Joe Slater – Via Bulletin Gold
Jesus respected the question of authority. On the morning after
He drove the merchants and money changers out of the temple,
the Sanhedrin demanded to know, “By what authority are you
doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”
(Luke 20:2). They viewed the temple as their own domain, and
they certainly hadn’t given Jesus permission to teach there, much
less to regulate what occurred on temple grounds. After all, He
had not graduated from rabbinical school, so they viewed Him as
Jesus didn’t deny the need for authority, but neither did He
accept their demand for human approval. In an absolutely
brilliant maneuver, Jesus changed the focus to divine authority
and the Sanhedrin’s total lack of fitness to judge His credentials.
He asked a simple multiple-choice question: “The baptism of
John – was it from heaven or from men?” (Luke 20:4).
The Sanhedrin certainly hadn’t approved John’s work. He had
rebuked some of them, calling them a generation of vipers!
(Matthew 3:7). The people, however, correctly counted John to
be a prophet (thus having authority from God in heaven), Since
the Sanhedrin feared the people, they refused to state their true
convictions that John’s authority was from men, that is, he was
acting on his own. Instead, they claimed not to know, thereby
confessing themselves unfit to judge Jesus’ source of authority.
We should follow Jesus’ example of asking not for human
authority, but for divine authority. Every teaching and practice
should be put to the test: “Is this from heaven or from men?” Let
us teach and do what God authorizes in His word while rejecting
all that lacks divine sanction!