There is a story about a group of military engineers who succeeded in building a super computer that was able to solve any problem large or small, strategic or tactical. They conducted a demonstration for the officers and asked them to feed a difficult tactical problem into the computer. The military leaders proceeded to describe a hypothetical situation to the computer and then asked the pivotal question: attack or retreat? This enormous super computer hummed away for an hour and then printed out its one-word answer . . . YES.
The generals looked at each other, somewhat stupefied. Finally one of them submits a second request to the computer: YES WHAT?
Instantly the computer responded: YES, SIR.
The Pharisees, like these generals, were accustomed to people saying "Yes, sir" to them. They were the religious authorities.
But a new teacher came into town, a teacher who threatened their authority. The Pharisees were alarmed and feared Jesus' popularity, his ability to heal and to perform miracles. In their eyes, Jesus was preaching heresy and leading people away from the religious traditions that defined the Jews. I wonder if the Church faces the same problem today as it challenges the authority of Jesus teaching.