Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Week - Tuesday and Wednesday

Conflict with the Chief Priests and Elders

The chief priests and elders of the temple challenged Jesus' authority.
Not everyone was happy that Jesus was preaching at the temple every day. The chief priests and elders of the temple were angry and upset. The chief priests had given permission for merchants and money changers to use the outer courtyard of the temple, but Jesus had driven them out. They were afraid of a crackdown by Roman authorities because of the large crowds who followed Jesus. Worst of all, the people were putting their hopes and trust in Jesus. The temple officials felt their authority slipping away.
These temple officials came up with a plan to trap Jesus with His own words. They came to Jesus and demanded to know by what authority he was doing all these things. If Jesus said His authority was from God, they would accuse Him of blasphemy. If He did not claim authority from God, they could say He was just a crazy man.
But Jesus knew it was a trap. Instead of answering the question, He asked them another question: "Did the baptism of John come from heaven?" The temple officials realized this was also a trap. If they said "Yes", Jesus would say, "Then why didn't you believe him?" If they said "No" it would make the people angry because they believed John the Baptist was a prophet. So, they refused to answer.
As usual, Jesus had defeated his opponents at their own game! But the temple officials were even more angry and began to plot to have Jesus killed.

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