Summary: Lessons from the day Jesus was questioned. Mark 11 & 12
More sermons & series of Rev. Shine P. Thomas at http://www.cityharvestagchurch.org/category/sermons/
Introduction: We are living in days where the very existence of God is questioned. The film industry, science and technology continue to question the existence of God. We serve a God who was tested, questioned, and scrutinized in every aspect of his earthly ministry and yet proved himself to be God? If you closely study Jesus’ ministry; he was tested all through his life on earth. The hostility towards Jesus became intense during the final days of Jesus. Today, I want to present to you one such day in the life of Jesus when he was questioned all day long and learn some valuable lessons from it.
It was Tuesday of the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry before Calvary. As Jesus and his disciples were walking through the magnificence and the splendor of Herod’s temple there in Jerusalem, he was approached and stopped by a delegation of people. Mark 11:27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.
This was a very distinguished delegation. These were the national religious figures, civic leaders within the 12 tribes of Israel. They were responsible to be sure that the law was interpreted properly.
These men stopped Jesus and asked him: Mark 11:28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?” May I translate that into our English – “Who do you think you are?” This question was posed to Jesus all through is earthly ministry.
Mark 11:29-30 29Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!” They thought and I supposed discussed it among themselves and the scripture says that they said to Jesus, “We don’t know.”
They played safe because if they accepted John’s baptism they had to accept Jesus Christ. John was pointing the way to the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world, ie Jesus. If they did not accept John’s baptism they were upsetting the people around who were great followers of John the Baptist. So these leaders said to Jesus that they cannot answer that question and Jesus said I will not answer yours. This teaches us a big principle in our Christian faith.
1. We are not to argue about our faith.
2 Timothy 2:14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
The people of the world find great joy in arguing about God and Jesus Christ, our faith in Him. However, we are not to spend our time arguing about Jesus and his word if they are not serious in knowing who Jesus is.
Instead Jesus said I want to tell you a story, a parable. Mark 12:1-9
There is a land owner and he planted a vineyard. That plant owner is none other than almighty God. The vineyard was Israel. God expected a return for his labor in planting that nation Israel. They were to show the world the way to the Lord Jesus Christ, who would come into this world to die and give himself to save men from their sins. He expected a return. From time to time God sent representatives to this vineyard, this nation Israel, the OT prophets among them. They were hated and mistreated. Some of them were beaten and injured terribly. Some of them were killed. Finally the land owner, the one who owned the vineyard, almighty God said, “I have my only begotten son whom I love so much. I will send him, surely they will receive him.” So he sent his son and they took him and beat him and mistreated him and killed him. That was Jesus who this very week while he was telling the story would be killed. He would die on the cross at the hands of these very individuals.
So Jesus told that parable to them. His purpose in doing so was because he loved them so much, he wanted them to understand and hear and change heart and turn to him. Mark 12:12 Then the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away. They understood the meaning of this parable and their hearts just hardened even more in the rejection of Jesus Christ.
2. Jesus and his followers are always at war.