Wednesday, April 04, 2007

His Final Week on Earth – Questioning Jesus’ Authority

Holy Week is here. We need to focus on the final week of Jesus’ life as we prepare for Easter.

Jesus was very bold. He said things that were not popular. He openly challenged the religious leadership of his day. His first year of public ministry can be referred to as his year of popularity. Thousands would follow him to hear what he had to say. It was a heady time for his disciples. By the third year of his ministry the large crowds were gone. Many had left because of the things that he said and taught.

Things have not changed much in the years since then. Many of the things that he taught do not sit well with people today. He taught that not everyone who called him “Lord” would be allowed into the kingdom of God. He clearly taught that there was one way to God – and he was that way. He had no use for people who would not put him first. He demands that we are to be “holy.” He calls us to love ourselves and to love others as we love ourselves. Some people today love to follow part of Jesus’ teachings and openly choose to ignore his other teachings. There are those who want to change social injustice but refuse to acknowledge that Jesus is the ONLY way to God. There are those who seek to be holy but don’t seem to care about their neighbor or the oppressed. They (we) choose to believe those teachings that resonate with our souls and to ignore those teachings we don’t like.

We question Jesus’ authority today—just like they did back then! How dare Jesus say that he is the ONLY way to God! How dare he say that we should care for the weak and lowly! The religious leaders asked Jesus who gave him the authority to teach what he was teaching. He refused to answer their question. Today we demand to know who gave him the authority to teach what he was teaching. Again, he refuses to answer that question.

Today it is chic to say that many, if not most, of the teachings of Jesus were added in by his followers—that way we have an excuse for not obeying them. Or, we say that his teachings were specific to “that” culture and do not apply to today’s culture. You see, we struggle with Jesus’ authority.

This Holy Week we need to seriously consider who gave Jesus the authority to say and teach the things that he did. His authority is based in his position of being a part of the Triune God or it is base on some other authority. If he is God then we are faced with some critical choices. We either accept his teachings (even if we don’t like all of them) and conform our will to his will or we stop calling our selves a “Christian” and leave the his church.


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