Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative to present Jesus in the context he walked in with the unknown disciple that narrates introducing my thoughts and sparking more ideas with his questions. Enjoy.
When we arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts. He began to teach in the Court of the Gentiles, where he had previously thrown out the money changers.
I looked around, chuckling to myself because there wasn’t one in sight. I did see the chief priests and elders approaching.
“Jesus,” I said.
He looked up and stopped speaking.
The chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”
They were recognized as the leaders, according to Rome. The chief priest himself was a political installment. He wasn’t even from the lineage of Aaron as the Torah said he should have been.
Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“‘ I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then, the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”
The crowd was a mix of shock and awe. The Temple’s leadership wasn’t liked by everyone. Others revered them. Jesus held up a hand and prepared to continue…