After spending the night in Bethany, the next day the hungry Messiah cursed a barren fig tree. “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” (Mark 11:14) His stern mood followed Him into Jerusalem where He became indignant because of merchants buying and selling in the temple complex. He overturned their chairs and tables and drove them out. Why was He angry? Perhaps He knew that the violation of His Father’s temple would soon be the violation of Himself. His actions so infuriated the chief priests and the scribes that they started looking for a way to destroy Him.
The following day, again returning from Bethany, the disciples saw that the fig tree Jesus cursed had withered. Jesus turned this into an opportunity to teach them about authority—making bold pronouncements, praying with confidence and forgiving transgressors.
Mark 11:27-30--They came again to Jerusalem. As He was walking in the temple complex, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came and asked Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? Who gave You this authority to do these things?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. Was John’s baptism from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”
When the religious leaders couldn’t answer Jesus’ question He used His authority to deny their authority. Days later when they crucified Him they thought they proved to the world that they were in charge, but even their wicked actions occurred only because God and His submissive Son so planned and permitted. This ought to make us think. How often when we do not like the way life or events are going, do we think or say out loud, “By what authority are You doing these things?” Is it possible that we have set up our own chairs and tables with the wood of barren trees to conduct business that dishonors God? Do we say that He is in charge but live under the mantle of our own religion?
Easter is more than a celebration of victory over death. It is recognition of Who is in charge! It is easy to celebrate Jesus as Savior—it is far more profound to acknowledge Him as Lord. The former gives Him praise but the latter gives Him control. May we live in reverent obedience so the world will see that “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Mark 12:10).
It takes two thoughts to submit to authority. First, authority is from God. To rebel against it is to rebel against God. Second, God wants me to humble myself.—Bill Hull in The Disciple Making Pastor
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)