Tuesday - By Whose Authority?

Read Mark 11:27-33

Just as he had gone to the temple on Sunday and Monday, Tuesday was no different for Jesus. The ruckus he has caused yesterday had left it's mark. Jesus was no longer safe in the city and the opposition from the religious leaders only intensified from this point on.

Mark's Gospel tells us that the day after Jesus purified the temple the religious leaders came and asked him a direct question. They wanted to know where he got the authority to come into the temple and act and teach and work as if it was his dwelling place? They believed they were the authority, they were the gate-keepers of orthodoxy, they were the ones that the people should submit and listen to. And here this man from Galilee comes in proclaiming that it was his Father's house. Where did he get the authority to operate that way?

Mark's account of Jesus' actions demonstrate some ways that we challenge and even reject Jesus' authority in the same manner the religious leaders of his day did.

1. We reject the authority of Christ when we question the source of his authority.

The religious leaders didn't want reality or authenticity. They wanted to see credentials that matched their own. They weren't willing to look at the facts in the eye and see what God had done through Christ all along. They were only focused on their own power and significance over the people. For the religious leaders their doubt wasn't sincere wonder, it was pure cynicism.

We reject his authority over us when we see the reality of who he is and all that he has done and still despise the place he has over us. We reject his rightful authority when we cynically cast doubt on what he has said in his Word, the Scriptures.

2. We reject the authority of Christ when dodge the clarity of his authority.

For the religious leaders it wasn't just about asking the source of Jesus' authority. It wasn't about discovering what gave him the right to cleanse the temple or act on behalf of God. It was a power-play at the corse. So when Jesus asks them in response to identify whether John the Baptist came from God or man (a question they clearly had the answer to) they skirted the whole issue and refused to deal with his questions.

They lived in both fear of man and fear of their own influence and power. Instead of allowing Jesus to drill down into their hearts and heal them of their pride they tried to act ignorant when clearly the facts were right in front of them.

Maybe there is an area of sin in your life that you are concretely aware of. You know that it's rejection of Christ by your persistence in it. However instead of letting the king exert his rightful place you continue to justify and wiggle around the issue so that it's not dealt with. You're rejecting the authority of Christ.

Rejecting Christ is Rejecting His Authority

This whole day was a day spent by religious leaders challenging, demanding, and seeking to discredit Jesus at every turn. They sought to trap and trick him with every question and every plot. They wanted no part of him because they had rejected him completely.

Debate swims around churches today about what place Christ plays in the lives of people who place their trust in him. Is Jesus merely the savior or does he have the rightful claim over our lives as King? The Tuesday of Holy Week is the display of Jesus' authority and the drawing of the line in the sand.

Will we reject the rightful authority over our lives that he has been given and that has been revealed? Or will we humble ourselves and allow the King to show his grace and mercy to us. As Abraham Kuyper said,

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”