Prophesy, Authenticity, and Authority

 

And they argued with one another, if we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, `Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, `From men,’ we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:25-27)

The chief priests and elders of the people approached Jesus demanding to know who gave Him the authority to carry out the work He was doing. Jesus throws back a question to them instead: “The baptism of John, where did it come from? From heaven or from men? In this way, Jesus was saying that His authority is the same as that of John the Baptist. If they considered John the Baptist to be authentic, they should not have problem believing Jesus.

Nevertheless, they could not answer Jesus because they knew the truth but were too biased to admit it. Instead of them to worship Jesus as God in human flesh, they tried their best to dismiss Jesus. That God would take human flesh was something just too good to be true. And yet, that was exactly the case. Their preconceived notions about God would not allow them comprehend the reality of the incarnation.

One great philosopher, Plato once gave this allegory. A man was born inside a very dark cave and all his life he never left the cave. For him, that cave was all there is in existence. One day, there was an earthquake which tore the cave open creating an entrance by side of the rock. For the first time in his entire life, the man came out and saw daylight. He was so scared that he ran back into the cave and gathered everything he could find to block the new entrance. The behaviour of this man reflects the attitude of the chief priests and elders of the people towards Jesus.

The fact that you do not understand something does not mean that it is false. Come to think of it, as far back as the book of Numbers, Balaam had already prophesied about Jesus Christ. “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.” Truth is truth regardless of what you think. Do not have a closed mind like the chief priests and elders, be open to the truth always.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my faith in you. Amen. Bible Study: Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Psalm 25 and Matthew 21:23-27).

Fr. Abu.

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