Who Authorizes You?

As a community. we were willing to gather in the dark this past Wednesday night to break bread together around the Word and candlelight. The electric power came on just as we were preparing to listen to the conversation in the Temple between the Jewish elite of priests, scholars, and leaders with Jesus and his friends. We were about to witness another form of power struggle: the struggle for power which comes from authority.

Rather than answering the question designed to trick and ensnare him, Jesus demonstrates the living credentials within him. Could he be modeling a way for us to count on his credentials, his authority, living alive within us - where we have all that we need in the moment rather than depending on what we know and control?

Mark 11:27-33 (MSG)

27-28 Then when they were back in Jerusalem once again, as they were walking through the Temple, the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders came up and demanded, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?”

29-30 Jesus responded, “First let me ask you a question. Answer my question and then I’ll present my credentials. About the baptism of John—who authorized it: heaven or humans? Tell me.”

31-33 They were on the spot, and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, “If we say ‘heaven,’ he’ll ask us why we didn’t believe John; if we say ‘humans,’ we’ll be up against it with the people because they all hold John up as a prophet.” They decided to concede that round to Jesus. “We don’t know,” they said.

Jesus replied, “Then I won’t answer your question either.”

For Reflection and Prayer:
What word or phrase stood out to you as you listened to the text?
Have a conversation with Jesus about what you heard.

How has Jesus shown you his credentials?

If you view your life as your story, how are you and Jesus authoring it together? How is he bringing about an inner authority within you? What helps you live in tandem with Jesus, with his credentials living within you?

Consider how your own areas of "I do not know" may be a gift. What does it evoke from within you? Bring them into dialogue with Jesus.