I've been watching the television closely this week, because Easter is sneaking up on us. It seems every year, the History Channel or the Discovery Channel want to play all the documentaries on the validity Jesus walked the earth, and most of them conclude that he was real, just not the Son of God.
Interestingly enough, the Pharisees of the day had the same questions the Discovery people are having. They just had a bit more access to the one they were looking for.
Luke 20 accounts a scene whereby the Pharisees begin to question Jesus' Authority. They ask Him, "Tell us by what authority you are doing these things? Who gave you this authority?"
He'd been telling them His authority came from God, but He knew they weren't going to listen any closer this time than they did before. So He decided to pose a question to them. "Tell me, Johns Baptism, was it by heaven or by man?"
It was a wonderful play. For the Pharisees knew if they said, "from heaven" they would have to answer for their disbelief. But if they said, "from men" the people would stone them because of John's popularity among the people.
So they decided to answer honestly and say, "We don't know."
And the Funny thing is, Jesus didn't oblige to tell them.
Now, why in the world wouldn't the Son of God reveal Himself to the religious leaders?
Why would He stand there and retreat from such an obvious question?
It seems so easy?
You know what I think?
I think Jesus 1.) Knew they weren't going to believe, but 2.) I think Jesus knew how to answer the right questions at the right time.
Some questions are just not meant to be answered, because they're loaded with a history of events you have no idea how to handle. Jesus knew the right answers, but He also knew the right questions. He knew they were going to crucify Him, but He also knew He had a few more things to do before He walked the cross up to Golgotha. He knew they were going to try Him, but in accordance with the fulfillment of Scripture, He had to hold off.
So He just backs up and says, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
Jesus was the MASTER of this kind of discourse.
So the lesson I glean this morning, be sharp, be on your guard, be aware of the question someone may ask, but also be wary of the questions coming after. Those might be the one's that back you into a corner where people can attack. Believe me, after doing ministry for the last 12 years, there are plenty of people waiting in the wings.
The beauty of this story? God is in control, even in the final days. Jesus knew exactly the time and the hour He was going to have to answer this question. He knew it would lead to death. And He waited and trusted on God the Father to work out the plan.
May we be people that are like Jesus.
May we know what questions to answer, and which ones to walk away from.
May we be patient and wait on God the Father to work His will in our life.
Monday's down, Tuesday's here, but Sunday's coming….