A heart that will honour and submit to God's authority
July 17, 2018 | by: Jason Shiels | 0 Comments
Posted in: Knowing God
20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”
3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”
8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
The chief priests and teachers of the law questioned the authority of Jesus in teaching the good news of the gospel in the temple courts. Of course this teaching would have been centred on the truth claims that He Himself was the Messiah and would be the lamb of God to take away the sin of the world and to deliver from the evil age.
Very quickly, let's see what the main point of this encounter is:
1) People with a strong 'position' or reputation often question the authority of Jesus. This is because His truth claims require them to give up their own self-rulership, the essence of sin, and to submit to His Sovereign authority.
2) The questions that are asked by such people are often designed to 'catch out' and self-validate rather than to seek out true knowledge. This happens so much today too. There is little point arguing with such a person. Their goal is self-validation not true knowledge.
3) There can be a political spirit within religious groups that is all about gaining or retaining credence and support that buffers a power base. This passage shows that Jesus' question revealed their heart. They were political and his wisdom showed their manoevering rather than any earnest desire for truth.
4) Some people will never embrace Jesus because they know they will lose out in their petty power games if they do. The leaders refused to answer Jesus' question. They preferred to 'sit on the fence'. This is still common today. Determine today not to be a grandstand commentator or critic but rather a player on the field. Determine today to allow the truth of God's word and His truth claims regarding Lordship to make you 'come off the fence' and to allow truth to be the highest goal.
5) Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth. He is seated at the right hand of authority in Heaven - from there He rules and reigns and has all dominion! Now, believers in Christ must understand that they too are 'seated with Christ in heavenly places' and are heirs and co-heirs with Him!
However, even believers need to learn to yield and submit to the Lord's ultimate authority as Sovereign King. Sin bites hard on our heels in the form of the autonomous self but Jesus died and rose again to bring us the ultimate freedom - the freedom of surrender that brings us under His authority and enables us to co-operate with His deity and to reign with Him in life.
Its amazing what excuses man can make to dodge from submitting to the kingship of Jesus. These leaders dodged questions and played the political games that had supported their place in society. Jesus knew their hearts. He would not play those games. After all, He is the Sovereign king and Lord over all!
May we relinquish all our vain questions and excuses and lay them at the feet of the ruling King Jesus?!