St. Luke 19: 47 – 20:8

August 23, 2022

47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,

48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

2 And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

3 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?

6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Hoisted by their own petard, as Shakespeare would say. Jesus is saying if you don’t know this simple answer, nothing I tell you is going to make a difference.

It is remarkable, I think, that the chief priests and scribes – men who are supposed to be knowledgeable in such things – have to go through these mental exercises (heaven/man?) and can’t speak simple truth. They have to weigh what the people will accept against what they clearly think is ‘of man’. I have to laugh – the scribes and priests make me think of politicians, willing to say whatever will get them elected. It has ever been so … people never change. That’s one of the reasons the Bible is so fascinating; so many of those stories could be happening right in your neighborhood today and the peoples’ reactions would be the same. Which is further proof to me that God has the patience of a saint, lol!


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