Authority and Responsibility
Monday, March 12, 2018
Mark 11: 27-33: And they [Jesus and the disciples] came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes came again to Him, and the said to Him, "By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?" Jesus said 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." And they discussed it with one another, saying, "If we say 'From heaven,' He will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But shall we say, 'From man'?" - they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
"Who gave to you the right...?" is a common question that is, as we can see, very old. The Pharisees and Scribes were the leaders of the people of Israel. They thought that they were "in charge." So when they questioned Jesus as to who gave Him the authority to teach, preach, heal, do miracles, and even raise people from death, Jesus threw their "authority" right back at them. The question was, "Who gave the right to John to baptize? God or people?" Their politically correct answer of "We do not know" showed that they didn't want to take responsibility with the authority they did have.
Now let's move forward in time to today. The question can be, and is being, posed to us as Christians. "Who gave us the authority to tell people that they're sinners who need to repent? Who gave us the authority to proclaim the Gospel of salvation and life that comes from Jesus alone? Who gave us the authority as well as the responsibility to carry out the mission of Jesus of making disciples?" Our authority is constantly being attacked. "Who told you that you can tell my son about Jesus?" "Who gave you the right to publicly broadcast your message of hope in Christ above all else?"
I'll tell you who. JESUS DID. Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man, told me to "make disciples." Jesus, my Savior and my Lord, gave to me the authority to do the things that need to be done AND the responsibility to do it. Throughout the Word of God, God continues to equip the faith of His people, encourage His people with hope and promise of new life today and forever, and to engage His people with love and mercy with the responsibility to take action. We have the authority through the infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God. Let us be responsible and fulfill His Will for the world. Holy Spirit, be with us always, Amen.
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Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.