27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’
29 Jesus replied, ‘I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!’
31 They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” he will ask, “Then why didn’t you believe him?” 32 But if we say, “Of human origin” . . .’ (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
33 So they answered Jesus, ‘We don’t know.’
Jesus said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’
If you don’t ask questions, you’ll never learn!
Asking questions of a Rabbi was one of the main ways of teaching and learning in those days. So, Jesus answering a question with a question was common practice in a Rabbi’s teaching method.
But this was no teacher-learner situation. As you read through Mark chapters 11 & 12 you find the chief priests, teachers of the law, elders, Pharisees and Herodians, and Sadducees all asking Jesus questions. They were trying to trip Him up, trying to belittle Him in front of the crowd, but especially trying to find some cause to condemn Him and Him put to death.
However, to the delight of the crowd, Jesus answered every one of their questions. Then, after He had stumped them with a question, we read in Matt. 22:46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask Him any more questions.
The world that rejected Jesus is still rejecting Jesus and still trying to stump Him and His followers with difficult questions. It is still looking to condemn Jesus. This is part of the opposition Jesus told His followers to expect. But one day all the difficult, Christ-rejecting questions will end and every tongue (will) acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:11
Father, when we get stumped by difficult questions or we find the world around us looking for cause to condemn Christ and His followers take our eyes to the cross. Following the cross there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1
For this please accept our humble gratitude and strengthen our faith.
In Jesus name, AMEN