By David Martz
Today's Scripture: Luke 20:1-8
Central Thought: Real authority comes from God through His word. Submission to God comes through the help of the Holy Spirit.
A young child was once told by his parents to sit down in a chair. His obstinate reply was, 'I'll sit down, but inside I am standing up!” Of course, the rest of us may have never experienced this level of rebellion. The question is, did his parents really exercise authority over the child? The answer is yes, they exercised external authority, but no, they didn't exercise inward authority. This distinction is very real.
The Kingdom of God is all about God's exercising His authority (will) in the hearts and minds of willing believers. The authority the law exercised on the priests, scribes, and lawyers was external, not internal. They acted outwardly but stood up on the inside like the little boy. When the chief priests and teachers of the law asked Jesus about the source of His authority, He responded with a question about John the Baptist's authority. Real authority comes from heaven (God), not man; however, the issue wasn't really authority, but submission to God's authority. If only the religious leaders had obeyed from the heart the law and the prophets.
Other aspects of authority have to do with 'absolute” and 'unconditional” power, accountability of the universe to God, and God's sovereignty, which all focus on Jesus Christ who was God incarnate. Simply put, the religious leaders had no idea what they were saying or with whom they were talking. They could not comprehend the true concept of authority or submission, because they were not subject to anyone but themselves and their own interests.
Who is your Lord? Who makes it possible for you to be obedient inwardly and outwardly? God commands us to love Him with all of our hearts, souls, and minds—but along with this command He promises us the help of the Holy Spirit. By what authority do we live and serve Christ? By the authority of God's word with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to obey You from the heart. Be the Lord of all of my life. Teach me how to submit to Your perfect will for my life. In Jesus' Name, amen.
Today's Bible Reading: Joshua 21:1-22:20; Luke 20:1-26; Psalm 89:1-13; Proverbs 13:15-16