A Confrontation Of Disbelief
Sunday July 3, 2022
Scripture To Consider:
“Now when Jesus came into the temple, the chief priest and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority’”
“But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?’”
“And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” He will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “From men,” we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.’”
“So they answered Jesus and said, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’” Matthew 21.23-27
Something To Consider:
As Jesus passed into the inner courts of the temple after once again cleansing the temple of its widespread corruption, He began teaching. I find it amazing that Jesus was not stopped or apprehended as He disrupted the business as usual of the profiteering merchants of religion. He was but one man! And yet, the religious leaders may have fully and completely understood their wrongly representing God by their merchandising the ministry of worship.
There was no physical confrontation, and yet, there was verbal confrontation of unbelief, which on the surface appeared to have little or no consequence. But after closer examination we find it to be a confrontation with great consequence. It revealed these leaders in a much less than desirable unbelieving darkness.
Upon closer examination of our thoughts and actions, do we ever find our reasoning revealing a much less desirable light or darkness? These so-called religious leaders were blinded by their hypocritical reasoning and unbelief! And yet, how often has that been repeated in every generation!
Something Else To Consider:
The confrontation presented that day by the chief priests and elders proved to be one more checkmate in favor of Jesus. But what was also revealed was the hypocritical reasoning of the chief priest and elders of Israel. For if God was behind the baptisms of John the Baptist, then God was endorsing John’s message when John proclaimed of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
And these pretenders were not ready or willing to admit the illuminating truth concerning Jesus to the people. But their silence once again spoke more loudly than their hypocritical reasoning words. “So they answered Jesus and said, ‘We do not know.’” And they were absolutely correct, they did not know the Scriptures or the power and plan of God. And yet, that is exactly the dilemma of many 21st century so-called religious leaders within the organized earthly church.
How many millions down through the centuries in every generation have wrongfully refused to acknowledge the truth concerning Jesus and therefore have been forced to cry out, “We do not know”? How many in this 21st century end time generation refuse to believe the truth concerning Jesus Christ?
Tomorrow, the 4th of July, America will celebrate its so-called day of independence! And yet, the majority of Americans are no more independently free than a convicted criminal serving out a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Just consider the many earthly imprisonments in American society.
Billions of people are imprisoned by alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, pornography, the passionate pursuit of wealth, riches, fame, and every vice known to the human race. The social conscience of America is corrupt and evil, and hypocritical reasoning will not alter that! The nation of America sadly, is in the midst of judgment. And that judgment will not be delayed but delivered by God at His appropriate time. Are we as lovers of God ready?
Something More To Consider:
The religious rulers that confronted Jesus, with all their hypocritical reasoning, were not concerned about the truth, but rather that their answer would add fire to the fuel of belief in favor of Jesus in the eyes of the people. Therefore, Jesus also held in reserve the answer to the question asked regarding by whose authority Jesus did these things. Jesus had disrupted the deception and financial increasing of these religious leaders. Jesus had for a moment, put an end to their cheating the people with their outrageous money changing procedures.
But there is something else for us to consider as well. What if Jesus was to ask us the question He asked them, “The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?” Would we be able or willing to say, from heaven? To do so, would mean we believed John’s message concerning Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” And like then, there is today July 3rd, 2022, much sin to be taken away!
The mystery writer of Hebrews 10.22, acknowledged; “Let us draw near [to God] with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” But just the opposite is true in America and around the globe today. And it need not be the case! We are either in the midst of a confrontation of disbelief, hypocritical reasoning concerning Jesus Christ, or we are truly able to declare our spiritual independence due to our present tense believing in Jesus and the written Word of God!
A Few Final Words:
The writer of Hebrews continued in verse 23, by stating; “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He [God] who promised [that Jesus’s death fulfilled God’s will] for He who promised is faithful.” Can we honestly claim before God that we are being faithful to God and to His Word? Or is just the opposite more true?
If we expect to endure to the end of the coming tribulation, we too must be faithful! We too must hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. But how do we do that? How do we prove faithful as did so many within the early church who were so cruelly persecuted for their faith?
One way we become and remain faithful even unto the end is according to Hebrews 12.1-2. “Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [Old and New Testament faithful saints], let us lay aside every weight [encumbrance], and the sin which so easily ensnares [imprisons] us, and let us run with endurance the race [life’s destiny] that is set before us.”
The writer further instructed us to be found, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross [to the end], despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him [Jesus] who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Our Father in heaven, may we stay far away from the hypocritical reasoning of our day and age. May we remain strong in our faith. May we truly be found believing in Jesus and Your holy Word Father. May we remain in a place of looking unto Jesus as things heat up in this 21st century. And may we do so in Jesus’ name. In Him Always, Amen!