Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021
The world beckons us to be many things but one thing it does not call us to be is Christian – to live in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. Living that way, though it comes with challenges and missteps, often means doing the opposite of what we see glorified in popular culture today. When we do live in this way, we will sometimes be called out, embarrassed, shamed, or demanded that we explain the reasons we live as we do. Jesus faced this type of constant public challenge by those in power in his day. In Matthew, he is asked by the chief priests and elders, “Who gave you [your] authority?” Essentially, saying, “Who do you think you are going against the things we say?” After turning their question back on them, and the chief priests being unable to answer, Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Jesus knew he was justified by the mere fact that he was the Son of God and he was fulfilling his Father’s mission on earth. He needed not explain something to these people that they would not believe nor understand. We face the same questions from the world and popular culture today – “Who do you think you are not living in the same way as those under our influence?” We all often feel compelled to explain ourselves, or give an account as to why we believe what we believe. But there are times in life when standing firm, refusing to play the game of the enemy, and just trusting that God is with you, is the right answer to the world calling us out on account of our faith. We, too, are justified because we are children of God working to fulfill our Father’s mission for us on earth. Today, if you feel pressured to give an account or explain why you believe and live as you do, know that we are not justified in our Father’s eyes by what others think about us – we are justified in His eyes because of what Jesus did for us.
“Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”
Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”
Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” – Matthew 21:23-27