And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
Just imagine being a religious leader in the time of Jesus. You have studied the law, you have reached the high position of chief priest or elder and you have built up a certain reputation. This status gives you the authority to teach and guide the people – it gives you power over those people. Suddenly there is a man who does not seem impressed with everything you’ve worked so hard for. He chases all the sellers out of the temple and allows little children to call Him the Son of David. He heals the sick and right now He is teaching and the eyes of the people are riveted on him. Just who does He think He is? From whom does He think did He get the authority?
Jesus was not intimidated by His opponents. He outsmarted the religious leaders of His day by trapping them with their own words: From where did the baptism of John come? They can’t answer this question because either way, they will be in trouble. There is just one reaction that would have made sense: acknowledging that Jesus is indeed the Son of God!
Never think you need to apologize for being on Jesus’ side.
Jesus’ authority to cleanse the temple, heal the sick and teach from the Word, came from God. Likewise, when we follow in the footsteps of Jesus we do this by the authority that comes from God. It is not easy to be a witness. Maybe in your country you’re not allowed to even speak Jesus’ name. Or maybe you are, but people are indifferent and cold. However, never think that what you are saying or acting out is not worth being told or done. Never think you need to apologize for being on Jesus’ side. Your words and deeds have authority – given to you by God Himself! Let Jesus be the center of your life. If you do that, you can live with your head held high, with your back straight.
Read: Matthew 21:23-27
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