JERUSALEM, APRIL 3, AD 30
Sanhedrin teams attempted to disrupt Jesus’ teachings today, and their efforts were an embarrassing failure. After a dramatic cleansing of the temple, Jesus began to teach the Passover crowds who were in an atmosphere of quiet attentiveness. About two o’clock this afternoon a group of Sanhedrin elders made their way close to Jesus, and, as is the custom, asked him a question: “By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?” It is well established that Jesus has not been officially ordained by the Sanhedrin, so listeners drew close to hear Jesus’ answer.
Jesus asks a counter-question
Jesus replied: “I also wish to ask you a question. If you will answer, then I will tell you by what authority I do these works. Did John the Baptist get his authority from heaven or from men?” The officials drew aside and discussed the question among themselves. Observers who overheard their discussion reported that the priests feared answering Jesus. They reasoned that if they said John’s power came from heaven, Jesus would ask why the Pharisees did not accept him. If they answered John’s authority came from men, the crowd would be very angry, since they generally believed John was a prophet. So, a spokesman said: “Concerning the authority of John, we do not know.” Jesus then declared: “Then neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Crowd is pleased
A murmur of approval went through the crowd when Jesus made his final pronouncement. The Sanhedrin officials asked no more questions of Jesus that day. The general feeling here is that the question asked of Jesus was insincere and Jesus handled it with majestic poise and wisdom. But observers also point out that the cleansing of the temple by Jesus has brought the Sadducees over to the side of the Pharisees. The majority of the Sanhedrin is composed of Sadducees, and now they too are united against Jesus of Nazareth.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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