Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Matthew 21: 24 – 27
This is a sad passage, isn’t it? Jesus offered the Pharisees an opportunity when he asked this question about John – the Lord was asking the Pharisees to be honest about what they really thought, to enter into discussion and conversation with him. ‘Who do you think told John to baptise people?’ he asked, knowing this would lead to a discussion about the events of John’s ministry and naturally to Jesus’ ministry. But they were too frightened of everyone else to say that John was not from God, and too frightened of each other to say that they thought John was from God. They lost that chance for an honest talk with the Son of God, as we can lose the chance of healing and growth when we are afraid to be honest with God.
Prayer: Lord, help me not to be afraid of others and what they will think, and help me not to be afraid of you. Show me how to reach out openly to you, to bring you my belief and my disbelief. I offer you my fears and my lack of faith, my anxiety and my anger, knowing that when I am honest with you, you will help and heal me, and lead me as I grow. Amen
Action: choose a thing about life that you are angry or confused about, or that you hate to admit, and pray about it once a day for a week. If this helps, do the same next week with another issue.