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2019-04-24 Mark 11:27-33

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Mark 11:27–33 CSB
27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

I. Who is in charge?

Mark 11:27–28 CSB
27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”

A. Who is in charge of your life?

Mark 11:27–28 CSB
27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”
Illus: Take a moment and think with me back to when God set up the tabernacle, he set up the sacrificial system, and he created the foundation for the ritual worship found in the temple.
God created the entire temple system so that he might lead the people of Israel. He created the temple system so that the chief priest might come in sacrifically clean and be led by God.
What happened over time is that the people rejected God and began to follow human leaders and false gods.
They demanded a king, and God gave them Saul. David and Solomon followed, and under Solomon the worship of any number of gods was tolerated.
Following Solomon was Israel going from bad to worse where the priesthood was not faithful, not the kings.
God sent prophets to shock the people out of Idolatry, but they did not listen.
After the prophets God stopped speaking for 400 years.
In the midst of the silence the priesthood rose up to construct a moralistically ruled time. This was the Sanhedrin.
The high priests became the rulers of the day demanding that the people follow. All without hearing from God.
When God began to speak, first through John and then through His son Jesus, their authority was threatned and they had to decide who was in charge, themselves or God.
They chose their own authority.
Today in your life you are called to follow God, to submit to him. It is possible to me extremely moral and still be without God.
Do you live for your own wants, desires and plans, or for Gods. If God directed you in a new direction, how would you respond?
Jesus demands authority over not just your eternal salvation, but also of your daily life.
John 14:6–7 CSB
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

B. Who is in charge of our church?

Mark 11:27–28 CSB
27 They came again to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came 28 and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do these things?”
Illus:Let’s put this passage into it’s immediate context. Jesus had just turned over the tables of the temple, and the Sanhedrin was stepping up to ask him by what authority He had to determine how the temple worked.
This is the first time the Sanhedrin addresses Jesus formally. Up until this point they sent individual scribes and pharisees to confront Jesus, but now it was serious.
He threatened their power.
Can we have an honest conversation about church conflict?
Church fights don’t tend to be about diminishing baptisms, or about the centrality of the Word of God.
Churches fight over who is in charge. When one group loses power, loses privileged, loses say so, conflict comes to the church.
The Chief priests DID NOT CARE about whether God spoke or was leading, they cared about their authority, and Jesus took it away.
Jesus placed the authority where it belonged, in God’s hands.
Let us never forget that the Authority of the church is God. Our job is to follow as the Word and His spirit leads.
Ephesians 1:20–23 CSB
20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens— 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

II. When God disrupts your life, how will your respond?

Mark 11:29–32 CSB
29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet.

A. Will you reject God out of fear of losing your reputation or power?

(passage no one teaches with such authority)
Mark 11:29–32 CSB
29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet.
Illus: When Jesus spoke, it was said that he spoke as one who had Authority. This is different than the pharisees who went back and forth as they used their teaching as a means of keeping power.
Here in our passage the pharisees don’t care what the truth is, they only care about power.
Jesus spoke with authority because he was not worried about power, his focus was on God.
There are times in each of our lives where we are faced with the decision to do what is right or to do what would keep us safe, to do what would further our selves.
I know there have been times in my life where like the Pharisees I have weighed my decisions not by what was right, but instead by what was safe for me.
God’s call is to follow in Jesus’ footsteps embracing trusting God with your future, following Him alone.
Luke 9:23–25 CSB
23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. 25 For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself?

