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NEITHER WILL I TELL YOU
NEITHER WILL I TELL YOU!
Why did Jesus refuse to give a straight answer to those who asked, “by what authority doest thou these things”?
It was during ‘Holy Week’, while he was walking in the temple precincts in Jerusalem that some members of Israel’s Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin, came to Jesus and asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
By “these things” they meant not so much his teaching in the outer court but his cleansing of the temple, which had taken place the previous day.
Who gave him the right to put a stop to buying and selling within the bounds of the temple, or to forbid anyone to carry anything through the temple – to use the outer court as a short cut on their business errands? After all, a temple police force was stationed to protect the sanctity of the temple. Who authorized Jesus to act as he did?
His cleansing of the temple was what would have been recognized in Old Testament times as a prophetic action – the kind of action by which a prophet would occasionally confirm his spoken message and bring it home to the people around him.
Jesus protested that the temple was being prevented from fulfilling its purpose as “a house of prayer for all nations” (see Isaiah 56:7).