“When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’” vs. 23
The question of authority was huge for the chief priests and the elders and they had a right to grill Jesus about his credentials. He was speaking boldly about the kingdom of God and they were wondering whether his assertions could be trusted. In the same way, some of us regularly question teachings that we hear from religious leaders. Often they have a wide audience, either through television, blogs, or social media, and claim special insights about obscure scripture passages…some even make bold predictions about the future. Others cherry-pick verses at random and imply that God wants all of us to be prosperous…and then back it up with lifestyles that bring them to the level of the Hollywood elite. We have a right to wonder about such “profits”! Are they just making stuff up or do they have a special link to God? The truth is that a whole bunch of the religious talk that we hear even in our congregations is of human origin…and that can make it especially hard to hear an authentic word of the Lord. The best rule of thumb is to consider whether we’re hearing a message of grace, love, and mercy. Anything consistent with those themes is surely from the mouth of God! Anything else, however good it might sound, comes straight from the human heart!
Thought for the Day: Where do I hear authentic words from the Lord?