Luke 20:1–8

Read the passage.

In spite of the opposition from the elites, Jesus continues to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the people while He is in the temple. The text says, “One day,” but I think we can take that to mean the same day as the previous verses or the next day. Whichever day it is, Jesus receives a challenge from the Jewish authorities to explain how He has the authority to do things like clear the money-changers and merchants from the temple.

As He so often does, Jesus doesn’t answer directly. Instead, He asks them of the source of John’s message and baptism. This isn’t an evasion, but a trap, because John had said publicly that Jesus was the Messiah. The Pharisees had by and large rejected John’s message, just like Jesus’s. As they discuss their answer, they realize the bind they are in: if they say John’s message was from God, they should have believed him, but if they say he made everything up, the people would turn against them because they were sure John was a true prophet.

Not willing to commit publicly to an answer, the elders decline to answer the question. In response, Jesus does not answer their question either. However, an observer could probably conclude that Jesus was asserting that His authority was the same as John’s. And one might also expect that a charlatan would try a bit harder to make sure people were convinced that they were the real deal. Jesus doesn’t seem all that concerned with whether people believe Him or not. He just acts as if He has God’s authority regardless of what people think. That probably seemed strange to those convinced that He was a fraud, but they don’t realize that Jesus is expecting to be caught and killed before long. That it’s actually part of the plan.

Everything is under Your control; Your plans never fail.

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