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  • East Martin CRC

Authority Above Authority

Matthew 21:23-32

Verse 23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

Today we begin a new parable. Before we start delving into the parable it is important that we get some back story.

Jesus has entered Jerusalem for the last week prior to His death and resurrection. He has turned the tables on the money changers, cursed a fig tree and has now been back in the Temple teaching. The religious leaders already knew that they didn’t like Him and after hearing Him preaching yet again, they demand to know whose authority He preaches from.

They had heard His teachings. They knew that it didn’t match theirs and since they saw themselves as the highest authority on anything having to do with the Scriptures, they needed people to stop listening to Him. With people believing Jesus they wouldn’t believe their elders or the priests. They would lose their power over the people and to lose their footing as the top authorities would ruin their status and their status was what they built their lives on. They loved being looked up to. They couldn’t lose their status, it meant too much to them!

But Jesus didn’t concern Himself with earthly status. He didn’t come to earth to take over the top positions in the Temple system. He didn’t have to, He was already over all of them before He came to earth. He has authority that no one on earth that can ever match. But for the religious leaders to accept the truth of His authority would mean that they would have to accept Him as the Messiah and they didn’t want to believe that because He didn’t fit their preconceived idea of the Messiah.

We do this to a certain extent with Jesus in our own lives. Instead of accepting Him as the highest authority in our lives we try to keep that authority ourselves. We like thinking we are the ones in charge of our lives. The world has given us the motto of living solely for self. But God made us for more. He knew we needed an ultimate authority and He sent His Son. He is the top authority whether we give Him the place in our life or not.

Making It Personal

How much authority does Jesus have in your life? Which area of your life do you try to keep control of? Why not submit to His total authority today?

Making It Personal Kids

What does it mean for Jesus to be in full of control of our lives? Does He get to tell you what to do? Do you obey Him?

Closing Prayer

Father, You are the ultimate authority for eternity. Help us see the truth about ourselves so that we see our proper position under Your authority. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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