When Jesus had come into the temple area,
the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him
as he was teaching and said,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
And who gave you this authority?” (Mt 21:23)
There are several reasons for asking a question:
- We truly want to know the answer
- We are unsure and want to double-check our facts
- We are being facetious
- We believe we are superior and want to prove it
- We are trying to put someone else down
It was quite certain that the chief priests and elders who confronted Jesus in the temple area were not doing so because they truly wanted to know the answer or because they were fact-checking. No. They felt that they were superior and were doing all that they could to put Jesus in his place.
The only problem with that is that they were clearly in the wrong. And there is a universal principal that takes place: “The truth will out.” That is, the truth will always be discovered.
For the smug people who challenged Jesus in today’s Gospel, the truth did come out in a hurry. Jesus told them that He would answer their question after they answered a question of His: “Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?”
They knew that either way they answered the question they would be indicting themselves and, therefore, they said they could not answer. Jesus’ unwillingness to play into their trap infuriated them and made them, all the more, want to do away with Him.
We may question the Lord — sometimes on a pretty regular basis. Questioning the Lord is not bad in and of itself, as long as we are doing so in order to get the answers that we need. If we take on an air of superiority with the Lord, we are destined to set ourselves up and we will fall. If, on the other hand, we are truly attempting to follow the Lord more closely, He will give us any answer that we may need.
Do not be afraid to turn to the Lord and ask Him your questions. Just make sure that you are doing so for the right reason.
FAITH ACTION: Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you a bit more clearly this day so that you can better follow Him.