12 And they (religious leaders)were seeking to arrest him (Jesus) but feared the people,
14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God.
24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
Jesus is being questioned by the religious leaders because their power is being threatened.
They wanted to arrest Jesus but “feared the people”.
They accurately describe Jesus as truthful and knowledgeable.
Jesus showed no fear of the religious leaders when he directly called them “wrong”.
He also told these religious leaders (experts in the scripture), that they did NOT have knowledge of either the word of God or the power of God.
The “way of God”
The “word of God”
The “power of God”
Each of these are referenced in this interaction.
Jesus was acknowledged as having each of them.
The religious leaders had none of them. Why?
Well, before the religious leaders lacked the “way of God”, the “word of God” and the “power of God”, we see that they lack something else: The Fear of God!
What we see before all this, they are described as having “the fear of people”.
The fear of people will prompt and motivate all sorts of wrong thinking and wrong decisions.
If I am afraid of people and what they think of me, I will prioritize all the wrong things through any given day and even over a lifetime.
How is Jesus described, even by these religious leaders?
As “not caring about anyone’s opinion”.
This must have been quite striking to them. This characteristic of Jesus stood out to them because it was the opposite of themselves.
But because Jesus was “not swayed by appearances”, he could “truly teach the way of God”.
So the big question for me is:
Do I want to be a true example of the way of God?
If the answer is truly “Yes!”, then I must not fear the opinion and appearance of people.
I must begin with the fear of God.
Then I can live out the way of God, with the word of God, in the power of God.
Help me Father not to fear people.
Holy Spirit keep my strong in the word of God.