Holy Week with Jesus – Tuesday

On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” Luke 20:1-2 (NASB)

According to Luke, Tuesday is one busy day for Jesus! As is their standard mode of operation, the religious leaders confront Jesus about His authority. In this passage the religious authorities are the perfect picture of people throughout the world today. We must make one of three choices when it comes to Jesus and His authority: (1) He came from God; (2) He came from man (3) remain silent and do nothing. In this passage Jesus is found teaching the people and preaching the gospel in the Temple. The unbelief of the religious authorities causes them all to turn a deaf ear to the TRUTH of Jesus’ teaching, and their unbelief then causes them to begin questioning His authority. In response to their question Jesus asks a question of His own and in the denial of a response by the religious authorities we can clearly see ourselves.

The first possibility to the question of “By what authority” Jesus is teaching is by the authority of God. John the Baptist points the way to God. John the Baptist is on record as having said of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God…” (John 1:29) and a few verses later he testifies to the Spirit landing and remaining upon Jesus (J0hn 1:34). John’s testimony is clear…Jesus is from God. If they acknowledge that John is from heaven, then it is clear that Jesus too must be from heaven sent by God. That makes the message of Jesus the message of the kingdom of heaven, straight from God the Father. This also means there is great hope for all people, hope to be saved from sin, death and hell.

The second possibility is that the authority of Jesus comes from man. Once again, whatever is true of John must then be true of Jesus. If John comes from man, then Jesus too must have come with the authority of man. However, if this is true, how would one explain so many changed lives? Thousands have repented and been transformed, turning their lives around and following God with a renewed zeal and vigor! To say that John was not from God and received his power and authority from man would be foolish and absurd, for the religious leaders know the people would rise up against them.

The final possibility when answering the question of the authority of Jesus is to simply remain silent and remain indecisive. For the religious leaders this was a no-win situation. To admit that Jesus is from God threatens the position and power; to say He is working under the authority of man is to cause an uprising that would once again, threaten their power and position. So, they choose to remain silent and indecisive. In fact, they only discuss the matter between themselves, never searching their own hearts nor are they seeking the truth. Their minds are already made up. They will not set aside what they have already decided in their minds, the are willfully and intentionally rejecting Jesus.

And now comes the time we must take for self-examination. Where are you in this passage? Are you fully accepting that Jesus acts on and with the authority of God? Or do you believe Jesus was simply a good teacher, filled with wisdom having no authority other than what He found from those around Him? Or do you find yourself being silent and indecisive about Jesus? This is, by far, the most dangerous position for anyone to find themselves holding to. If you find yourself being silent and indecisive to save face with your friends and family, afraid to seek the truth, then let me encourage you to know that Jesus accepts you where you are, as you are, with whatever baggage you might be carrying with you. However, know this as well, Jesus WILLNOT leave you where you are. His love for you is far deeper than your finite mind can understand.

As we sit in quarantine, practicing social distancing this Holy Week, now is the perfect time to open your heart and your mind to the truth of Jesus, the Son of God. He alone is the Way to salvation, the Truth of God and the Life-giving source for all people. People…get ready! Jesus is coming soon!

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