April 10, 2001

By ROBERT FIGUEROA

The Challenge of Jesus Authority

During Christ' last week leading to the Cross on Calvary, 48 events are recorded in Scripture. Of those 48, the 6th event of the week occurred when the Sanhedrin questioned the authority of Jesus Christ.

Who Does Jesus Think He Is?

"And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?"
- Matthew 21:23

As Jesus preached this electrifying new message in the court yard Tuesday morning, the crowds from all over the world gathered to hear of this man possibly believing that He was the Messiah. Days before, Jesus stirred up a lot of commotion in Jerusalem. Making a loud and captivating entrance on a colt, excepting the worship as Messiah, healing the blind and the lame, the cleansing of the temple. How would you like it if someone came into your territory and turned everything right side up? These were the feelings that the chief priest, the teachers of law and the Elders had this day. It was time to confront Jesus and question Him about His authority. There was a warrant for Jesus' arrest but now the Man walks into there own ground, what a bold challenge that must have been. So the officials try to corner Jesus saying, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?" - Matthew 21:23. The leaders wanted to know what right He had to interfere with their lives and area of responsibility.

Questions And More Questions
Jesus responded with a question, which was sometimes the custom to answer with another question:

"The baptism of John -- where was it from? From heaven or from men? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'If we say, 'From heaven, 'He will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.' So they answered Jesus and said, 'We do not know.'" - Matthew 21:25-27

The elders knew very well that the baptism of John was from heaven, but if they were to say that then they would be admitting, Jesus is the true Son of God. They were not willing to give up there place in the temple. We also at times do not want to face the truth because there's too many changes we will go through. The authority that Jesus came with is of God and we need to meet His authority, then we can use it for the honor and power of God.

Unbelief Today Is At An All-Time High
People that are busy and successful have no need of a savior. There comfortable and happy, that's the rule of life. The only time you hear the words, "Jesus" is usually when it's in vain. One day Saul of Tarsus met the authority of God. He was thrown off his high horse and blinded for three days. His life of religion or ungodliness came to an abrupt stop. We as believers need to use this authority' don't question it but exercise it. Jesus said:

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." - Mark 16:17, 18

If we can believe the authority of God, ain't no Pharisee gonna stop you. The leaders answered Jesus by saying "I don't know". When we know the Truth and we deny it, we are making a huge mistake.

Who Does Jesus Think He Is?
Thank God I can tell you who He is. HE IS MY SAVIOR, MY FATHER, MY ROCK, HE IS JESUS CHRIST, THE MIGHTY GOD IN CHRIST.

Don't question His authority, just use it for His honor and glory.


Robert Figueroa is the co-executive producer of Inspired Christian.org. With his wife Irma and sister-in-law Beverly Aguilar, they attend the Apostolic Church in East Palo Alto, California. He's happy to receive your email at robertfig@inspiredchristian.org.

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