Keeping Score

November 2022

   Jesus was in His final week of public ministry. His popularity was unparalleled. Yet Jesus faced challengers — largely the powerful Jewish leaders. It was their goal to end Jesus’ ministry by any means necessary.

   A tactic used by these leaders was to trap Jesus with loaded questions. They made numerous attempts to stump the Teacher. Here we look at four examples. 

   Jesus was teaching in the temple and the “chief priests and elders of the people” asked Him — “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave You this authority?” (Matthew 21:23).  Jesus countered with His own question — “The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” (v.25a).

   This led to a discussion by these leaders — “If we say, ‘From heaven’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know” (vv.25b-27a). Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (v.27b). Score 1 for Jesus. 

   On another occasion these Jewish leaders posed a second question, one that had political overtones &mdas ...

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