Politics & Expediency Trump Truth (Mark 11.27–End)

by Stephen Hebert on Wednesday - 5 October 2011

in New Testament

I’ve been following along with the Common Worship Morning Prayer lectionary. This morning’s New Testament reading was Mark 11.27–end. It is amazing to me how some things never change. Let’s look at the text:

Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.’ They argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But shall we say, “Of human origin”?’—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’

The chief priests, scribes, and elders have fallen into a trap that is all too common. They have decided that it is better to save face, better to play politics, better to do what is expedient than to seek Truth. Because they refuse to answer, Jesus, in turn, refuses to answer.

How often have I done the same thing? How often have I fallen prey to doing what is easy rather than standing up for what is right?

Lord, may I not be like those who suppressed the Truth because they were afraid of how it might make them look. Let me not fall into the trap of worrying more about my status and my comfort than the Truth that can be found in you alone.

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