Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Luke 20:8 (NIV)

Sometimes I feel like the Bible is like a puzzle. All of the pieces are there covering every situation in life as well as the answers to all of the questions. However, without God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reveal it to us, it looks like a jumbled mess beyond our comprehension. There are times when the meaning of Scripture may be clear and other times when it’s not. In such times, it’s essential, as students of God’s word, to peer intently into His word, seeking His good and perfect will.

One day, when Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, the elders and religious leaders questioned His authority, “‘Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,’ they said. ‘Who gave you this authority?’” (Luke 20:2 NIV) Instead of just telling them where His authority came from, Jesus asked them a question in return, “‘I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?'” (Luke 20:3-4 NIV) The leaders hem and haw amongst themselves and end up telling Jesus, “We don’t know.” Subsequently, Jesus doesn’t tell them where His authority comes from, or does He?

Immediately after this question and answer session with the leaders, Jesus tells the people, The Parable of the Tenants (Luke 20:9-19). If you’re not familiar with this parable, then you should go read it since I’m not going to cover all of it right now. However, in this parable, Jesus does tell the elders and leaders where His authority comes from. He also, in a roundabout way, predicts His upcoming death. Let’s break down who’s who in this parable.

The man (owner) – God
The vineyard – Israel
The servants – prophets
The tenants/farmers – The Jewish leaders
The Son – Jesus
The others – Gentiles

Since the Gospel of Luke is only one account of this parable, let’s take a look at Matthew for a more complete version (Matthew 21:33-46). Verse 43 tells us:

Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

Matthew 21:43 (NIV)

Let’s go back a moment, to what the leaders discussed amongst themselves when asked about John’s baptism.

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

Luke 20:5-6 (NIV)

Now, let’s take a look at their response to this parable.

The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.

Luke 20:19 (NIV)

I believe Jesus answered their question because, “they were afraid of the people.” Why were they afraid? Because the people believed Jesus was the Messiah. The leaders didn’t tell Jesus that John’s baptism was of human origin because they were afraid of the people as well. The people though John was a prophet. Therefore, the authority of both Jesus and John came from God.

It’s important when we read the Bible we do so with expectation and intent. The expectation that God has something to impart to us and then the intent to listen to God and obey Him. Otherwise, we might as well be reading any old book.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.