God is sovereign over all things, including our spiritual awakening. Jesus performed many miracles so that people could see and believe in Him as the Messiah. However, many did not believe thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophesy, “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (John 12:40, Isaiah 6:10).
Later, Paul will tell us the way to be healed. “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
So we see that there is a tension there in Scripture between the Lord awakening and our turning. I am not sure exactly how all of that works bc God’s ways are higher than ours but it is clear that salvation is the work of the Lord through His Son Jesus. That is why Jesus cries out that anyone who believes in Him believes in His Father who sent Him into the world as the light. Jesus says He came to save the world and He only speaks from the authority given to Him by God, His Father.
After Jesus drives out of the temple people who were using it as a place of business instead a house of prayer, Jesus’ authority is questioned. “And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. And they said to Him, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?’” They are not only questioning on whose authority did Jesus clean the temple but also under whose authority is He healing people and teaching in the temple since He isn’t a part of the official Jewish 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?’” This question exposes the Jewish leader’s ignorance bc if they say John was doing the work of the Lord then Jesus will question why they didn’t believe him, but if they say man, then the people would revolt against them bc many believed John the Baptist was a prophet of the Lord. So they just give the cowardly answer of “We do not know.” 🙄 Therefore Jesus responds, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Tomorrow Jesus calls out the hypocrisy in the Jewish leadership. Keep reading.
(John 12:37-50, Mark 11:12-14, Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:15-19, Matthew 21:12-17, Luke 19:45-48, Mark 11:20-33, Matthew 21:23-27, Luke 20:1-8)