Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Authority Of God

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

While preparing for today’s teaching, I decided to do a simple word study on “washing,” as in preparing to be in the presence of pure holiness. There is no such thing as a simple word study of the scriptures. The study took me to nearly every book of the Bible. I had my work cut out to pare the references down to just a few needed to make a point from God’s Word.

From Aaron’s priestly sons being washed in the bronze laver (Ex. 40:12), to Naaman having to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times (2King 5:14), washing to be touched by the Lord’s healing seems to be an essential step. And then, the premise moves from acknowledging the outward dirt of the streets and the world, to the inward dirt of sin in our inner being, and then, on to confession.

In our study today, the Temple Leaders question Jesus about His authority to perform miracles, to touch and to change people’s lives forever. They wondered who gave Jesus this authority? But as when Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus in John 3 about being born again, Jesus had to confront him with a truth: (John 3:10...) Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” If it was me, I would have been astounded by the ignorance of this “Master of Israel.” As a teacher at the Jerusalem Temple, and an interpretor of God’s Word for the people, he was apparently totally unqualified to do so.

But in Nicodemus’ defense, his duties were taught to him by others just like himself. It reminds me of an old song by former pop singer Carly Simon in the 1970's. The Temple Leadership’s role had been reduced to being in all the right places, at all the right times; to be seen by the hoi polloi, hold them in awe, and to be reverenced by the masses.

This was hardly the role of the servant-King that Jesus presented to them. And He rightfully rebuffed them when they questioned His authority. Masters of the sacred scriptures? They should have known their scriptures better.
You walked in... to the party... like you were walking onto a yacht.
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye; your scarf, it was apricot.
You had one eye on the mirror, as you watched yourself gavotte...”
“You’re So Vain” - Carly Simon - 1972

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