Luk 20:5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?
Luk 20:6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.
Luk 20:7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.
Luk 20:8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
In the above passage Jesus had been questioned as to what authority He had to throw the merchants out of the outer court of the Temple. His response was one more attempt to get the religious leaders of His day to see their own sin and hypocrisy, but, that is as far as most of us ever take this passage. As with most of scripture this passage can be applied to our own hearts and souls.
Paul taught that are bodies are the modern day Temple of God, ( 1Co_3:16).
The old Jewish Temple consisted of three "courts". The Outer court, the Inner Court and the Holy of Holies. I have heard our body described as being equivalent to the outer court, our mind equivalent to the inner court and our heart as the equivalent of the Holy of Holies. This is a description that I believe is accurate. Going one step further I see our carnal mind or ego, as the Pharisees in the text above.
Jesus had purged the outer court when He first entered our lives, He cleansed us of the worldliness of our religion, a religion based on self and what we can "get", in other words, our selfish desires. But along comes our ego and says," by what authority do you do this?". Remember it was the priest under the old covenant that stood between God and the people. Only the priest could enter the Holy of Holies and then only once a year.
They reasoned amongst themselves to come up with an answer to Christ question. They were dishonest. They knew the truth, that truth being that they were afraid. Afraid of the people. How often do we fail Christ under the same type of fear?
They were afraid of His answer if they were to say Johns authority was from God because they did not want to believe they needed to change. They didn't want to admit they were in the wrong. So in "defense" they took the "safe" way out and said "we don't know". That was a true answer, but with a false motive. Sound familiar.
How many times in any given day do we justify our own actions or lack of action in our own life? How many times has the Holy Spirit spoke saying "don't do that" and our response was "by what authority do you do this"? And, how many times have we told the Spirit "I don't know" as a defense?
God will never violate our will. That was His gift to us that made us who we are. When we question His authority in any given area of our life the proper response to His return question should be an honest one, "Lord, I am afraid, please help me".
Honesty is Humility.
Christ, followed this exchange with the parable of the wicked lease farmers, who would not pay their lease payment to the landowner out of their selfishness. Let us not be like them, let us pay our due share to the landowner. Let us be honest not just with each other but with Holy Spirit too.
Let us examine ourselves daily, root out the selfish desires of our ego and confess our sins to God and to one another making restitution where we need to, let us live honestly before man and God that we may display His Great Glory that all men may come to want to know our Lord and Savior.
So much more could be said here, I have spoke in generalities and hope that those who read these words will take the time to apply what I have written to their own heart and see just what the Holy Spirit has to say.
Please share with us your own experience and thoughts. Please comment