B. Humility is when God confronts your foolishness and in response, you turn to Him.

Mark 11:29–32 CSB
29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was John’s baptism from heaven or of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ ”—they were afraid of the crowd, because everyone thought that John was truly a prophet.
Illus: Everyone of us has sat in the Sanhedrin's place. We all have rejected God out of a desire for our own power and place.
Part of the christian walk is Jesus’ demand for authority in your life.
When Jesus challenges you for authority over your life, how will you respond?
When Jesus challenges us for authority over this church, how will we respond?
True followers of God are humble people who willingly lay down their rights so that King Jesus has reign over us.
Colossians 2:6–10 CSB
6 So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ. 9 For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, 10 and you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

III. Will pride keep you from embracing God?

Mark 11:33 CSB
33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

A. Pride and power kept the chief priests from embracing Jesus.

Illus: Pride runs rampant among us.
Pride runs rampant in my heart and yours.
The very sin the Sanhedrian wrestled with is the same sin we are consumed with today.
We all want Jesus to keep us out of hell… We all want our country to turn back to God… but God asks for more than that.
Faith in Christ is both Jesus as our savious and Jesus as our king?
The question before us is whether Jesus is the king of your life, and is He the king of our church?
Matthew 23:11–13 CSB
11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in.
NOTES:
Basic Overview thoughts:
Both John and the pharisees were looking to the same end. They both desired that men be cleansed and brought back to God. John embraced the symbol of baptism which was normal in his day and time... but led to the understanding that you needed to be cleansed by God (and pointed to Jesus Christ). Baptism to John was a step of faith. The pharisees also saw a need to bring cleansing to the people. THat said, ther insatiable desire for power and control led them to build a set of rules for the people to follow. THis passage highlights two groups seeking the same end, but only one of the groups saw the need for God in the cleansing process.
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In saying "answer me" in both 29 and 30 Jesus is speaking with authority towards the pharisees. Where the Pharisees hold positional authority over the temple, Jesus is showing that he is the one who should be determining authority.
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The questions the figurative language in the text leads the reader to is. 1. Who led John, God or man. 2. Who led Jesus, God or man. 3. Who led the pharisees and the scribes, God or man. 4. Who leads you, God or man?
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The direct context is that Jesus is returning to the temple for the first time after cleansing it. The question raised by the pharisees is the natural question of the text... who had the right to determine what happened in the temple: Jesus or the chief priests. Jesus' inclusion of John and baptism was intentional. John began Jesus ministry by pointing to how God would cleanse the individual, and Jesus began his walk to the cross by cleansing the place God was worshiped. Jesus is showing How He has the authority to be both the end of baptism and of temple worship. He was the authority.
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- Context: Jesus cleanses the temple and the curses the fig tree--- symbolic acts of the empty religious systems
1. Chief priests question Jesus' authority to cleanse the temple.
2. Jesus responds with a leading question? Turns the tables on the chief priests and exposes their lack of Authority.
3. Chief priests don't genuinely wrestle with Jesus' question... but instead attempt to find the answer which would keep their own power.
4. Jesus refuses to answer their question walking away as the greater authority in the Temple.
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Commentary Highlights:
The expression “John’s baptism” embraces John’s preaching of repentance as a prerequisite of forgiveness and his proclamation of a “coming one” (cf. 1:1–8) as well as the act of baptism itself. In fact, what Jesus said here suggests the reason Mark began his Gospel the way he did. The clear implication of the question is that John’s ministry was divinely authorized. Brooks, J. A. (1991). Mark (Vol. 23, p. 187). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Brooks, J. A. (1991). Mark (Vol. 23, p. 187). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
The religious officials immediately recognized their dilemma. They did not believe that John was a prophet from God, but they dared not say so publicly because of the high esteem in which John was held. Nor in the present situation could they admit that John’s baptism was from heaven because Jesus would castigate them for not repenting and being baptized as a sign of their repentance. The only way out, even though it was not a good one, was to confess inability to decide. What they did not realize was that such inability disqualified them from being religious authorities. Brooks, J. A. (1991). Mark (Vol. 23, pp. 187–188). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Brooks, J. A. (1991). Mark (Vol. 23, pp. 187–188). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
This indirectly suggests that the crowds support, at least superficially, John and Jesus. “Mark’s purpose here is not to romanticize the ‘masses’—for they will in this story also betray Jesus—but to suggest that the Jewish leadership is politically isolated, fearful of the very people it purportedly serves.” Witherington, B., III. (2001). The Gospel of Mark: a socio-rhetorical commentary (p. 320). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Witherington, B., III. (2001). The Gospel of Mark: a socio-rhetorical commentary (p. 320). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
