Matthew 29:18-20

Read Matthew 29:18-20
Funny thing about authority, we don’t always like it. If you have children, you know what I am talking about. My kids, some more than others, can come up with some pretty creative ways to not do what I say. I remember one day I was finishing some drywall in my house when the doorbell rang. I set the hammer down that I was using and I looked at my son and said, "do not touch that hammer." When I came back, he had punched multiple holes in the wall. When I asked him about it, he said, “I didn’t touch that hammer”, as he pointed to the one I had specifically told him not to touch. Truth be told, he hadn’t touched it, although he had touched another hammer sitting in my tool bucket. Justice was served in the end, I made him sit and watch me fix every hole he had punched in the wall, he was so bored that I felt vindicated! We don’t like authority and we try any way we can to usurp, go around, or just plain not follow authority.
 
When we think about who God is, at some point we have to come face-to-face with the question, “How authoritative is God?” Is he completely authoritative in everything he says and does? Is God only authoritative when it has to do with matters of faith? Maybe God isn’t authoritative at all, maybe we are the ultimate authority in our lives?
 
It sounds good to be the ultimate authority in our lives, but what happens when my rights collide with the well being of someone else? Does another authority get to step in and call the shots? And if that is so, then I am not truly the highest authority in my life-there must be a higher authority. If God is only authoritative in matters of faith and practice then something holds authority over God, maybe science does. Is science, always right? Can science explain the “why” of human existence? What if there is a better way of looking at this idea of authority?
 
Jesus, who is God, sacrificed himself for the sake of those who had rebelled against him time and time again. If we can’t get to God on our own, and our good works can’t measure up enough to earn favor with God, but Jesus’ can, that would pretty much put God in the highest authority in all of heaven and earth. So, out of his authority he asks us to make disciples. In other words, make more followers of Jesus. We do this in two ways: baptizing them and teaching them to obey. We aren’t called to make more disciples of our political parties, or disciples of our favorite sports teams (go Cyclones) or disciples of the latest gym or club. We are called by God’s authority to make disciples of Jesus. And a true disciple of Jesus learns every day to relinquish self to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
 
Questions for reflection:

1.  Why does our culture struggle with authority?
 
2.  What do you need to do to submit to the authority of God? Be baptized?

3.  What are you refusing to obey that God has commanded us to do?
David Flug | Community Life Pastor

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