January 24th, 2013
I used to play chess a lot, and it is a great game, because at the end there is sometimes the opportunity to say “Checkmate.” You have had the final move. Game is over, conversation ceases…no apologies…the game was played and you won.
I really tire of TV, and especially the “news” shows where an issue comes up and then you see the infamous square of four people who are going to have 15-20 seconds to give their point of view. They all end up yelling at each other and interrupting each other and then the host thanks them for participating…and then they fade off in to oblivion….never to be heard from again. And nobody has any idea of what just happened….
Not so with Jesus….when He spoke….people were silenced. Checkmate. Here is the scene, we are in our bible study in the book of Luke. Jesus has been healing people, teaching, and oh yeah…He walks in the temple, and turns all of the tables upside down, and kicks all of the money traders out…because He is ANGRY at the way God’s house is being treated (anybody care about that today?…Like the National Cathedral?…but I digress).
So anyway…the Chief Priests and the Scribes come out and say…hey, what’s going on…who gave you the right to do this? Here is the actual verses..
Luke 20:1-8 –
One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
Wow…Jesus backed a whole group of really smart guys in a corner with two equally bad decisions with ONE QUESTION!!! Checkmate. Because Jesus spoke with authority…the authority of God. And oh yeah…I love this one… Jesus is a rock star and the people are starting to say that He must be the Messiah, because who could do more amazing miracles than what Jesus was doing?
So the religious leaders sent the guards to arrest Him…but they came back empty handed.
John 5:45-46 – 45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. (NIV)
Can you believe that…they didn’t arrest Him…because of the way that He spoke! Can you imagine the police using that line for their bosses today? Checkmate. You have got to love Jesus’ style….He just spoke the truth.
And by the way…Be Encouraged…because when you speak truth from the Bible…you are speaking for the King…and that is power that will confound the wise.
Grace and Peace, Dan