What Jesus Did! 'Authority!' — Matthew 21:23-27

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, "By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?"

"I'll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question," Jesus replied. "Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?"

They talked it over among themselves. "If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn't believe John. But if we say it was merely human, we'll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet." So they finally replied, "We don't know."

And Jesus responded, "Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things.

— Matthew 21:23-27 NLT

Key Thought

"By what authority?"

Mmmm ... interesting question, isn't it? By what authority did Jesus do all that he did in his ministry? This is the quintessential question of the Gospel. This is the ultimate question each of us must ask ourself. Did Jesus do what he did based on the authority of God, as God's Son? Or was Jesus just another crackpot, pretend messiah? The way we answer those questions must not leave us in a lukewarm and indecisive place. Either we recognize Jesus as Lord with all authority, or we do not.

Incredibly, the religious and political elite expected the journey through Jesus' crucifixion to be the asserting of their authority over a rebellious peasant. In fact, even the trial scenes reveal that Jesus is the only one through all of it who has true authority. The real question for us is whether we are ready to submit to that authority!

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I believe Jesus has all authority. I want to live more and more each day under that authority, yielding to your will and doing your work in the world. In Jesus' precious and powerful name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 28:18-20
  • Matthew 11:7-11
  • John 19:8-11

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 21:23-27 NLT — "We don't know."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.