These leaders demanded that Jesus tell them by what authority He did all that He was doing. After all, they couldn’t have all this healing of sick folk, preaching about righteousness, and forgiving so many of their sins going on, not in their town. Since they did not give Him the authority to do this, who did? Jesus turned the tables on them.
He said that He would answer them if they would first answer His one question. The question asked by these leaders was this: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? Then, giving them the same courtesy they gave Him, He demanded an answer. Answer me, He said.
Notice, not once did they sincerely consider the true answer. All they considered was the result of their answer. If we say this, then this will happen; if we say that, then that will happen. Both of their scenarios were unacceptable in their sight. They were boxed in. Yet, they cared not for the actual truth of the matter, they only cared about the results of admitting the truth or telling a lie. So, they said, we cannot tell. Therefore, neither did Jesus tell them that which they had demanded. Fair is fair, right!
When a person begins to study their answer to life’s questions based upon the response of others, they very seldom search for truth. Truth is true regardless of the way others respond to it. Had they sought out the answer to the Lord’s question by studying the Scriptures, perhaps asking follow up questions of Jesus about baptism, and prayer, they may have learned of their need for redemption. And/or at least come up with the proper answer to the Lord’s question. Or perhaps they could have answered their own original question which was… By what authority… They could have learned that Jesus did all that He did, being authorized to do so by His Father in Heaven, the Lord God of the universe.
These leaders illustrate the manner of so many that speak only to obtain the response they desire and not to learn the truth.
Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.