The Sanhedrin Challenges Jesus’ Authority

“What authority do you have to teach these things?”

Matthew 21

Jesus was teaching at the temple in Jerusalem when He was approached by leaders of the Sanhedrin, judges in the Jewish faith.

“What authority do you have to teach these things?” the most senior asked. “And who gave you that authority?”

Jesus surveyed the group of prideful, hypocritical men.

“If you will answer one question for me,” He said, “I will tell you by what authority I teach and heal.”

The leader nodded.

“Did John have authority from heaven or men to baptize?” Jesus asked.

The leaders of the Sanhedrin looked at each other in surprise, then turned to each other to decide how to answer.

“If we say from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t listen to him,” said one.

“But if we say from men, the people will be angry and turn against us,” counseled another. “The people believe that John was a prophet.”

After debating for a few more minutes, they finally turned back to Jesus.

“We cannot answer you,” the leader told Jesus.

“Then neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things,” said Jesus.

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