11 Sep Mark 29: The authority of Jesus
27 And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” 12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.
13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
Let me start with a few questions. How many of you like being told what to do? How many of you hate being told what to do? Let me confess, I hate being told what to do. Especially if it is something that I need to be told again and again. And that thing could be a good thing. Like making sure the bathroom is spotless and there is not a single hair on the ground after each time I use it. True story. When I was told to do it the first time, I had the intention to do it. But I forgot. The second time, I still wanted to do it. But when I’m being told to do it again and again, something in me whispered, “It’s my bathroom. We do not even share this bathroom. I am the one using it every day. Who are you to tell me what to do with my bathroom?” And then I heard another voice, “I am your mother.” The more I’m told what to do, the more I do not want to do it. How many of you know what I’m talking about? Let’s be honest. We do not like other people telling us what to do. We do not like other people interfering with our lives. And our today’s passage tells us that Jesus has the authority to tell us what to do with our lives. And we do not like it. We do not have a problem with Jesus being our saviour. We do not have a problem with Jesus saving the world. But we have a problem with Jesus being our king. We have a problem with Jesus interfering with our lives. And when we read the gospel of Mark, we discover that Jesus constantly interferes with people’s lives. Which tells us something about following Jesus. Listen. We cannot have Jesus as our saviour and not acknowledge him as our king. We cannot experience his love and not submit to his authority. We cannot have Jesus who died on the cross for us and not interfere with our lives.
Let me give you the context first. In our last sermon on Mark, Jesus saw a fig tree in leaf, and he wanted to eat some of its fruits, but he found none. So, he cursed the fig tree. And this was not a case of Jesus having a bad day. It’s not like Jesus wanted some chicken nuggets from McDonald’s. But when he got there, McDonald’s ran out of nuggets. So, Jesus was upset, and he cursed it. “May no one ever eat chicken nuggets from McDonald’s anymore.” That’s not what happened. Jesus used the fig tree as an example of the sin of hypocrisy among the religious leaders. And then Jesus went to the temple and drove out the merchants and moneychangers. When the religious leaders heard what Jesus did, they were mad. And they were seeking ways to destroy Jesus. This passage tells us the struggle of authority that is taking place between Jesus and the religious leaders. And this is not something new. The religious leaders have been questioning Jesus’ authority right from the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. They questioned Jesus’ authority to teach Scripture. They questioned Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, heal the sick, break the Sabbath’s custom, cast out demons, and cleanse the temple. And now, they finally confront Jesus about it.
Let’s look at it together. I have three points for my sermon: The source of authority; The struggle of authority; The scope of authority.
The source of authority
Mark 11:27-33 – 27 And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, 28 and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” 31 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
When the religious leaders see Jesus and his crew enter the temple, they immediately confront him. Remember, Jesus is on the enemy’s home ground. He is in Jerusalem, the most authoritative place, and he is facing the Sanhedrin, the most authoritative body in Israel. The Sanhedrin is a ruling council made of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes. They ask Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” In other words, they are asking Jesus, “Where is your ordination letter? Where did you get your Master of Divinity from? Where did you get your training? What or who gives you the right to do what you do? Tell us because the last time we check, we don’t see your name on the list of people with credentials. And we are the ones with the power to give authority to others. But we never give you one.” And this is not a genuine question. This is a trap. Their goal is to embarrass Jesus and discredit him. If Jesus says, “I don’t have any credentials. I don’t have any Bible training and I am acting on my own authority”, he would lose the respect of the people who sees him as a person with authority. But if Jesus says, “I graduated with summa cum laude from Heaven Bible College and I got my credential from God”, he would be charged with blasphemy. And listen. The religious leaders ask this question not because they genuinely want to know the source of Jesus’ authority. They know. The evidence is clear. Only one blessed with Heaven’s credential can forgive sins. Only one with divine authority can make the lame walk, the blind see, the leper clean, the storm still, the multitude fed, and the dead rise. The evidence is clear, but they refuse to look at the evidence. They have made up their mind that Jesus is a threat to their authority, and he must be destroyed whatever the cost.
