Vs 1 … the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to Jesus , “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.”
Vs 19 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on Jesus at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.
Vs 23 Jesus perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.
Vs 45 And in the hearing of all the people Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
This is a chapter all about authority and power.
Authority granted and authority abused, power on display and power invisible
The authority and power of …
religious leaders … and Jesus … and the people … and even of Caesar.
The religious leaders were constantly scheming and questioning Jesus to try to trap Him.
Jesus knew them and knew when to answer and when not to answer.
(Authority engaged and authority restrained.)
Jesus saw the religious leaders’ hearts and those who loved the public adulation of the people …
and their supposed honor but actually feared the people more than they feared God.
(Tragically, giving more “power” to the people than even to God!)
How the different authority was displayed could not be more different …
Of the religious leaders: “they were not able in the presence of the people to catch Jesus … they became silent.”
Of Jesus: “in the hearing of all the people Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Beware of the scribes …’.”
The religious leaders are described and priests, scribes, and elders.
They are people who are supposed to be saturated with the “Word of God”.
But they are actually saturated with the “fear of man” … and their own ego.
They use their position of power with a false sense of sincerity … and abuse authority.
Rather than share how good God is, they are trying show how bad Jesus is.
What is my priority? How do I use whatever “position” or “authority” I have?
Do I see it as a gift to steward? … Or as a role I’m entitled to?
Do I use whatever authority I have to show the “goodness of God” or the “badness of others”?
What is my inclination? … Lift myself or lift Jesus?
If it is not to lift Jesus and point to Jesus and to show the wonder of Jesus …
I will not receive “greatness” … I will “receive the greater condemnation”.
Help me God to see your goodness every day
Help me show it to others, as well
Forgive me when I am consumed with self
Holy Spirit, show me who to “beware of” … especially myself
Holy Spirit, show me who to “marvel at” … You!
In Jesus name,