“By What Authority”
Sometimes, O God, the challenging of authority is right and necessary, although we recognize that such challenges must be mounted judiciously.
Give us grace, though, not to be so arrogant as to challenge the authority of Jesus; lead us rather to submit to his authority over our lives.
In our submission, though, lead us to do the hard and daily work of trying to ascertain his way for us and then to live in that way with much commitment and with great joy.
Grant that our acceptance of Jesus’ authority will show itself in our lifestyle as well as in our words.
“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?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” (Matthew 21:23-27)