Mark 11:27-33

The Authority of Jesus Challenged.

And yes, that’s a picture from my Baptism. YAY!!! You can’t see my eyes but it’s hard to find pictures where I’m smiling very genuinely to begin with 🙂 Speaking of baptism …

Here’s a compilation of the passages in the gospels that introduce John the Baptist; Matthew 3, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:10-22, John 1:6-28, if you actually want to read them for yourself. I’m going to use the Mark (Matthew and Luke are very similar) passages for my own sanity.

The particularly interesting question Jesus asks in this passage is:

Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.

My initial reaction is yes. It’s the obvious answer, and I don’t think it’s easy to say something like baptism is from man. Taking a look at what John says in Mark 1:8 is where I feel a bit differently.

I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

John is talking about the difference between the two baptisms. If you’ve been baptised already, or have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have essentially been baptised with the Holy Spirit. However, that isn’t a thing because Jesus hasn’t died yet, so John gives us the reason for his water baptism in Mark 1:4.

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

So which is it? Was it from heaven, or man?

It  is from heaven. While it’s not through the Holy Spirit, it’s still a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins, and to answer the initial question, John did baptise by the authority of God. How else could he do it?

If you’ve known me for long enough, you would know that I don’t like being wrong. It’s funny that this is actually mentioned in the passage, as the chief priests, scribes and elders ask a question but are too afraid to answer that they receive nothing in the end. It’s a character trait that promotes stagnancy and a tendency to be less open-minded.

So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” – Mark 11:33

So why didn’t they answer? They were scared and prideful.

This is applicable to a lot of things, whether you’re having a normal conversation, participating in a bible study, or in a debate/argument. Yes, ideally you would like to be right, but in this case learning new things is much more important. Trying to keep this in mind!

Michael “Don’t be a chief priest” Ru


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