Question Authority

In Matthew 21 there is an interesting encounter between the religious leaders and Jesus. The leaders ask Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things and who gave you this authority?” Jesus doesn’t answer their question but asks them a question. You can read the discussion in verses 23-27 but the condensed version is that the religious leaders don’t answer Jesus’ question because they fear the reaction to their response. Jesus was going to tell them the answer to their question but because He knew they weren’t really interested in the answer; that Jesus’ answer wasn’t going to make any difference in how they responded to Him, Jesus attempted to use this as a teaching moment for the religious leaders.

The phrase “question authority” was very popular a number of years ago as sort of a phrase of protest. I don’t think there is anything wrong with questioning authority so long as you get your answer and adjust from there. However, in this case, they weren’t really interested in the answer to their question…it wasn’t really a question at all. They already had their mind made up. When you and I question authority, especially as it relates to God, let’s do so with an open mind and then adjust when God gives us the answer.  Questioning authority is great when we are looking for an answer but not when we are looking for a fight.


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