Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
First Thought Series - GA
Luke 20:1-8 (Early this morning)
A young woman took a man to court for stealing her purse. The man denied adamantly to having stolen anything in his life. The Judge asked the young lady what she had in her purse? She replied, my car keys, house keys, my hairbrush, a watch and my money. The defendant interrupts by saying, “There was no money in that purse your honor.”
“The case was closed by the man’s own testimony!
Notice that in the previous verses, these men are the one’s who want to kill Jesus for speaking about the absence of prayer in the temple and the secularization of the church at that time. Jesus called the temple a den of robbers and to them thieves.
They come and asked Jesus, “Tell us by what authority do you do these things?” “Who gave you this authority?”
People in authority recognize authority when they see it being exercised!
As the sun is warm and shines so was Jesus full of authority and power. He could not conduct himself in any other way but in authority. It is like the statement of “God is love.” God is not love because he loves, but God loves because he is Love. Love is his nature!
The case was closed by their own testimony against themselves who wanted to kill Jesus but at the same time they recognized power to do deeds and exercise of uncommon authority.
Criminals are not as smart as they think of themselves even their collective “wisdom” fails them. They are hanging themselves by putting around their necks the rope with their first question, and they kick out the chair from under their feet with their second question.
“Who gave you this authority?”
In the back of their minds there is a “Who” behind the authority of Jesus. This is not a “lapsus linguis” there is no such a thing as the slip of the tongue kin what was asked. It is God’s Sovereignty using the restraining power of sin where by a man cannot be as bad as he would like to be and end up speaking truth that comes out of his mouth reluctantly to his own chagrin.
Like “There was no money in the purse your Honor.”
Who gave it to you?
*It would be so naive for us to reduce the “things Jesus did” to only the driving out of the money exchanger and turn over their tables and as some think Jesus violently using a whip over every ones back. Of course it is undeniable that the actions of Jesus at the temple can trigger the question of these men.
But this question has been on their minds and the mind of many about Jesus’ power and authority. We can remember as early as in John 3 when Nicodemus comes at night and says in his own way what was in the purse of Jesus. Men were robbing Jesus of his glory from the beginning of his public ministry. Leaders were robbing God and robbing other the truth of God on daily basis. For some their world view as they see life could be expressed as; “This is a world of cops and robbers.”
The problem is not robbery in the world. Robbery is as old as walking on foot.
So Nicodemus who is another reluctant witness of the Sovereign Lord admits, “We know that no one can do “these things” unless God is with him.”
Reluctant witnesses who witness about Jesus against their own will are more effective than those who consciously go about to give a well planned three point testimonies.
In the same way untrained and unpaid soldiers who went to arrest Jesus came back empty handed “star stricken” by the authority of Jesus saying: “We have never seen anyone who speaks with such an authority.”
People in general would say about Jesus “He speaks with authority (His purse was full of authority) and not like the Pharisees. (Their purse was empty of authority)”
But authority without power is useless, just as much as power without Authority. What attracted the poor, the blind, the deaf, the leper, the paralytic, the demon possessed, the sinner in general was the power of Jesus to feed, to open the eyes of the blind to clean the leper, to heal the sick and to cast the demons out and the Authority to forgive sinner.
Changed lives were the credential of Jesus’ power and authority!
It is not good little boys and good little girls the only chosen instrument of God testify about Jesus but but sinners. In fact “chief of sinners are better witnesses. Jesus’ diamonds shine better on the velvet black background!
So the question remains. Who gave you this authority!?
Jesus chooses not to answer. But Nicodemus, the soldiers and many people have answered God to these men. “These things” are the deeds of Jesus and deeds speak for themselves. No need for “tautology” in the language of Jesus. That means, no need to say in the predicate what the subject has already spoken clearly.
For example “The Horse is an animal”. No need to say “animal” because the subject already contain the predicate within it self. What else could the horse be?
God repeats himself throughout scripture that is because his people are slow to learn but he does not use insulting “tautology” even though in this case Jesus reciprocates to their question in the same way. Jesus is following the counsel of His own word where he said, “To the devious be shrewd.” I will also ask you a question. Tell me, John’s baptism; was it from Heaven or from men?
It was almost like asking in irony to their purposeful ignorance. For example: What color was the white horse of General Washington? The answer is in the question!
These men rather add a lie to the conversation and said, “We don’t know.” Jesus said: “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do “These things.”
Jesus also had already made up his mind concerning them before the foundation of the world. These “fish” came to live and die by their mouth in the appointed time.
In God’s sovereignty and ever-prevailing will, these men could not but witness of what was in the purse of Jesus. If we don’t testify about Jesus, Jesus will have the rocks testify such as these men with stone hearts.
We too once were enemies of God; let us agree to testify that God was in Jesus and Jesus in us the Hope of Glory.