23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” Matthew 21:23 NKJV
These questions seem ridiculous.
No person can heal, only God can.
No person can tell the storm to be quiet and it obey, only God can.
No person can change the molecular composition of water and turn it into that of wine, only God can.
No one can raise the dead, only God can.
And yet, these teachers of the scriptures, these men who had devoted their lives to studying God’s Word missed this obvious truth.
God was literally standing before them and they couldn’t see Him.
Because their pride got in the way and their fear led them astray.
John 11:47-48NKJV — Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
These men were trying to hold on to what they had and they were certain they were doing “what is best”.
John 11:49-50NKJV — And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”
John 11:53 NKJV — Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.
In their arrogance and hardness of heart, they plot to kill the very One they were meant to know the best.
Those who feel confident in their knowledge of God are in great danger to missing Him completely.
Like these men, pride and fear can quickly lead to disaster.
It is only in humility that we can recognize how incredible God is and see His work in our own lives as well as the lives of others.
So many circumstances can trip us up and blind us to the truth.
Like these Pharisees, we must study God’s Word, but unlike these men, we must diligent in humility, active in surrender, and forgiving, willing to let go of wrong.
Because Jesus made it clear, following Him doesn’t always feel good, nor is it an easy path.
Matthew 10:34-39 NKJV — “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for all Your incredible works. Please help us to be humble and to recognize Your truth and Your ways. Lord, no matter how much we learn about You, please keep us from falling into this trap of the Pharisees. Please help us to be quick to forgive and abundant in mercy. Lord, help us to pattern ourselves after You. Lord, please help us to remember to pray for those who spitefully use us and to love those who hate us, to be willing to sacrifice everything as You did. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness, mercy, grace, and love. Amen.