Recently, I’ve been reading Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch’s book, REJESUS: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church and some of what they write I’ve heard before in their talks but I love the following quote on 111: “we need to go back to the daring, radical, strange, wonderful, inexplicable, unstoppable, marvelous, unsettling, disturbing, caring, God-Man.”
This morning I was speaking on a story that Jesus tells (Matthew 21.28-32) and Jesus tells it in the midst of a crazy series of events…Jesus enters Jerusalem and the people hail him as King, they are excited and the people are asking, ‘Who is this?’
Jesus answers their question in an intriguing way…by entering the temple and driving out the money changers and sellers of high priced animals for sacrifice. Next, he heals the blind and lame in the temple courts. He leaves the city and the next morning, he curses a fig tree and it withers. It is plain to the reader or hearer through these experiences that Jesus is demonstrating who his power comes from…his Father in heaven. Later in the day, he enters the temple courts again and teaches the people. The chief priests and elders challenge his authority. They doubt who he serves and how he serves.
In response to their questions about his authority, he says this, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven (God), or of human origins?”
They don’t know how to answer his question honestly and answer “We don’t know.”
So it is after Jesus stumps the leaders about the origin of John the Baptist’s authority that he tells this story about two sons.
This is one baffling Jesus. I wonder if this is the Jesus we have become familiar with.