#DailyDevotion Do You Acknowledge Jesus’ Authority Or Not?
Matt. 2123When He came to the temple and was teaching, the ruling priests and the elders of the people came to Him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you the authority to do them?” 24Jesus answered them, “I will ask you a question. And if you answer Me, I’ll tell you by what authority I’m doing these things. 25John’s baptism — was it from heaven or from men?” They argued among themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask us, “Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘From men,’ we’re afraid of the people; they all think John is a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then Jesus also told them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I’m doing these things.”
Now this was the week in which our LORD Jesus Christ was betrayed and crucified. He had entered Jerusalem as a king. When the ruling priest and elders asked Jesus by what authority was he doing these things, these things in particular was driving out the money changers and the animals for sale in the temple where the Gentiles were supposed to pray. They made money off of these activities and were the ones in authority over them. So it is not surprising they ask Jesus by whose authority he was doing that.
Now we should also probably remember that Jesus had come to Jerusalem at this time so the ruling priests, elders, and Pharisees would arrest him, make him suffer and crucify him so that he could make atonement for the sins of the world. Jesus wasn’t exactly trying to court their favor by any means. So you can that into account when we see how Jesus treats them.
Jesus agrees to tell them by what authority he did these things if they can answer his question. He points them to John the Baptist and asks them if John’s baptism was from heaven or from men. He knows that while they were certainly curious about John and his activities, most of them did not believe him and repent, did not submit to his baptism and quite frankly were insulted by him in his calls to them to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. Should they answer one way and their hypocrisy would be known to the people. Should they answer another way and they would lose the respect of the people because they thought John was a prophet. So they feigned ignorance. Well since they wouldn’t answer Jesus, he wouldn’t answer them either. This certainly couldn’t go well and wouldn’t go well for Jesus by the end of the week.
So, what about you? Have you accepted and believed John’s testimony? Have your repented of your sins, confessed them and been baptized? Do you believe baptism is from heaven and gives the forgiveness of sins? Do you accept Jesus’ authority to claim you as his temple and for him to clean the house of your soul and make your body a temple for prayer? Will you submit to Jesus’ authority over you to baptize you into his name, become a living stone in his temple? Will you be a living sacrifice offering up thanks and praise for all that Jesus has done for you on the cross? Jesus wants to make your body his temple of prayer. He wants to use your lips to offer up sacrifices of thanksgiving. He wants to use your hands, feet and body to be merciful to those he brings into your presence. He has authority over your body and soul whether you like it or not. Better to submit to his authority and live in his joy freely now rather than bend the knee by force in the future when he returns in glory.
Merciful God and Father, grant us such faith in your son Jesus Christ that we submit our whole being to his authority and cleanse us by your Holy Spirit so we may offer up spiritual sacrifices with our bodies that are pleasing in your sight. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.