Right To Reign

Opening Prayer

Jesus, draw me close to You, so I can worship and obey You this day.

Read Mark 11:27–33

27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Reflect

Choose three words that describe how you are feeling. Own what they represent and offer them to Jesus.

In a bold display of confidence, Jesus returns to the scene of yesterday’s protest (27). Far from letting the dust settle he seems intent on keeping the storm brewing!
Yesterday’s actions had gotten the religious leaders rattled (18). Jesus was too much to handle, yet too much to ignore. So, they come with a seemingly innocent question (28). Of course, it wasn’t innocent: it was designed to trap Jesus. If he claimed authority from God, they had him for blasphemy; if he claimed his own authority, they had him for sedition.
Jesus threw it right back at them (29,30), and they found themselves caught in the trap they themselves had set (31,32). Their tame and cowardly answer (33) betrayed a deep unwillingness to face facts. The King who had entered Jerusalem, almost moment by moment fulfilling Old Testament prophecy, was offering ample evidence of the nature of his authority.
The real challenge, then as now, was not to identify his authority—but to choose whether or not to submit to it!

Apply

Reflect on your relationships, lifestyle, career and possessions. What does it mean for Jesus to have ultimate authority in your life?

Closing prayer

Jesus, you claimed “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). I give my whole life to You today.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider