Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Authority Brings Accountability

Ever been witnessing, proclaiming the good news of Christ to a friend, relative, neighbor or associate and have them respond violently to this claim of Christ as the Son of God? There is a good reason for this response. While the person may not articulate it in this way, it is ultimately a refusal to accept the authority of Christ on their life because of the connected and resultant accountability. They refuse to accept Jesus because He commands their obedience.

Luke 20:1-8 tells about an encounter that Jesus had like this with the "spiritual leaders" of His day. As He was teaching and preaching the gospel, they questioned His authority. In other words, they wondered, "Who does this guy think that he is? He can't tell us that we are wrong! He can't tell us that we are going to hell!" They began to ask Jesus questions about His right to say these things with authority.

The answer to these questions is obvious to us as believers. This issue of "who is Jesus" is the entry point to a relationship of discipleship that many of us have already addressed and settled. These leaders had not settled it! Jesus asks them about John, the Baptizer, and his authority. Jesus was claiming that He and John were on the same team and sent by the same authority. The leaders discussed and reasoned amongst themselves (in a huddle?) their answer to Jesus' pointed questions.

Their discussions revealed that they were more concerned about being stoned than getting the right answer. Their fear of men controlled their thinking. They were lost in their sin. They couldn't see past their own security and position. They refused to bend to a higher authority and become accountable to God (as Jesus and John had done). The threat of dying for what they believed (that John was a man on his own agenda) drove them to give an angry non-answer. They tried to refuse submitting to God's/Jesus's authority (a futile effort).

Jesus is the exact bodily representative of the Father, obediently doing the Father's business with all of the Father's authority and power. We must acknowledge and submit to the authority of God in our lives. Our lost friends need to hear and believe these truths too -- else they too will perish.

I am committed to following Christ's example,
to submitting to the authority that He has,
to obeying what He has instructed me to do,
to teaching the truth,
to preaching the good news,
to being accountable for my actions to One who higher than I.
To Him be all the glory,