Mark 11: Speaking with Integrity
In Mark 11, it seems as if the Pharisees are being incredibly reactionary. They were interacting with Jesus, but rather than take a firm stand for their beliefs, they wanted to cater to the people.
Mar 11:28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?
Mar 11:29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mar 11:30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
Mar 11:31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
Mar 11:32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.
Mar 11:33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
It seems rather clear that the Pharisees wanted to choose the option in verse 32. They did not believe that the baptism of John was legitimate, so they should have answered honestly. However, they did not because they were afraid of the people. They were afraid because the people thought that John was a prophet.
I suppose that there was reason for their concern because John was a prophet. They people were right for the record. As a result, they would not have been happy, but you would hope that the Pharisees would have the integrity to state their opinion.
Now, we translate that to us today. As Christians, we might be in a similar situation where we are being challenged about our beliefs. I hope that we would have the integrity to say what we believe. Of course the situation is a little bit different because we are on the side of Jesus and not trying to make Him fall like the Pharisees were doing, but I think that the lesson is instructive for us.