Friday, January 17, 2020

Who Gave Jesus This Authority? – Matthew 21:23-27

Bible Verse of the Day for December 16 2019, Monday of the Third Week of Advent

When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”

Matthew 21:23-27

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This was a bit of a bold move on the part of the chief priests and the elders. They clearly had an agenda and were clearly agitated by Jesus. How sad.

Think about that for a moment. Here is God Almighty, in the Person of Jesus the Eternal Son, teaching the Words of eternal life. He is in the temple area and the chief priests and elders were agitated by Him. Jesus spoke with power and authority and everyone recognized that.

But the chief priests and elders appeared to be angry and envious of Him, calling into question where He received His authority. This is quite shocking when understood clearly and reveals how far the religious leaders of the time were off track. 

They were clearly blind. Their challenge of Jesus, in this context, shows that they were not open to the truth and were not open to God’s plan of salvation. Instead, they were filled with self-centeredness, pride and envy.  

Try to put yourself in that temple area where Jesus was speaking. What would your reaction to Him be like? Would you ignore Him? Would you be curious about Him? Would you be agitated by Him or envious? Or would you recognize His divine power, love and authority and seek Him out?

Reflect, today, upon how you encounter our Lord on a daily basis. Though we are not able to literally go to that temple area and listen to Jesus speak, we do have the same opportunity all around us every day. The truth is that God is still speaking in countless ways. Reflect upon how easily you perceive His presence and His voice. And when you do hear Him speak, how do you react?  

Prayer: Lord, help me to hear Your divine voice every day. Help me to recognize You everywhere I go. And as I seek You out, help me to rejoice in finding You and react with complete confidence in all You say. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.

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