April 4: Wresting for Authority
Posted: 03 Apr 2014 06:12 AM PDT
Read: Mark 11:27–12:12
By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them? (v. 28 NRSV)
Authority. Some think they have it. Some wish they had it. Some really do have it! Jesus truly had authority, unlike the religious leaders who opposed him. Jesus spoke and acted with authority from God. He claimed that he and God the Father were one (John 10:30). The battle lines were drawn. In the minds of the religious leaders Jesus had broken the very first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3). If Jesus was not the God-man, then their accusation was true, and Jesus really was in league with the devil as they accused (Mark 3:22).
The storm clouds of this controversy gathered with intensity. In this fight there was no middle ground. Jesus is truly God or, measured against his claims, a liar or a lunatic. If he was not God, he was not even a good man, much less a great teacher. He said, “Before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58, emphasis added). Today, we diagnose people with mental illness for saying less. But unlike the mentally ill, Jesus’ life and actions backed his claims.
So Jesus’ authority is real because he really is God. He can restore the worst of sinners. He can forgive the selfish and arrogant. He loves even the silly and the foolish. He will give eternal life to anyone who bows before him. –Ron Geschwendt
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