TRUST: Jesus’ Authority


TRUST has been the theme of what I have written about all year. Today is no different. When people think about TRUST, it is a matter of whether the person does what he/she says he/she will do as well as does the person have the authority/power to do what he/she says will be done. We project that same mindset on religious beliefs. Despite that, we must TRUST: Jesus’ Authority.

 

TRUST: Jesus’ Authority was a matter that came up over and over again in Jesus ministry. In fact, it was the pivotal point among the believers in Christ as Messiah and those who rejected Him as Messiah. Today, it is still the dividing line among people. From issues on race, politics, marriage and the like, the primary position is where people stand on accepting or rejecting Jesus’ Authority on those matters.

Remember, the same people who shouted Hosanna were some of the same people who shouted crucify Him. There position on TRUST: Jesus’ Authority changed resulting in them rejecting Jesus. Make no mistake, I am not talking about how men and women who claim to act in the name of God but fall far short Jesus’ Words and example. I am talking about how we respond to Jesus’ Authority in our own lives. As we see in Mark 11, it was in question then too.

Mark 11

27 They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28 “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

29 Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

31 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

TRUST: Jesus’ Authority. The religious leaders of that day were looking for distractions, but Jesus was looking for disciples or followers of the good news He was sharing. The leaders asked “By what authority are you doing these things?” What things? In this instance, the immediate thing that Jesus had done was to reestablish the purpose of the temple i.e. the worship center. He had entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. After that, He began teaching about the true purpose of the temple. In teaching the people, Jesus conveyed on whose authority He was doing those things. 

While Jesus did not give them a direct answer because they already had surmised on whose authority He was acting, Jesus, by His divine response, again demonstrated on whose authority He was acting – His Own or God Almighty’s. This leads me to at least make an effort to TRUST: Jesus’ Authority. I believe in Jesus’ authority. In the gospels, Jesus raised the issue with the twelve. Listen to the dialogue between Jesus and the twelve in Mark 8.

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus had already addressed the issue of TRUST: Jesus’ Authority with the twelve. For present followers of Jesus, you should have already accepted Jesus’ authority on matters outlined in His Word and in your own personal life. After all, a relationship with Jesus is a personal relationship. If you claim that Jesus is Lord of your life, He will certainly demand that place in your life. Our lives are a series of Moments of Faith where we must demonstrate faith in Christ’s authority by TRUSTing Him through obedience.

For those who question TRUST: Jesus’ Authority, I want to submit some points by Hank Hanegraaf aka The Bible Answer Man. I have attached the article to which the points below are taken. Other readings and study can be found at the site. TRUST: Jesus’ Authority

Hank Hanegraaf wrote, “When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples the mother of all questions, “Who do you say I am?” (Matt.16:15; Mark8:29; Luke9:20). Mormons answer this question by saying that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer; Jehovah’s Witnesses answer by saying that Jesus is the archangel Michael; New Agers say Jesus is an avatar or enlightened messenger. Jesus, however, answered by claiming that He was God…Jesus claimed to be the unique Son of God. As a result, the Jewish leaders tried to kill Him because in “calling God his own Father, [Jesus was] making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). In John 8:58 Jesus went so far as to use the very words by which God revealed Himself to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).

On yet another occasion, Jesus explicitly told the Jews: “‘I and the Father are one.’ Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God’” (John 10:30–33). Jesus made an unmistakable claim to deity before the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin. Caiaphas the high priest asked Him: “‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus. ‘And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven’” (Mark 14:61–62).

Finally, Jesus claimed to possess the very attributes of God. For example, He claimed omniscience by telling Peter, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times” (Matt.26:34); declared omnipotence by not only resurrecting Lazarus (John 11:43) but by raising Himself from the dead (John 2:19); and professed omnipresence by promising that He would be with His disciples “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Not only so, but Jesus said to the paralytic in Luke 5:20, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” In doing so, He claimed a prerogative reserved for God alone. In addition, when Thomas worshiped Jesus saying “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28), Jesus responded with commendation rather than condemnation.

With all of that, God gives all of us a choice. I urge you to TRUST: Jesus’ Authority. 

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