Between the Rock and a Hard Place


Mark 11, verses 27-33 reveal Jesus’ answer to one of the questions posed Him by the chief priests, scribes, and elders. The leaders were baffled at the boldness of Jesus as He turned over the money changers tables and drove out of the temple those who bought and sold. The question that the leaders wanted answered had to do with authority. They saw themselves as being the group who had authority over what went on in the temple and here, we have a carpenter rearranging things like He owned the place!

Their question was, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”

Maybe they should have thought more before they asked this question. I’ve found out that Jesus knows the heart like no one else and can point out problem sources that we didn’t know existed.

So often, Jesus points something out to us by asking a question. He answered the leader’s question with a question intended to reveal their hidden motives.

“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: The baptism of John–was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.'”

With this simple question, Jesus leads them directly into “a trap”. The “trap” was intended to reveal to them a hard place against God that was residing in their hearts.

These men wanted position, power, greed, and recognition more than they wanted the glory of God. Jesus knowing this, exposed it. He knew that they didn’t want anyone else getting any recognition as an instrument of God and they wanted spiritual control over the people. At the same time, Jesus knew that they were afraid of the people; needing their tithes, acclaim, and praises to prop up the ungodly agenda they harbored in their hearts. Any answer to Jesus’ question would reveal their sin but instead of repenting, they simply chose not to answer.

The Bible calls Jesus “The Rock of our salvation”.

Psalm 144:1: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”

You could say that Jesus’ question to the leaders caused the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders to be “caught between the Rock and a Hard Place”. The Rock is Christ Jesus the Truth. The hard place was the refusal to acknowledge Jesus and His Word.

Have you ever been caught between the Rock and a hard place in your own heart?

The leader’s refusal to acknowledge the truth kept them in bondage and caused them to be cut off from further revelation. Jesus’ response to their refusal to be honest was simply:

“Neither will I tell you…”

You cannot pick and choose which revelation you will believe.

Once you say “No” to Jesus, it becomes easier to say “No” again and again!

The words “No Lord” should never be found in the same sentence!

Our responsibility to His Lordship is to say “Yes” to Jesus! If we do so, we set up the appropriate conditions for Him to use us and for Him to bring further revelation into our lives!

When Jesus leads you into “the trap” of exposing the hardness of your heart, repent – accept His truth, and go forward in Him! Do you want to be used by Him?

Humility is the key that unlocks the door to greatness in God!

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 18:12

Lord, break any hardness of heart out of me! I want my heart soft and pliable in Your hands! Teach me to say “Yes” to you, no matter what!

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