And Jesus knows exactly what they are doing. So, he says, “Okay, I can answer that. But before I give you my answer, let me ask you one question first. If you answer my question, then I will answer your question. Here is my question. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me and I will answer you.” And just like that, Jesus turns the table on the religious leaders. Some of us might think, “Well, that’s a strange answer from Jesus. What does the baptism of John have to do with the source of Jesus’ authority?” Everything. This is not like when an older lady asks me at a wedding, “When is your wedding?” and I reply, “When is your funeral?” This is not a diversion tactic. Think about it. It is at the baptism of John that the heavens were opened, Spirit descended, and a voice came from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” The baptism of John is the event that inaugurated Jesus’ authority and empowered him for ministry. And John himself pointed people to Jesus as the Messiah, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. So, if the baptism of John is from man, then their accusation of Jesus is justified. Jesus has no authority to do what he does. But if the baptism of John is from heaven, then Jesus’ authority is from God.
So, the religious leaders reply, “Hold on. Gives us a minute to discuss it among ourselves. We’ll get back to you shortly.” They pull away and make an unholy huddle. One of them says, “This is not good. We can’t say that it comes from man because the crowd loves John the Baptist. They are convinced that he was a true prophet sent by God. If we say that it comes from man, we are going to lose the crowd.” And another person says, “Well, we also can’t say that it’s from heaven. Because if we say it is from heaven, then he will want to know why we do not believe in him and John.” One of them finally says, “Let’s just say that we don’t know. That’s the safest answer.” So, they come back to Jesus and say, “We don’t know.” And this is a flat-out lie. Because they do know the answer. But they can’t admit what they know. Because it will either put them in an unfavourable position with the crowd, or it will demand their submission to the authority of Jesus. So, Jesus says, “If that’s the case, then I won’t tell you my answer. I don’t need to tell you because you already know the answer. But you refuse to tell me because it puts you in a big dilemma.”
So, what does it mean for us? Don’t miss it. Oftentimes, the issue we have in our relationship with Jesus is an authority issue. For so many people, the problem is not a lack of evidence. The problem is something far deeper. Our problem with Jesus is ultimately we reject his authority. Our hearts love something or someone more than Jesus. We want Jesus as our saviour, but we reject him as our king. We don’t mind having Jesus cheering for us at the corner of our lives, but we do not want him interfering with our lives. We want to have the right to decide what we do with our lives. We want to have the right to decide whom we are sleeping with. We want to have the right to decide what to do with our money. But that’s not going to work. Listen. When we refuse Jesus rearranging the furniture in our lives, we are challenging his kingly authority. When the real Jesus shows up, he is not going to say, “Hey guys, let’s have a deep and intimate chat. What do you think I should do with your life? I want to hear from you. Do you think it’s a good idea if we do this or that? Do you think it would be okay to sleep with this person or that person? What would be good for you? Let’s talk and decide together.” Newsflash, Jesus doesn’t talk like that. When Jesus shows up, he says, “I am your king. Bow down before me.” If Jesus does not like the furniture in our lives, he does not need our permission to rearrange it. He is going to rearrange the furniture whether we like it or not. He moves things around. He tells us what we need to get rid of and what we need to add. And until we bow down to Jesus’ authority, we will never know him. Look at what happens next. Jesus tells a parable to make his point.
The struggle of authority
Mark 12:1-9 – And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
So now, Jesus is on the offensive. He is not holding back at all. He tells a strong parable to make his point. And this parable is unique. Usually, Jesus tells a parable to hide its true meaning from the people. Only those who are given the understanding can perceive the meaning of Jesus’ parable. But not this one. Everyone who hears the parable knows exactly what Jesus is talking about. It’s like hearing someone tell a story about you in front of you using aliases. They refer to you as so and so or Mr X. Have you been there? It is awkward. The religious leaders know that Jesus is talking about them. It is crystal clear. In the Old Testament, Israel is often called God’s vineyard. So, the owner in this parable is God. The tenants of the vineyard are the religious leaders. The servants sent by the owner are the prophets. And the son of the owner is Jesus.
