You don’t HAVE to answer every question
So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Mark 11:33
Have you ever felt interrogated? Like you were being pressed for answers to questions you didn’t want to talk about or explain to someone. How about being pressured to give answers on a confidential matter? Have you ever been tempted to cover something up because you didn’t know how to explain without revealing things you know should not be revealed? Sometimes we feel the need to make excuses and even lie about something just because someone is pushing us when really, we are not accountable to them at all.
In today’s scripture, Jesus was being questioned by the Pharisees about where He got His authority to do good works and miraculous works. Instead of saying that He got it from God or His Father in heaven, He answers the question with a question of His own. He didn’t feel any pressure at all to answer their inquiry. These were the priest and elders of the day. The ones that were in charge of the rules and regulations, so certainly they felt they were entitled to some answers. However, Jesus wasn’t doing anything wrong or breaking any of the law. Instead of answering their questions, Jesus negotiated with them by asking a tough question of His own. Not because He was being arrogant or rebellious, but rather because He knew there was no right answer that would satisfy them. If He told them the truth, they would call Him a blasphemer and He wasn’t about to lie or make something up. He just told them, “No, I’m not going to answer your questions either.”
The point is that it is ok not to answer every question or you don’t have to feel pressure to and be defensive with an immediate answer. You can take your time and consider wisdom. What will help in the situation and what will encourage the hearing rather than come off as an offense. You can have the perfect answer by taking a minute and asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom in that moment. He always has it and He wants to give it to you to share.
Today I want to encourage you the next time you feel hard pressed to give answers to ask three questions in that moment. Do I really need to answer this inquisition? Is there a question I can ask in return to eliminate excuses? What is the wise response to this pressure? Then listen to the response that comes from your heart. You don’t have to prove anything and don’t let pride be your automatic. Press into wisdom and grace in every situation and insert goodness into the uncomfortable and stress filled circumstances. You will deflate your accuser every time and bring peace in the process.
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 11:27-33
27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him.
28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”
29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things:
30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”
31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
32 But if we say, ‘From men’ ”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed.
33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”