Matthew 21:23-27 - And when He [Jesus] entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, and if you tell Me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The Baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?" And they discussed it 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 man,' we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And He said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
This passage really bugs me, because the leaders consider their answer from every angle but one: What is the truth? They plan it out like a game of chess—"If we say this to Jesus, He will say this, and that's no good; but if we say that, then the crowd will kill us." It's all political. They never stop for a moment to say, "Hey, what's the truth on this subject?"
No wonder Jesus won't answer them! They aren't looking for a true answer; they are looking for an answer they can use. And Jesus doesn't play those games.
But we do, don't we? All too often I've caught myself considering questions this way. And I forget to ask the only important question, which is, "Which is the right, true thing to do?"
Against all this, Jesus calls us to a much simpler way to live. "Is it true?" He asks. "Is it right? Is it what God wants from you?" Those are the questions that matter. In the eyes of the world they may make us look childish, unsophisticated, unworldly; but that's okay. In Jesus' eyes, they are the questions that mark a faithful Christian.
It doesn't really matter if the world thinks we are too naïve to live; we care about Jesus' opinion. And He is the One who called Himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So, how can we go wrong, following the truth? Let's forget the world and all its scheming, and follow Jesus—the One who loves us so much He lay down His life for us. That's something the world has never done, and never will do. But Jesus has. He gave Himself for us on the cross, so that we might share in His resurrection and live forever as children of God. Because of Him, we live in the light of truth—not in the shadows of scheming and plotting. Now that's worth celebrating!
WE PRAY: Dear Lord Jesus, turn my heart to follow You in truth and gladness. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Have you ever had someone look down on you because you cared about truth?
2. Why do you think truth matters so little to many people today?
3. Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). When has that happened for you?
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