Thursday, April 5, 2012

By God's Authority!


Matthew 21:23-32

The chief priests and elders confronted Jesus in the temple and questioned Him about His authority. – “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”

Jesus told them that He would answer their question if they first answered His question.

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His question was about the ministry of John the Baptist. – “John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They refused to answer Jesus.

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They knew that if they acknowledged that John’s ministry was from God, Jesus would ask them why they had refused to believe him.

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John had pointed the people to Jesus.

He had told them that Jesus was the promised Savior.

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The chief priests and elders knew that if they denied the validity of John’s ministry, they would incur the wrath of the people who acknowledged John as a prophet.

They refused to answer Jesus’ question.

So Jesus refused to answer their question.

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Jesus then told them a parable of 2 sons.

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The father told his 2 sons to work in his vineyard.

The first refused.

But later he put matters right with his father, and went to work in the vineyard.

The second appeared to obey his father, but failed to do so.

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Jesus asked the chief priests and elders, “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

They answered correctly, “The first.”

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Jesus then took up His question about John that they had refused to answer.

He told them that the tax collectors and the prostitutes were entering the kingdom of God before them, because they believed John the Baptist. They were like the first son!

But those who had plenty of outward religion were like the second son. They did not believe John the Baptist, and they refused to repent of their sin!

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How about us?

Are we like the first son, or the second son?

Do we gladly submit ourselves to the authority of the Lord Jesus over our lives?

Or are we just outwardly religious and lost?