How not to reason

Matthew Bible Background

03.07.2016 New Testament: Mark 11.31–32

To read the Bible in a year, read Mark 11.20–33 on March 7, In the year of our Lord 2016

By Don Ruhl

The chief priests, the scribes, and the elders asked Jesus by what authority He acted, and who gave Him that authority. He answered by saying that He had a question for them, and if they answered Him, He would answer them.

He wanted to know whether they thought the baptism of John came from heaven or from men. Listen to them reason,

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed (Mark 11.31–32).

They did not think for themselves about John’s baptism and the question of Jesus, they only thought of how Jesus would respond or how the people would respond. They wanted to win an argument, not learn the truth.


  • Why do you engage in spiritual discussions?
  • Do you like to prove people wrong? If so, why?
  • What do you do when someone has gained the upper hand on you?

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