One day, as he was teaching the people in the temple and telling the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders and said to him, ‘Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?’ He answered them, ‘I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ They discussed it with one another, saying, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say, “Why did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.’ So they answered that they did not know where it came from. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’
I’ve recently started watching a YouTuber called Bunny. Bunny has two channels and lots of other social media, and she primarily does the following: makeup tutorials, makeup “swatches”, testing of children’s toys for value for money/entertainment, unboxing mystery boxes/packages/blind boxes/blind bags…now if I’m talking a language that is just words, I promise you can Google the terms for clarity.
You are probably wondering where we are going and what does a Texan named Bunny have to do with Jesus teaching in the Temple, well it’s like this: the first thing that endeared Bunny and her YouTube channels to me was the fact that she NEVER swears and she finds cool words to express her emotions. One of these words is “Sassy”, if you don’t know what sassy is, the dictionary definition is: “lively, bold, and full of spirit, cheeky”.
Now when I read this passage where Jesus is basically calling the Pharisees out, in my mind I imagine him being very sassy, he has had enough of the Pharisees being all letter of the Law but not genuine followers and he isn’t going to take their nonsense. The Pharisees realise that Jesus’ sassiness has basically backed them into a corner and they won’t win either way so they fake an answer which also bites them because Jesus responds with more sassiness and tells them he won’t answer their question.
Growing up being cheeky was not an attribute that was praised in my family, but sometimes, you have to be sassy because it is the only way to diffuse situations that are heading towards conflict, I am aware that this can aggravate a situation, but sometimes it’s worth taking the risk. As church, I think we sometimes get ourselves worked into knots and conflict when if someone had taken the risk and been sassy the situation may never have become so tense. So I dare you, be Sassy.
Creator God It is good to be reminded that you created us to be people of liveliness, fun and joy. Give us courage to be cheeky, fun and sassy; to lighten moods and spirits of those we encounter, recognising that we often do not know what people are going through. Amen.
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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