3.03.15 "Confident Authority!"

We pray in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit! Thank you, God in heaven, for the gift of a new day. This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it! Even though I am unworthy, you chose to love me from the beginning of time and when the time was right, you chose to send your son, Jesus, to live a perfect life, suffer, die and rise again – all for me. I ask that you give me the Joy of your salvation and the Peace that passes all understanding. As I meditate on your words, please speak to me and guide. And as I live out this day, may I place myself under your authority and willingly carry out the mission you have for me.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen!

Luke 20:1-8

One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”

He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”

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

Authority. As one who served in the military for about twenty years, I have interacted with all sorts of people who had authority. From generals to colonels to lieutenants to senior non-commissioned officers right down to the private first class who “outranked” a fellow soldier by virtue of having one more month of service. Sayings like “Rank has its privileges” come to mind. I’ve seen all kinds: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

I love the way Jesus handles his authority. He is confident. He knows where his authority comes from; he knows where he came from and where he is going. He is concerned. He spent his entire time of ministry on this earth reaching out to the lost, the broken, the sick and the wounded. And he is calm. No need to raise his voice, pound on the table, or stand on a chair. He doesn’t need to do that to get his point across.

Jesus is the kind of leader we all want to follow. He is the kind of authority figure we all respect. As you go about your day today, think of submitting your will to His will, of surrendering your thoughts to His thoughts, and of picturing yourself, broken and humble, kneeling at the foot of the cross.

May God grant this for Jesus’ sake,

Mark