“The chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
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. They wanted to know who sent him, who gave him the power to work miracles, who taught him how to preach and touch people’s hearts. In response to them, Jesus throws a question back at them: “Where did John the Baptist get his baptism from; from man or from God?”
They could not answer because they knew that John the Baptist came from God but saying this would mean that Jesus is the Messiah, a truth they did not want to accept. Like these Pharisees, there are times that we know the truth but instead of just embracing it, we try everything possible to discredit it by questioning its source.
Can you imagine that as far back as the book of Numbers, Balaam had already prophesied about Jesus Christ? Indeed, as Moses said: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22).
A prophecy may take time to materialize, but as long as it is really coming from God and not merely from one’s imagination, it must happen. Quite sadly, we live in an age of fake prophets; prophets who see visions according to the size of people’s pockets. Prophets merely committed to making people feel good at all costs. Let us avoid becoming such false prophets.
According to St. John of the Cross, whose memorial we celebrate today, “anyone who seeks happiness in worldly things is like a famished person who opens his mouth to satisfy himself with air.” Indeed, only God bring true satisfaction and happiness to our souls.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, as we prepare for your Son’s birth, may our lives be transformed and renewed in you. Amen.
Bible Study: Numbers 24:2-7 and 15-17. Matthew 21:23-27).