The characteristic of Jesus that left the most lasting impression on his followers and caused the greatest offense to his opponents was his exousia, his sovereign freedom and magisterial authority. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
The characteristic of Jesus that left the most lasting impression on his followers and caused the greatest offense to his opponents was his exousia, his sovereign freedom and magisterial authority. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Now for the first time, in the temple and before the Sanhedrin, that is, in the most authoritative place and before the most authoritative body in Israel, Jesus opens a window of understanding into his own authority. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Now for the first time, in the temple and before the Sanhedrin, that is, in the most authoritative place and before the most authoritative body in Israel, Jesus opens a window of understanding into his own authority. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 350). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
This is the only instance in Mark in which the Sanhedrin approaches Jesus (apart from his trial in 14:55). Both the approach and question of the Sanhedrin attest that the issue of Jesus’ authority was a matter of concern at the pinnacle of the Jewish religious establishment. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (pp. 350–351). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (pp. 350–351). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
The question, “ ‘By what authority?’ ” indicates that for the Sanhedrin the issue is not simply what Jesus did, but his right to do it. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 351). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 351). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
What Jesus now asks of them cannot be answered from their power base in the Torah, the temple, or Roman authority. Thus, the question of Jesus implies that he stands not under the Sanhedrin but over it. His counterquestion is evidence of the very authority about which he is questioned. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 352). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 352). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
The baptism of Jesus, in other words, was the event that inaugurated his exousia, his conscious oneness with the Father, and his sovereign freedom and empowerment for ministry. If the Sanhedrin wants to know whence Jesus received authority to do “these things,” it must reconsider John’s baptism. A decision about John is a decision about Jesus. If John’s baptism were solely “from men,” that is, fully explainable by empirical science, then the Sanhedrin may be justified in its accusation of Jesus. But if John’s baptism was “from heaven,” that is, divinely inspired—as the crowds believed and as the Sanhedrin evidently feared—then Jesus’ authority exceeds mere human authority and must be explained by the authority of God. Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 352). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 352). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
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Application
I. Who is in charge?
A. Who is in charge of your life?
B. Who is in charge of our church?
II. When God disrupts your life, how will your respond?
A. Will you reject God out of fear of losing your reputation or power?
B. Humility is when God confronts your foolishness and in response, you turn to Him.
The passage challenges me to look at the places in my own life where God does not have authority. In the same way the Chief Priests did not believe Jesus had authority over "their domain", there are places in my life Jesus does not have authority. It is not my domain, it is his, and I must relinquish control to Him.
III. Will pride keep you from embracing God?
A. Pride and power kept the chief priests from embracing Jesus.
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The passage challenges me to look at the places in my own life where God does not have authority. In the same way the Chief Priests did not believe Jesus had authority over "their domain", there are places in my life Jesus does not have authority. It is not my domain, it is his, and I must relinquish control to Him.
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Personal
1. Do I genuinely believe Jesus has authority over my life?
2. Does Jesus have the authority to turn over the tables of my order?
3. Does my pride keep me from coming to Jesus?
Corporate
1. Who really, REALLY, runs the church?
2. Would we "allow" a holy table turning at FBCV?
3. What would it take to put Jesus in control of our church?
1. The crowd followed Jesus, but would soon turn against him. The human heart searches for safety. Once the chief priests regained mob control, the crowed turned.
2. The chief priests did not care as much about pleasing God as they were about keeping order. Going through the motions, and keeping control of the temple mattered more than pleasing God.
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1. We should question the motives that drive us. Power, contort, Safety, Order, or God.
2. In church (myself included) we have the desire to maintain our order, and for God to move tables might need to be tossed.
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Jesus is the authority over our lives, and over the church.
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Exported from Logos Bible Software, 9:34 AM April 24, 2019.
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