Don’t Answer That!

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 7-9; Mark 11:19-33


27 Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem again. As Jesus was walking around the temple, the chief priests, legal experts, and elders came to him. 28 They asked, “What kind of authority do you have for doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?”

29 Jesus said to them, “I have a question for you. Give me an answer, then I’ll tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things. 30  Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”

31 They argued among themselves, “If we say, ‘It’s of heavenly origin,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But we can’t say, ‘It’s of earthly origin.’” They said this because they were afraid of the crowd, because they all thought John was a prophet. 33 They answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you what kind of authority I have to do these things.” (Mark 11:27-33. Common English Bible).

If you sit and watch television, sooner or later, you will watch a cop show. And, sooner or later (probably sooner), the officers will have a suspect sitting in an interrogation room questioning the suspect. As the questioning goes on, inevitably a lawyer comes in and says to the suspect, “Don’t answer that!”

On a different show, perhaps a sitcom, a telephone rings, and someone says, “Don’t you dare answer that.”

As I was preparing this post, the first thing that came to my mind was the lawyer walking in and stopping the new client. Perhaps that might have been because at the time I read the lesson I was multi-tasking. I was reading the lesson while also watching an old NCIS rerun. While the “don’t answer that” statement wasn’t said on the show, I was pretty surprised. Even when the lawyer came in, the suspect continued talking.

In the lesson, the Pharisees were asking questions about Jesus’ authority to forgive and to heal, etc. In the way I see the story play out, Jesus says to himself, “Don’t answer that.” He could see the trap. So, Jesus had a question of his own. If they were to answer, they would share answers with one another and go on about their business, probably heading in opposite directions.

Jesus’ question was, “Was John’s baptism of heavenly or earthly origin?” The Pharisees, Sadducees,  and keepers of the law probably didn’t appreciate very much. They didn’t have a good answer and as a result, Jesus hid a lot of.

I think this story happened because Jesus knew what was coming. There were no surprises here. And, because Jesus had gotten the upper hand, the old south had to start to worry about

We can’t always know what is coming, but we don’t need to know. If we can maintain our focus and our prayer, we can know that God will keep us looking toward him and then we might just hear God say, “Don’t answer that.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


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