Read this scripture: Matthew 21:23-27 Explanation
Yesterday, Jesus cleansed the temple as a way of demonstrating that he is God and came to cleanse and restore false worship. Today, the temple authorities (chief priests and elders) challenge the authority of Jesus. Mathew 21:23 says that they interrupted Jesus in the middle of his teaching. Instead of hearing him out they wanted to shut him up. They challenged him saying "By what authority do you do these things, and who gave you this authority?"
Unafraid of their petty challenge, as God always is, Jesus challenged them back by asking them a question regarding John the Baptist who was widely considered to be a prophet who spoke the truth of God. John had previously proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, sent from God. So, Jesus was putting them on the spot. He was basically saying, "If you believe John is a prophet, then you know that I have the authority of God." In doing so, he was giving them an opportunity to own their reasons for rejecting his authority.
But they chose not to rise to the challenge. They did not want to admit that John was a prophet because they did not want to be wrong. They also did not want to admit that John was only speaking with the authority of man because they did not want the crowds to disregard them. Afraid to be wrong, and afraid what others might think, they chose to disregard Jesus' loving invitation towards truth and worship.
Like these Priests and Elders, we do the same thing to Jesus all the time. We hate the idea of anyone have authority in our life, unless it is us! Therefore, like these people in the story, we prefer to interrupt Jesus instead of listen to him. When he challenges us with truth, we often disregard him because we do not want to admit that we are wrong, or because we are afraid of what others will think.
- Take a moment and admit to Jesus your problems with his authority. Tell him why you have a problem. He is inviting this!
- Ask him for help. Ask him to demonstrate why he is the only worthy authority in your life. Ask him for help to face the truth, even if it means you are wrong or others will reject you.
Jesus, forgive us for being more concerned with being right and being accepted, then we are with embracing your truth. Help us to see that you are good and God, the only worthy authority in our life. Amen.