“By what authority are you doing these things?”
In our Bible story this week, the chief priests and elders are questioning Jesus’ authority. They don’t want to listen to Jesus or follow Him. That’s actually a common complaint of many people today. Why should I care about someone who lived so long ago? How can I relate to Him? What’s the point? When I first glanced at this story, it seemed like these questions came from people who just didn't get it. However, in some ways, I really respect the people who ask these questions. Unless we honestly ask the hard questions, it’s easy to wind up just following blindly, and that can lead us to hypocrisy. It becomes easy to simply say the “right” thing; condemn the “wrong” people, and never ask why we’re doing what we’re doing...
So, why do we follow Jesus? Are we following Jesus? I know if I really let this question sink in, I realize that I’m following a lot besides Christ. We chase after money, health, possessions, etc... In Matthew chapter 21, the chief priests didn't realize they were caught up chasing after their own glory. They thought they were following the Bible, but in reality, they were just hypocrites… Could it be that many of us are in the same boat? I say I am a Christian, but do I really think about what that means? I think this story was written to help us ask those hard questions. What are we following? What really brings life to the world, and what is truly important?