Jesus made outrageous claims to authority, not the least of which was being able to forgive sins.1 Tuesday finds the enemies of Jesus attempting to undermine these authority claims, in effect, asking, “Who do you think you are?”2 Over the course of the day, Jesus will respond in three ways, spanning out a defense of his authority over three significant moments in human history, one past, two still to come.
- The Past - Jesus provides a sly response, answering his adversaries’ question with another question. What about John the Baptist’s testimony, was it legitimate or not. The chief priests and elders were in a bind. They could not undermine John’s ministry because the people believed it. But if they affirmed John’s ministry then they would, in turn, affirm Jesus’s authority. Aside from skillful debate, Jesus is asserting something important. John stood as the last in a long line of prophets who testified to the coming Messiah, this Jesus, the Christ. The prophets who came before Jesus all affirmed his authority, pointing to him.3
- The End - On that Tuesday Jesus also taught about coming war and the end of all things.4 He explained that the temple would lie in rubble5 and spoke of signs that would accompany the end of the world. By doing so, Jesus positioned himself not only as a “good teacher,” but as the one who not only knew what would happen in the end but the one who would sit in judgment at the end.
- The Reckoning - Jesus also told a parable that Tuesday, a parable about wicked tenants who rebelled against their land owner mistreating and killing those sent to call them to account. The parable was obviously about all those who deny the authority of Jesus, especially those who attempt to exercise leadership over God’s people while denying Jesus’s power.
In all there of these teaching moments Jesus asserts his authority as Almighty God, the Messiah. He is truly the alpha and omega6, the beginning and the end, the one through him, for whom, and to whom all things were created.7
Who does Jesus think he is? God, of course.
- Does the way you live your life show that you believe in the absolute authority of Jesus?
- Think for a moment about when you are weighed down with your sin, looking to God for mercy and forgiveness. What encouragement is there in those moments in the authority of Jesus? Read Matthew 11:28-30.
- If Jesus is returning soon, what motivation does that give you to share your faith with others?
- What do you need to do to ensure that you will be with us this Sunday at 10:30 am at Culpeper Christian School? Who will you bring with you?