A.W. Tozer quote, discerning truth, John the Baptist's ministry, last days of Jesus, Like 20:2, obeying God's last revelation, old cross new cross, rejecting Jesus' authority, religious leaders, simple truths before deeper truths, the reason for parables, the Temple
Jesus spent the last week of His life on earth occupying the Temple. He kicked out the money changers and set up shop. Everyday He would teach in the Temple and spend the night at the Mount of Olives. Like the Passover Lamb, the people of Jerusalem could examine Jesus for faults. The religious leaders tried unsuccessfully to entrap Him with trick questions.
During those days of examination, the religious leaders wanted to know, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” (Luke 20:2) By the way, things haven’t changed much in two thousand years. People still ask this same question, except they state it this way… “Who gives you the right to tell me how to act and live.”
How did Jesus answer this type of question? The easy answer would have been… “I am God and what I say goes.” He would have been justified for doing so… but He didn’t choose this avenue. Instead, He brought up John the Baptist’s ministry. At first glance this makes no sense. Why bring up John? He was beheaded by Herod. Jesus did so because it was a question about authority. These leaders were rejecting Jesus’ authority for the same reason they didn’t believe in John’s authority.
Here is the point – If we cannot discern God’s movements in the most basic of ways, what makes us believe we are ready for deeper revelations. The truth is that no one can give another person a revelation beyond what the Lord has already provided. This is why it is impossible to grow, hear, or discern deeper truths without first growing up in simple truths. This issue of authority was something everyone appeared to discern from Jesus’ ministry. All the Gospels recorded how the people marveled at Jesus’ authority. “He spoke as one having authority.” Discerning authority or sensing it….should be an easy task, even for a beginner. When the chief priests and religious leaders continued to challenge Jesus’ authority, He resorted to communicating truths via parables.
I hear these types of statements all the time…”The Bible is too difficult to understand! Why doesn’t God just speak plainly? Why does God use parables?” If our current revelations and truths from God appear to be foggy, it could be we haven’t obeyed His last words to us. This is what Jesus was trying to communicate to the religious leaders. Had they believed in John’s message, they would have believed Jesus’ message. Since they rejected John’s word, He couldn’t help them understand His authority. Jesus told another parable and they shouted at the end….”May it never be!” (Luke 20:16)
When we reject God’s word for us, we enter into a cycle of never being able to understand God’s word. The religious of Jesus’ day actually believed God existed for the sake of Israel, not Israel for God. How do you view the Lord?
- Does God exist to keep the Baptists going or do Baptists exist for God?
- Does God exist to keep the Methodists going or do Methodists exist for God?
- Does God exist to keep the Catholics going or do Catholics exist for God?
Plug your particular denomination in here….. Over 90 percent of Americans claim to believe in God, but what kind of God do they actually trust and know?
For each of us, the day must arrive when Jesus enters our temple and takes over. When we allow Him to do so, everything will change. If you are struggling to get there… reflect upon the Lord’s last words. It could be your obedience is lacking. The Lord can’t deepen His word until you become obedient. Don’t make the mistake of questioning His authority. We are His temple. The Lord doesn’t exist for us, we exist for Him.
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,