Matthew 21:23-27 – WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN MARKETING YOURSELF (Part 8)

Posted: April 27, 2020 in Uncategorized
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Matthew 21:23-27 – WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN MARKETING YOURSELF (Part 8)

You have messages © Image created by Ross Cochrane on Blender 2.8

The next day, on the train, the Marketing Manager and the Christ Follower resume their conversation. Previously …

MARKETING MANAGER: We can learn a lot about what not to do in Marketing from Jesus. He made so many mistakes.

I’ve already told you His first 8 mistakes. We were talking about how Jesus wasn’t environmentally friendly. But Jesus also failed in marketing Himself well because at times He would, 

9. REFUSE TO COMMUNICATE 

MARKETING MANAGER: In Matthew 21:23 (NLT) “When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to Him. They demanded, “By what authority are You doing all these things? Who gave You the right?” 

Communication is crucial in marketing yourself. Here is a perfect opportunity for Jesus to communicate well but once again, He misses it. The leaders of the community were interested in what He was doing and wanted to understand what He wanted to accomplish. They had seen the Temple cleared and people who had been blind and lame healed. Now they wanted to know more. 

CHRIST FOLLOWER: Wait a minute. They had no interest in understanding Him. They were confronting Him. They were self-righteous hypocrites. They treated Christ with contempt. They questioned His authority. They tried to interrogate Him, to trap Him and He refuses to let them (Matthew 21:23-27).

Jesus was praised by the people, He cleansed the temple, He healed people who were blind and lame, and children recognised Him as the Messiah. This only infuriated the leaders. 

They weren’t seeking to understand who Jesus was by asking this question? Far from it. Their own positions of authority were being challenged. They had closed minds and hard hearts. They were looking for an opportunity to get rid of Him because they were threatened and felt humiliated because He showed them up for who they were.

They rudely interrupt His teaching and confront Him by saying “By what authority are You doing all these things? Who gave You the right?” 

They didn’t even wait to listen to what He was teaching. Their unbelief treated Jesus with contempt, not with a desire to understand. Their unbelief immediately questioned His authority. 

MARKETING MANAGER: And that’s all the more reason why He needed to communicate well.  These people are the guardians and administrators of the Temple. Important people wanting to clarify who Jesus was and His message. They asked a simple question. Clear communication would have helped Him greatly, but He refuses to answer. He takes the phone off the hook and plays word games with them.  If you want to market yourself well, you need to be clear in your communication, not silent. 

You have Voicemail © Image by Ross Cochrane

Jesus is given the opportunity to reveal where His power really comes from and instead refuses to share it with people in high places. He refused to get His Name in front of the experts. His answer could have been informative, timely, and valuable to all those around Him who were listening, but once again He misses His opportunity.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: You haven’t relayed the full story. Here is what happened. In Matthew 21:24-27 Jesus says, “I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replies.  “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?” 

MARKETING MANAGER: There, you see. He’s off on a tangent instead of answering their question. Jesus refuses to communicate but instead talks about John the Baptist – some kind of wildcard, so called prophet, a man with long hair dressed in camel’s hair who ate locusts and wild honey, a tea-totaler who preached out in the wilderness. What has John the Baptist got to do with anything?  He is getting off on a tangent instead of answering their question. 

CHRIST FOLLOWER: John the Baptist has everything to do with it. John was accepted by the crowd as a prophet and he had pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. In John 1:29-34 (NLT) John the Baptist saw Jesus, and said to the people, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for He existed long before me.’ I did not recognize Him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that He might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon Him. I didn’t know He was the One, but when God sent me to baptize with water, He told me, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that He is the Chosen One of God.”

MARKETING MANAGER: Well at least John the Baptist is a pretty good Marketing Manager. At least he didn’t to refuse to communicate.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: All the people in the Temple that day were waiting for the Religious leaders to affirm John the Baptist as a prophet and in doing so they would have to acknowledge that Jesus was the Messiah with authority from heaven. 

MARKETING MANAGER: But Jesus refuses to communicate that He is the One whom John was talking about. This would have made it so much easier.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: These religious leaders also refused to communicate. Instead of acknowledging that Jesus has authority from God, the religious leaders  …  talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, He will ask us why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.” So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”” They refused to be honest with Jesus. “And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things. 

MARKETING MANAGER: Exactly! He left them in the dark. Why not simply tell them who He was instead of closing off? When you are marketing yourself, you need to get straight to the point and be willing to answer questions people are asking, … like John the Baptist.

CHRIST FOLLOWER: When Jesus refuses to answer their questions He exposes these leaders and the fact that they have no authority themselves. They could not affirm John’s authority without condemning themselves for their unbelief. I think He communicated very well and this allowed the people to decide for themselves who Jesus was. Jesus gives them ample opportunity to repent.

MARKETING MANAGER: I can’t accept that rudely cutting off communication is a good marketing technique. It looks like he’s trying to hide something. Which leads me to the next marketing mistake that Jesus made. Not only does Jesus refuse to communicate but ….

CHRIST FOLLOWER: This is my stop and we will have to resume our conversation later.

MARKETING MANAGER: Once again I look forward to continuing our conversation on Matthew 21 – WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN MARKETING YOURSELF (Part 9)

Pastor Ross

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