SACRIFICIAL AUTHORITY: Mark 11:27-33

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SCRIPTURE

Mark 11:27-33 27 And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

DISCUSSION

1. Study through Mark 11:27-33 together. What stands out to you and why?

2. Why do you think these religious leaders asked these specific questions? Does verse 33 tell us anything about whether or not they were serious seekers of truth?

3. If these religious leaders would have asked with sincere hearts, what do you think Jesus’ response would have been to these questions? How do John 8:56-59 and John 10:30-33 help answer that question? 

First, these religious leaders rejected Jesus because they cared more about their control than the truth. They could be likened to someone falling asleep at the wheel yet they are unwilling to face the truth, relinquish control, and let someone else drive. Just like a prideful sleepy driver, they care more about their own control than living according to the truth. And like the driver, they are headed for destruction. 

4. How about you? Are you more concerned with being in control of your life, or with what’s true and right? Be specific?

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

5. How does Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6, help us realize how the things given to us—time, money, strength, gifts, talents, our body, etc.—should be used?

Second, these religious leaders rejected Jesus because they were unwilling to admit they were wrong. The biggest reason people reject Jesus is not sins of immorality, but the sin of self-righteousness.

6. How would you define self-righteousness? What are the biggest areas you battle self-righteousness? Another way to ask the question would be like this: In what areas of your life are you not really submitting to Jesus’ authority? 

“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” – Jesus, in John 10:17-18

7. What does Jesus say He’s going to use His authority to do according to John 10? How should this strengthen our faith in Him? 

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