Saturday, December 6, 2008
Daily Bible Reading: Mark 11:27-33 Christian Authority
Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?" Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me." They argued with one another, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?" -- they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
Comments: All too often I am confronted with problems of authority in matters of faith. Even Jesus was confronted with those who questioned how he could say the things that he said about God. The author of my faith relationship with God is God. No one has greater authority in my life. Those who need footnotes to their faith have not "got it." The have not had that encounter with the Divine that makes all other authority pale.
I am told in the Church that scripture is the authority, or the teachings of the Church, or perhaps a specific “orthodox” teaching is the authority. But when all is said and done, it is the relationship with God that the faithful must turn to as the final say in matters of faith. This means that others are going to hear God much differently than I. I need to be willing to trust the relationship with God that others have that guides them because ultimately it is by their fruits that they are known. It is by the fruits of my living that my faith is known. God’s authority must show forth in my life if I am going to have any authority to my preaching or teaching.