The Authority of Jesus – Mark 11:27-33
How do the religious authorities of today deal with Jesus’ threat to their position?
27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him.
28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”
29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things:
30 “The baptism of John– was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”
31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
32 “But if we say, ‘From men’ “–they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed.
33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Food for Thought
1. What is the basis of the authority of Pastors?
2. Should a believer be subject to religious leaders?
3. Which authority figures do you trust and which do you distrust?
4. Who confronted Jesus and why? (11:27-28)
5. What were “these things” to which the religious authorities referred? (11:28)
6. How did the religious authorities challenge Jesus’ authority? (11:28)
7. What do Jesus’ actions tell you about his attitude toward the religious leaders of his day? (11:28-33)
8. How did Jesus answer the challenge put to him? (11:29)
9. How did Jesus challenge his accusers to stand up for the truth? (11:30-32)
10. How did Jesus expose his accusers’ true motives? (11:30-32)
11. Why was Jesus’ question difficult for the religious leaders to answer? (11:29-32)
12. How did the religious leaders respond to Jesus’ question? (11:33)
13. How did Jesus silence his critics? (11:33)
14. What were the priorities of the chief priests, teachers of the law, and elders who confronted Jesus?
15. What do you think prompted the religious leaders to question Jesus about his authority?
16. In what way is Jesus a threat to Pastors and the religious authorities of today?
17. How do the religious authorities of today deal with Jesus’ threat to their position?
18. Why do you think Jesus decided not to answer the religious leaders directly, but instead posed another question in response?
19. Why did Jesus ask the religious leaders about the authority of John the Baptist?
20. By whose authority did Jesus clear the temple?
21. Why do you think Jesus did not want to reveal to the religious leaders the true source of his authority?
22. Are human authorities established by God? (Rm 13:1-3)
23. In what ways do human authorities challenge God’s authority?
24. How can we ensure that we follow God’s authority rather than the “authorities” who challenge his word?
23. When have you ever questioned God’s authority in your life?
24. What does this passage tell us about Jesus’ attitude toward people who reject his authority?
25. What could you learn from Jesus’ example in this episode about dealing with people who try to trick or discredit believers?
26. When is it most difficult to submit to God’s authority?
27. How can we find the strength to rely completely on God’s authoritative word rather than trust in our own abilities?
28. What does God do for us when we completely turn over to him the areas of our lives that we have tried to manage on our own?
29. What specific steps can you take this week to obey God’s authority in one area of your life?
30. How should you respond next time someone challenges you for doing what God told you to do?