Authority

Jesus was a troublemaker. I say that tongue-in-cheek, because, though He did challenge the religious rulers and authorities of His day, He was trying to draw people back to the word of God. He taught with an authority no other teacher had (when the Author of the book teaches class, those who study and glean their own design from it pale in comparison), and when challenged, was asked "on who's authority do you teach these things?" (Matthew 21:23). You see, when the Rabbis, Pharisees and Sadducees asked this question, they were wondering what Rabbi or school of thought that Jesus was reasoning by, but the Word of God is not set up that way! The Word of God (what they called the Law and Prophets) was handed down to Moses and the Prophets by God Himself! It was inspired divinely, and their authority was stolen from them by teachers who interpreted the Law to suit their own aspirations! Jesus went to the book, they went to teachers of the book!


In the same way, we get too hung up on denominations, traditions, preachers, and just plain old “We’ve always done it this way” and we hand the Authority that Jesus gives us by letting others interpret the word He gave us! What is more, He gave us the Holy Spirit, who, among many, many other roles in our lives, interprets for us! The Authority by which WE can teach and lead others to Jesus (And, in turn, lead them to do the same) is from God’s unchanging, never failing word! We have authority in Jesus’ name by His word through His Holy Spirit. Jesus taught us the way, He IS the way, the truth and the Life. Stand upon His word and His authority, and watch Him work!


Matthew 21:23-46


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.


“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.


“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”


Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:


“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’


Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”


When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.




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