And the meaning of the parable is clear. When the owner entrusts his vineyard to the tenants, they can’t do whatever they want with the vineyard. It belongs to the owner. They need to tend to the vineyard the way the owner wants them to do it. And they will get paid for their work, but the profit belongs to the owner. This is common sense, right? Let’s modernize this parable. Let’s say you work at Coles as a manager. And you get paid $1000 a week. That money is rightly yours. And let’s say that in a parallel universe, I am not a pastor, but I own the Coles that you work at. And it is making a profit of $1 million a week. That profit is not yours. It belongs to me. But I trust you to take care of it. And one day I send one of my trusted leaders by the name of Tim to collect the profit from you. But rather than giving him the money, you and other managers decide to beat him up, perm his hair, and send him back to me empty-handed. And I think, “That’s strange. Why would they beat up Tim? O well, let me send an older leader, Martin.” And instead of just beating him up, this time you dye his hair white and send him back to me naked. But I keep persisting and send other leaders and you continue to beat and even kill some of them. And this is exactly what Israel did to the prophets sent by God. Jeremiah was beaten on many occasions and thrown into a pit and then stoned. Ezekiel was murdered after preaching a sermon. Isaiah was put into a log and cut in half. Habakkuk and Zechariah were stoned by the Jews in Jerusalem. Amos was banished. The religious leaders know their history. Let’s continue.
So, after sending many servants and failing, the owner only has one other person, his beloved son. At this point of the story, we are like, “Don’t do it. Do not send your beloved son. You know what’s going to happen to him. It is a bad idea.” But the owner sends his son to the tenants, hoping they will receive his son. Because this is not just any servant; this is his son. And a son is different from a servant. The son has authority because he is the son of the owner. If there is a riot in the church and Ps Sem sends me to deal with it, it is different from sending Edrick or Mike to deal with it. By the way, when someone becomes an RSI leader, there is a clause that says I can use his or her name in my sermon whenever I want. So, this is what happens. The son goes as the father’s representative, with the father’s authority, to the father’s property, to claim the father’s due. But instead of honouring the son, the tenants say, “This is our chance. If we get rid of him, this vineyard will be ours. We can do whatever we want with it and keep all the profits.” So, they kill the son. And get this. They don’t kill the son because they don’t know who he is. They kill the son because they know exactly who he is. They do not want to submit to the authority of the son. They want the vineyard for themselves. And it is very hard to miss the identity of the son. Jesus calls him, a beloved son. And we know that God the Father calls Jesus his beloved son twice, at Jesus’ baptism and mount of transfiguration. So, Jesus is telling the religious leaders a parable about himself. He knows exactly what the religious leaders will do to him. In a few days, they will kill the beloved son.
So, here is the question. What will the owner of the vineyard do? The son is the father’s ultimatum. If they reject the son, no one else can be sent. Jesus says, “The owner will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.” Jesus is saying that God will destroy the temple, the sacrificial system, the priesthood, the Sanhedrin, the very heart of Judaism, and give the vineyard to the Gentiles. And all this happens in AD 70 when the Romans destroy Jerusalem. And listen to what Jesus says next.
Mark 12:10-12 – 10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” 12 And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away. This is beautiful. Jesus is quoting Psalm 118. What happened was, when they were building the temple of Solomon, there was a large stone that no one knew what to do with it. Someone said, “This stone is useless. We cannot use it for anything. Let’s remove it so we can keep working.” It was a stone that the builders rejected. But to everyone’s surprise, that unwanted stone turned out to be the exact stone they needed to support the building. It is called the cornerstone, the most important part of a building. The stability and symmetry of any building depend on how good the cornerstone is. And Jesus is saying, “I am the cornerstone. I am the stone you rejected. I am the son you killed. But the Lord has made me the cornerstone of salvation.” And friends, this is the story of the gospel. The rejected stone is the murdered son. But his rejection is our salvation. God is in absolute control of every little thing including the rebellion of the tenants. So, if we could ask God the Father, “Why did you send your beloved son? Don’t you know what they would do to him?” He would say, “That is exactly why I sent my beloved son to the world. I sent him to die so that he might become the cornerstone of your life.” And hearing this, the religious leaders look at one another and say, “I think Jesus is onto us. He knows what we are planning. He knows we want to kill him. This parable is about us.” They understand the parable clearly and they want to arrest Jesus immediately. But they can’t because they are afraid of the crowd. So, they walk away.
