“And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:27)

The Pharisees, the religious rulers of the Jews confronted Jesus because they resented His popularity among the Jewish people. They felt threatened by His challenges to their authority. Earlier He confronted them when He entered Jerusalem in triumph and the people hailed Him as King and Messiah. Jesus increased their outrage when He chased the moneychangers out of the temple area. He then refused to tell the Pharisees the basis for His authority for doing what He did because their request was insincere, designed only to trip Him up and gather information to use against Him.

People in today’s world resent and reject Jesus. They challenge His authority and His existence as well as the Scripture itself, the avenue of God’s truth and wisdom because these threaten their self-centered worldview. And it has become even more so in this time of COVID chaos. Increasing numbers of people reject the God-ordained authority of the government (imperfect as it is) as well as the wisdom and authority of the Church of Jesus Christ. Millions maintain that they alone, not God, not anyone, determine how they should live and what they should do with their lives. Essentially they have set themselves up as gods with the right to virtue shame the rest of humanity if we do not agree with them.

But the problem is, they have no real authority to do this. They fail to see they no basis for determining right and wrong, no reasons to give as to why they or anyone else should live a good life. On what basis should they do good to others rather than ill? What authority do they use to make any decisions about ethics or morality? Such questions only the faithful Christian can answer. Christ Jesus is our authority. For over 2000 years He, by His teaching and example has brought salvation and peace to millions who trust in Him. The world can make no such claimfor the fruit of individual autonomy is chaos, suffering, and death.