Authority – Good News for December 14

14 12 2009

Matthew 21:23-27

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?”

Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”

He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Daily Path: “By what authority are you doing these things?”

Have you ever assumed the authority to judge the actions of someone else? The key word being assumed.

In the business world I have used the authority granted me by the company to assess performance. I’d like to think that in most cases I did not exceed or falsely assume authority in performing my role. However, there have been times in my life when I have falsely assumed authority and judged another when I had no authority to do so.

At some point each of us fall into the trap of false authority. We assume the position of “elder” just as we read about in today’s Gospel. With this false sense of entitlement we go about criticizing our neighbor or casting a shadow on something they have done. At times we plot the course of our false authority in order to get our way… with no regard for the impact of our actions.

But in the aftermath of our plotting, do we look back at the destruction that lays in our wake?

Room to Chat: Lord, clear my vision so that I may see only You as the source of true authority. During this season of Advent, lead me away from the elders who would destroy the truth within me. Fill my heart with your warmth so that I may act with the true authority of your love.

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One response

15 12 2009
Jim Thornber

Someone once said we don’t have the equipment to judge someone until we have the commitment to die for them. That’ll preach!

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