Prayer: O Jesus, you have all authority in heaven and earth.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the temple, confronted by the authorities.)
The day before this event, Jesus had cleansed the temple. As he returns to Jerusalem, the temple authorities want to know by what authority he took that action. He avoids a question about his authority by confronting the leaders about John the Baptist’s authority.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
When Jesus came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders asked, “By what authority do you do these things? Who has given you the authority?
Jesus responded, “I have a question. If you answer it, I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Where did the Baptism of John come from? Did it come from man or from heaven?
They thought within, “If we say from heaven, he will ask ‘Then, why did you not believe?’ But if we say, ‘From men’, we are afraid of the crowds because all believed that John was a prophet.” So they said to Jesus, “We do not know”. Jesus said to them, “Then, neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The temple leaders should have been the most receptive toward Jesus’ ministry.
- In fact, their hardness of hearts and resistance was the greatest.
- The temple needed a cleansing and the leaders resented Jesus’ purifying action.
- So, they attack the messenger, and try to discredit his message.
- However, they had already made one mistake. The people accepted John the Baptist and they rejected him.
- Jesus’ question burns their hearts. They know they were wrong and have no answer.
- If they were mistaken about John, there is no need to reply to their question. They are discredited.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, make my heart receptive to your word.
- Cleanse my temple, Lord. I will not object at all.
- O Jesus, you have all authority. Your every word is eternal life.
- O Lord, forgive my past mistakes and lead me on your path.
- Burn my heart with the fire of your love.
- I am making no mistake. You are Messiah and Lord.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will give Jesus total authority over my life.
- I will admit my past mistakes so I do not repeat them.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
By what authority do you do these things?