By What Authority? (Some Thoughts on Luke 20)

Whenever we think that we are being challenged or threatened, our first inclination is to find out by what authority is such coming at us. This is exactly how the chief priests, scribes, elders, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. responded to Jesus. If anyone in the first century should have recognized who He was, it was this particular group. They were the ones who knew the scriptures. They were the ones who knew better. Yet, for most of them, their initial reaction to Jesus was…

Luke 20:2 (HCSB)
“Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Who is it who gave You this authority?”

This group was more concerned about maintaining their own authority, rather than recognizing the capital “A” Authority who was before them.

The Age to Come

In the age to come, everything will change. Whatever authority we each individually have now will no longer be. The same even goes for our marriages (as in verses 27-40 of chapter 20 in Luke). The only authority or status which will not change in the age to come, is the believer’s current priestly status. We (Christians) are a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:5-10), called to resemble, imitate or image Christ (Romans 8:29) in whatever age we might find ourselves in (Philippians 1:21-24). Our goal should be the same as the one that Paul had expressed when he wrote to the church in Philippi…

Philippians 3:10-11 (HCSB)
My goal is to know Him [Christ] and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.

The goal now for us should not be about defending whatever authority we might have in this age, but to be ever concerned about knowing Christ… so that we can not only live forever in the age to come, but so that we can know Him now, as “children of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:36)


Here is the advice that Jesus gave to His disciples at the conclusion of Luke chapter 20…

Luke 20:45-47 (HCSB)
While all the people were listening, He said to His disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive greater punishment.”

May we also, “Beware…”

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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