How many times in my life have I tried to rationalize situations in my head? Too many times I have thought if I say this, they will say that or if I do this, they will do that. It is that prideful discernment of what’s in it for me, how will it affect me, me, me, me. It is not right to do but being truthful, honest and loving in all situations and concerned about the needs of others before my own is the right thing to do. That is a tough one.
In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 11:27-33, the chief priests, scribes and elders ask Jesus a couple of honest questions … “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus answers the question with a question … “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They had two choices so they discussed their answer. Now all the factors came into play. Rather than honestly telling Jesus what they thought, they put scenarios together saying … “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”– they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
What did Jesus say? “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.” I think that was a wise answer from Jesus, which would cause them to discuss what they were going to do with him. We know eventually what they would do with him and I must praise and thank Jesus every day who freely accepted his passion and death out of love for me. With the help of his grace, maybe one day I will be able to do that for you for the glory of God.