From the time we reach the terrible two’s, most of us have a problem with authority. Either we rebel, trying to establish our right to rule our universe. Or for some of us who are a bit more submissive by nature, our problem is that we choose the wrong authority. We submit to those who either have no real power, or are abusive in their power.
During the Holy Week events, the issue of authority came up for Jesus. He saw beneath the question, to the intent. And in this helps us ask and answer the question, “By what authority do I do what I do?”
Matthew 21:23-27 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “ By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “ If we say, ‘ From heaven, ’ he will say to us, ‘ Why then did you not believe him? ’ But if we say, ‘ From man, ’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “ Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
The opposers of Jesus were setting him up for what was to come. They were trying to turn the crowd against him. So they brought up the issue of authority. “By what authority are you doing these things…?”
Jesus answered with a question of his own. “The baptism of John, from where did it come?” The way he turned the tables on them demonstrated their own lack of authority. These guys were afraid of the crowd. They had no real authority on their own. And Jesus wouldn’t play their game. He knew His authority was God and this would keep him unmoved from his purpose of redeeming humanity.
Living under the wrong authority leads down a path of despair. It makes people move with the winds of culture, circumstances, or feelings. It’s like building house of cards that will crumble at the slightest disruption. In the end it is futile because there is always something more powerful that will defeat it.
Acknowledging Jesus Christ and the God of Creation as our authority allows us to live with confidence, joy and freedom. It also allows us to live in harmony with His purposes. When you think of who your ultimate “authority” is, ask yourself these questions?
Whose authority will you live under?
1. Who is good? The goodness of God is reflected in Christ who lived sinlessly and lovingly in this world.
2. Who is powerful? His is the authority that spoke the world into existence and rose from the dead.
3. Who is forgiving? He is the one who cried, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”
4. Who is willing to include you? He is the one who invited, “Come, follow me.”
This Holy Week find joy and confidence by surrendering to His authority. He is good, powerful, forgiving and willing to have you join Him.