Recognising True Authority

– Saturday Week 8 of Ordinary Time –

‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ [Mark 11:28]

Today’s scripture is set just after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is also set after Jesus’ third visit into the Temple area. On one of these visits, he had overturned the money changers’ tables. The chief priests, scribes and elders wanted to kill him because he was challenging their authority but they were afraid of the crowds who were “spellbound by his teaching” (Mark 11:18). As custodians of the Jewish religion they believed that their authority had come from God, so they saw it as very appropriate to question from where Jesus’ authority came.

We know, as Christians, that Jesus taught with authority because of his intimate and loving relationship with God the Father. Jesus then asks them a question he knows they cannot answer “Did the baptism of John come from heaven or was it of human origin?” (Mark 11:30)

Jesus may have cleansed the Temple of corrupt money changers but his challenge to the chief priest, scribes and elders made little difference to their intractable, stony hearts. I know for myself that I often jump to the wrong conclusion or misconception about a new person I have met or some new situation that I find myself involved in. It is only later, after some thought and reflection that I realise how incorrect I was in my judgment of people.

May we all open our hearts and minds to the Spirit of God, to be made aware of and cleansed from misconceptions, prejudices and false ideas.


by Michael Bruynesteyn

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