In the scripture, there’s a common theme: the authority of Jesus. The word of God is life, power and connected to everything we do. Therefore let’s do everything to receive God’s grace. Everyone may follow the flow of the world, but let’s follow the flow of God’s word. Our lives and everything in the world are temporary, but God called us as more than conquerors. As we talk about Jesus' authority, let’s think about a few things.
First, we need to submit to Jesus’ authority. That’s what it means to live a Christian life. We are so quick to submit to the people around us and our daily lives. When we fly, we trust the pilot. When we go to the doctor, we trust the medical professionals there. In our lives, do we truly trust Christ? Are we under His authority? The scripture is about submitting to the authority of Christ but who is Christ?
“And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard it” (14)
The prophet’s job was relaying God’s word, and turning the people back to God. Jesus is God’s word manifested in flesh. We can see the power of God’s word when Jesus curses the fig tree. The fig tree didn’t have any fruit because it wasn’t in season. Then, why did Jesus curse the fig tree? The fig tree symbolizes Israel. Israel wouldn’t hold on to the covenant, so Jesus curses them. God’s word is fulfilled in Israel. Jesus is exercising his authority as the prophet.
In a way, that fig tree is us. There are leaves but there is no fruit. We have the covenant, but we aren’t living the gospel centered life of completely submitting to God. Are our lives under the authority of God, or under the authority of ourselves and the world? Let’s live under the authority of God, rather than by our own strength.
God had chosen the nation of Israel as his people to fulfill his word. However, even with that great identity, the Israelites continued to lose hold of the covenant. Are we under the authority of God’s word, which says Christ has finished everything on the cross and is with us for all eternity? So many misunderstand God’s word, and try to understand it to their advantage? God’s word must not be diluted but pure and raw. Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Let’s submit to him and his direction for our lives.
We may see ourselves as weak and too lacking to be used by God, but God chose us because he will do his work through us. In the scripture, Jesus spoke about the flow of the world today. Throughout history, everytime people lost hold of the gospel, disaster struck. Today, the gospel is slowly fading away. God wants to restore this world with the gospel of Christ, through those who hold on to his promise of Christ and world evangelism.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33)
How often do I meditate and think of God’s word? How much do I think of God’s word in the problems we face?
“As he passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (20-24)
This is life under the authority of God’s word. When we pray, we receive answers and witness God working in your life. When we submit to the authority of God, the greatest answer we can experience is not just God’s power, but true peace.
2. The Priest
Jesus demonstrates his authority as a priest when he cleanses the temple. The temple was made to worship and pray. There were 3 courtyards: one for gentiles and for children. Businesses went into these courtyards since they were not important to them, and started selling things. So many accept Jesus to get a ticket to heaven, but when we accept Jesus, we are submitting to his authority. The cleansing of the market demonstrates the sanctification Jesus the priest does in our lives, renewing us and making us more like God. We are still imprinted with the standard, culture and nature of the world. We are prone to wander from God. When we submit to the authority of Christ, our priest, God will change us. In the word of God, let’s see the reflection of our spiritual state in the word of God. Let’s submit ourselves to the authority of Christ, our priest, asking him to renew, mold and change us. We constantly try to justify our actions by saying Jesus finished everything, but let’s submit to the authority of Christ.
3. The King
“Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” (29-30)
They know the answer that John’s baptism is from heaven, but if they say it was from heaven, they are acknowledging Jesus is Christ. However, if they say “from man” there would have been a riot, because the people believed John was a prophet. The religious leaders were afraid of people. When we say Jesus is our King, it means even if we have nothing, we can start fresh and anew. God called us and gave us the authority to break down the authority of Satan who is working in our lives.
Faith means submitting to the authority of Christ. It’s not easy to completely submit our lives and let go of control. However, when we submit to God’s authority and allow his plan and our lives to become one, He will work greatly in our lives.
Lord, we submit to your word and authority as my prophet, priest and king. Break down all the disbelief within me.