Notes: December 3, 2009

Show us your papers

When the chief priests, the scribes and the elders asked Jesus to validate his ministry, they did not expect the response he gave.

Mark 11:27-33

  • Some nations are accustomed to the need to carry paper evidence of citizenship at all times.  Even Americans traveling abroad are advised to keep their passports with them. And if you go to a job interview, you might expect to be asked for a copy of and diplomas or advanced degrees that you possess.  But how many times will the Jews ask Jesus by what authority he preaches and heals (v. 27-28)?
  • Instead of legitimatizing the question by answering it (again and again), Jesus proposed a question of his own: Was John the Baptist a prophet from God or from men (v. 29)?
  • The Jews realized that they would be in trouble with God or the people no matter which way they answered this question (v. 31-33); so they said they COULD not tell.
  • Since they WOULD not answer his question, Jesus WOULD not answer their question (v. 34)