The Invitation - Day 15

Luke 20:1-2

1 One day, as he [Jesus] was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2 “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”

Occasionally, as little kids, arguments would devolve past any point of logic, and someone would blurt out, “You’re not the boss of me.” This is the ultimate end to a contest of wills as you feel power slip through your metaphorical fingers.

As we enter the 20th chapter of Luke, things are coming to a head. For quite some time, religious leaders have been overwhelmed with worry and fear generated by the popularity, teachings, and healing of Jesus. He is a threat to their way of life. To make matters worse, chapter 19 concludes with an outright attack on the authority of the religious establishment as Jesus tosses tables and scatters the sales booths standing in the way of worshipping God in the temple.

These leaders would end Jesus’ life if they could get away with it. So they probe and provoke. They spy and lay traps. But Jesus is too wily for them. Then, they ask the pivotal question, “Who gave you this authority?”

Indeed, the question of authority is at the heart of spirituality. Authority and appropriate submission are the themes of this entire chapter. So let me ask, “Who IS the boss of you?” 

The chief priests feared the presence of Jesus would downgrade their control. And they are correct. We should always suspect a power grab when someone complains of too much Jesus. Be forewarned, Jesus comes to bring a sword to our self-serving ways (Matthew 10:34) and a cross to our narcissistic religiosity (v 38). 

Jesus is the origin of our faith, the reason for our hope. He is the author of salvation, the picture of the Father, the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Resurrection, the Beginning and the End of all things. He IS authority.

Who gave Him this authority? The Father and the Spirit… also He (Jesus) did. It was always His. It will always be His. Paul desperately attempts an explanation in Colossians 1:15-20:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things; in him, all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
But there is this one strange detail to Jesus’ authority. He gently asks you to submit to it by your own choice. Rather than forcing His way into your heart, He waits to be invited inside, respectful and honoring to a fault. Make no mistake, He has authority. But He is also the peacemaker, the reconciler, and the one who climbs a cross to save you, to bring you home. 
If you haven’t already, consider giving Him authority over your life. 
  1. On a scale of 1-10, how stubborn are you? Are there specific kinds of situations that bring your stubbornness out? 
  2. Have you ever heard someone suggest there is more to your salvation than Jesus? How do you feel about that?
  3. Would you like to invite Jesus to have authority over your life? If so, write your request in a prayer to Him now.

By Pastor Dave Ferguson

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