THE QUESTION OF AUTHORITY
When the leading priests, teachers and elders interrupted Jesus’ teaching in the Temple to ask the source of His authority, it was actually the source of theirs that came into question. For when He challenged them to answer whether John the Baptist’s authority was from heaven or from man, they balked. The very men that were supposedly set apart to judge whether a prophet was true or false were afraid to give an honest answer because they feared the people who believed in John’s calling from God. So, they lied saying they didn’t know. Their answer revealed their authority, or should I say the lack thereof. For their authority was merely human and dependent on keeping the right people happy. Jesus’ refusal to answer their question actually revealed that His authority was greater than theirs. He felt no obligation to answer to these people-pleasing hypocrites. So, these so-called leaders scurried away, with the tails of their robes tucked between their legs, back into their darkened rooms where they would plan their next scheme for ridding themselves of Jesus.
Jesus’ authority came from God. As the gospel of John quoted Jesus saying, “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say” (John 12:49-50).