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Daily Reading: Exodus 13:17-15:18 ESV, Matthew 21:23-46 ESV, Psalm 26:1-12 ESV, Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV

Daily Verse: “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?” (Matthew 21:23 ESV)

EXOUSIA (1849): “From the meaning of “leave or permission,” or liberty of doing as one pleases, it passed to that of the “the ability or strength with which one is endued,” then to that of the power of authority,” the right to exercise power.”[I]

God gives authority.

Jewish leaders at the temple challenge Jesus’s authority about God.  The day before this encounter, Jesus rid the temple of money changers conducting business within its walls.  Appalled, the chief priests and elders want to know who gave Jesus the right to exercise such power.

Brilliantly, Jesus answers the question with a question.  Instead of thinking for the religious leaders, Jesus allowed them to think for themselves.  When faced with the dilemma of who gave John authority to baptize, heaven or man, the elders didn’t have an answer.  Since the chief priests couldn’t answer Jesus, He didn’t respond to their query.

Actions convey authority.

Instead of asking permission, Jesus knew His mission.  On a divine task, direct from His Father, Jesus didn’t hesitate.  When God’s house became tainted with commercial traffic, Jesus put an end to the business.  Teaching parables, Jesus taught those in the temple a new way of thinking.

Jesus left us with a divine task, love God and others (Mark 12:30-31).  We have the authority to love, against such things; no law exists (Galatians 5:23).  When searching for purpose in life, God gives direction.  You have the choice of what your actions convey, to love or to hate.

Exercise your authority today.  Love everyone God brings into your path.  Give affection freely, just as God gives it to you.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p 92) Thomas Nelson

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