Mark 11:27-28 …as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

It has been aptly said that light rejected becomes lightning. This saying is confirmed in today’s study. What confronts us in Mark 11:27-12:12 is the question of Jesus’ authority. The inevitable conflict between Jesus and the religious hierarchy has reached its peak. Jesus exposed their religious charade by cleansing the temple, for they had turned the sacred place of God into a big business of financial profit at the expense of God’s people. Jesus exposed them for what they really were – false shepherds – and this caused their blood to boil over with envy and hatred. Because Jesus did not attend their rabbinical schools (what we would call seminaries), they questioned His authority to do what He did, seeking to undermine Him before the people. At this point Jesus drops the hammer by asking them where they believed John the Baptizer got his authority. He sprung their trap! The very question that they thought would trap Jesus trapped them. Jesus’ answer reveals that His own authority came from the same source as John’s. The leaders’ conclusion about John would reveal their conclusion about Him. The leaders rejected John’s authority, who pointed to Jesus as The Lamb of God. Thus, they rejected Jesus as Messiah.

That answer of authority causes Jesus to teach the parable of the vineyard owner and the vineyard. (See Isaiah 5:1-7 and Psalm 80:8-16.) Throughout their history most leaders of Israel repeatedly rejected God’s messengers, a point Jesus made in the parable. The Bible knowledge commentary says: Jesus sharpened the application of the parable to Himself as the Son and extended its teaching by quoting verbatim Psalm 118:22,23. They rejected Jesus Christ and His authority, and in doing so, sealed their destiny.

Reader, who is the final authority in your life? You or Jesus Christ? “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:44) Selah.