Question of Authority

September 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

The entire Gospel about Jesus presents itself as a question of authority, namely whether He is acknowledged as our authority in life above anything or anybody else.  This is definitely one of the governing themes in the Gospel of Matthew, and specifically highlighted in Matthew 21:23-32.  In these verses, questions are asked all over the place: Religious authorities questioning Jesus’ authority (21:23); Jesus questioning the religious authorities about John the Baptist’s authority (21:24-25); the religious authorities questioning each other about the most politically appropriate response to Jesus (21:25-26); Jesus asking the religious authorities to solve a question with regard to a parable about two sons (21:28-31).  The questions of the religious authorities are self-serving questions as a means to resist the transformational power of Jesus’ authority.  Like these religious authorities, we also find all kinds of questions that will allow us to relativize and complicate the simple appeal of Jesus’ authority in our lives.  There are enough reasons why we can be in denial about the power of His presence through his Spirit, and why we cannot afford to trust His authority 100% in our ordinary lives.  The question of 21:23 to Jesus is in fact our question:  “By what authority are you doing…” what you are doing?

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