Bible Study Lesson of Matthew 21:23-27
But what about us?
Do we sometimes challenge the authority of God?
Chief Priests and Elders Question the Authority of Jesus
Have you ever thought about what gives a person authority?
The chief priests and elders did not realize who Jesus was so questioned his authority in Matthew.
In our world, as it was in the time of Jesus, people see authority as being of this world such as managing a company or becoming a leader of a nation. But, this passage from Matthew gives a different definition.
The Authority of Christ
When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?”
Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.
The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?”
And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet.”
And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.” He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. – Matthew 21:23-27 NASB
Position Equals Authority?
It’s true that people in powerful positions have some authority as did the religious leaders who questioned Christ.
The power of Jesus did not come from a worldly appointment nor was he a symbol of status as seen in the first paragraph.
Getting back to the story at hand – Jesus could give one of two answers to the Pharisees when they implored him to tell where his authority came from.
1. From God – This would be a sure sign of blasphemy and it was not yet time for him to complete his purpose on earth.
2. On His Own – If Christ answered this way the crowds would assume that the religious leaders had more authority than God.
So, as it happened many times before, Jesus answered their question with a question they could not answer without trapping themselves.
Why Did They Ask?
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0849922402″ locale=”US” src=”https://makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/417S9tAXvL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”98″]Jesus knew they didn’t really want their question answered. They only wanted to entrap him which we will see all through the Bible.
Their efforts to catch Christ off guard never seemed to work, did they?
Love in Christ
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