Matthew 21:23–27 (ESV)
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where
did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say,
‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority
I do these things.
When His opponents challenge the source of His authority, Jesus exhibits a wisdom that powerfully attests to His status as one sent
by God. Like Jesus’ opponents, we sometimes challenge the Lord’s authority and attempt to stand in judgment of Him. But God rightly judges us, not vice versa. Jesus willingly submitted to the authority of those who falsely accused Him and unjustly
condemned Him to death. By His death, He won our salvation.
I pray: Give
us grace always to submit to Your authority, O Lord, for it comes from heaven and so can lead us there, where we will reign with You forever. Amen.
A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1629.