Jesus’ Authority

Text: Mark 11:27-12:12

Reflection and Question: First, the officials in the Temple ask Jesus flat out, “By what authority are you doing these things?” With immense political skill, Jesus puts them off by requiring an honest answer from them about John’s baptism, which they refuse to give. Second, Jesus tells a story, which clearly spells out that His authority comes from God. God is the vineyard owner and Jesus is the son sent for a reckoning with the tenants. But in their greed for money and power, the tenants reject him. The Temple leaders fully understand Jesus’ challenge, but because they are afraid of the crowd they refrain from seizing him right then. Has greed ever led you astray?

Prayer: Jesus, our Teacher and Friend, show us our part in this drama. If we are the officials seeking to trick and justify our own power, cleanse us and forgive us. If we are those coming with You to seek a reckoning, strengthen us with Your courage and skill. Help us to speak honestly and live faithfully. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).