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Daily Devotions

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By Whose Authority Do We Live

Posted: Thursday, April 20

Pastor Ken Beach // Creative Arts &amp; Executive Pastor

Pastor Ken Beach // Creative Arts & Executive Pastor

One Year Bible Reading Guide

Joshua 21:1-22:20
Luke 20:1-26
Psalm 89:1-13
Proverbs 13:15-16

Verse of the day:  

One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 2 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?” (Luke 20: 1)

The Chief Priests were on their home turf at the temple in Jerusalem, and Jesus, knowing that he had the authority, just walk right in and started teaching. Standing before them was a man who exercised authority over demonic powers, exercised authority over diseases and who had even exercised authority over death itself. Coupled with His radical and dramatic teaching style, this man Jesus was exercising an authority that was both baffling and frightening to the religious leaders. Jesus had come into their world, into their realm of life, and they felt they had to confront him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” Jesus did not give them a straight answer. He left it for them to figure out on their own. Here is how He responded:

3 “Let me ask you a question first,” he replied. 4 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”

5 They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. 6 But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” 7 So they finally replied that they didn’t know.

8 And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”


Jesus always met their hypocrisy head on. He didn’t answer to them—He answered to His Father in Heaven. 


Today, this dramatic and revolutionary Jesus comes onto our home turf still teaching and still acting with great authority. As we struggle to come to grips with who he might be to us, and what that means in our search for a full, meaningful life, everyone has to ask the same authority question, “By what authority?” Jesus answers the question for us throughout scripture. Now each of us has to answer it for ourselves. For as with all authority, once we recognize the authority given to Him by God, then we are to ask another question of ourselves—will we submit to that authority? When we do, life takes on a deeper, fuller and healthier meaning. We no longer have to figure things out on our own—He is there to help us make the right decisions.