Sunday August 9, 2009 | Dwayne Polk
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.”
At one point in Jesus’ ministry, priests and teachers of the law questioned Jesus about his authority. They asked him by whose authority he taught the gospel and did the miracles. Rather than answering their question, Jesus returned a question.
Dwayne Polk’s message focused on the ideas of authority and identity. At one point in Jesus’ ministry, priests and teachers of the law questioned Jesus about his authority. They asked him by whose authority he taught the gospel and did the miracles. Rather than answering their question, Jesus returned a question. He asked them about John’s baptism and whether it was from heaven or from men.
The priests and teachers refused to answer what they actually believed (that it was “from men”) because they could see it would expose them to danger. The irony in this is that they revealed the limits of their own authority by refusing to answer honestly. If they had enough authority to question Jesus, surely they should have had enough authority to correct the people about John. Furthermore, since John baptized Jesus, establishing John’s authority also establishes Jesus’.
Dwayne expanded on this and applied it to our lives as children of God. We too have a calling, a ministry and the authority to do what God has called us to do. If and when others question us we need not appeal to various degrees or accomplishments but simply rest secure in the knowledge that we are, in fact, children of God simply doing as we are called to do. Ultimately, we answer to God alone for how we use the time and resources we have been given.