"By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. Mark 11:28
The religious leaders began a string of attacks against Jesus. And they started by questioning his credentials. "By what authority are you doing these things?" the leaders asked. In other words, they were saying, "Jesus, who do you think you are?"
The truth is, Jesus had no official human credentials. He had little formal religious training and he had not been approved by an official religious authority.
Most religious traditions have a system of credentials to authorize leaders who are called into ministry to preach, give counsel, perform weddings, and so on. This was true in Jesus' day also.
In fact, if Jesus came on the scene today and began his ministry and gathered a huge crowd of followers, we'd probably raise the issue about his credentials as well.
But of course Jesus did have credentials. By asking the religious leaders what they thought of John's baptism, he was forcing them to acknowledge that John's ministry was from God. And it was John who commissioned Jesus when he baptized him. So Jesus' response showed the religious leaders that his credentials came from the highest authority--God--but they didn't want to admit it.
What do you think of Jesus' authority and credentials? Do you accept Jesus as the Son of God, sent into the world by the Father as our Savior?
Lord, there are still many who question your authority today. Help us to live under your leadership and serve as faithful ambassadors of your truth, grace, and love. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!