Before we go high and mighty and condemn the religious leaders, I want us to consider this. This parable is not only about the religious leaders of Jesus’ days. This parable is a picture of our fallen nature. Human history is a story of rebellion against God’s authority. Human history is a story of tenants who act like owners. And this is our problem. The Bible tells us that we are not indifferent to God; we hate God. The truth is everything we have belongs to God. He is the one who gives us life. He is the one who gives us the ability to think. He is the one who gives us the strength to work. He is the one who gives us oxygen to breathe. Everything we own in life, our families, our talents, our bodies, our intelligence, our possessions, our bank accounts, we are not the owners of it. We are simply tenants. But we hate it. We hate the fact that we are accountable to God. All of us are tenants acting like owners. This is our problem. This is what sin is. There is an impulse in our hearts that want to believe, “I can do it. I am in control of my life. I get to decide what I want to do with my life. I am capable.”
For example, we see this in children all the time. As soon as they can walk, they refuse our hand. Almost as soon as they can talk, they say, “No. I can do it on my own. I don’t need your help,” even though they have no idea what they are doing and only making a mess. And we think that we would eventually grow up from that childish attitude. But we don’t. We all desire self-sufficiency while the truth is we can’t even breathe a single breath without God’s help. But we don’t want to admit it. We don’t want to believe it. So, this is the dilemma that we are facing. On one hand, we know we are tenants. We know we owe everything to the owner. But on the other hand, we do not want to admit it. We want to have everything for ourselves. And there is a deep conflict in us that arises out of that. On one hand, we know we are not God. We know we are not in control. But on the other hand, we want to be in control. We want to be owners. And God graciously send us his messengers to remind us again and again that we are not owners. We are not in control. He does so through life circumstances. Through heartbreaks. Through failed businesses. Through broken relationships. Through friends. Through sermons. But we ignore those warnings. We kill those messengers from God. We challenge God’s authority over our lives, and we seek our own independence.
The scope of authority
Mark 12:13-17 – 13 And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” 15 But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.
So, the religious leaders continue to seek ways to trap Jesus. And this time they send some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians to trap Jesus. This is interesting because the Pharisees and the Herodians hate each other. The Pharisees hate the Roman government while the Herodians are in favour of the Roman government. But even though they hate each other, they both hate Jesus. And “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Their mutual hatred for Jesus brings them into a strange alliance. So, they come to Jesus with one of their many “gotcha” questions. They want to ask Jesus a question that put him in a lose-lose situation. And they start with flattery. The irony is what they say about Jesus is spot on, but they don’t believe it at all. Because if they do, they would have submitted to Jesus’ authority. And the question they have is on a very controversial hot topic, a topic that is still a hot issue today. Here is the question: “Should we or should we not pay taxes?”
By the way, this is a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer me. I don’t want to know how many of you are cheating on your taxes. But can you see why this is a controversial question? Because for us, even though we do not like to pay taxes, we can still bear with it because we receive the benefit of it. For example, Medicare. Yes, we pay high taxes, but we don’t have to worry so much about health expenses because of it. I am a living testimony of it. My cancer treatment cost me $0. The government covered all the costs of my cancer treatment. If it were not for Medicare, my parents would have to sell our house to pay for my treatment. But what if we don’t see the benefit of paying taxes? What if the taxes are corrupted? What if the taxes are used to support our enemy? This is why the Jews hate paying taxes. Because as Jewish citizens, they are paying taxes to the very people who take away their freedom and oppress them. Many of them believe that they should not pay taxes to Caesar.
So here is the trap. If Jesus says they should pay taxes to Caesar, the people will turn against him. But if he says they should not pay taxes to Caesar, he will get in trouble with RTO, Roman Taxation Office. It’s like when someone asked me a question a while back, “Which Josh do you like more? Fernando or Tie?” That is not cool. That’s a trap question. That question puts me in a lose-lose situation. Some of you are wondering right now, “So, what’s your answer?” I am not Jesus, so I am not going to answer that question. We can imagine people holding their breath waiting for Jesus’ answer. There is a dramatic pause. They want to know Jesus’ answer. And Jesus probably thinks, “Not again. Why are these people putting me to the test again? Haven’t they learned their lesson?” And he says, “Does anyone have a denarius? Bring me a denarius. I want to see it.” A denarius is a small silver coin that is worth a day’s wage of work in Israel. At this point in history, there is a face of Tiberius Caesar Augustus on the denarius coin. So, someone gives a denarius to Jesus. And Jesus asks, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They reply, “Caesar’s.” And what Jesus says next is extremely remarkable. It is still considered the single most influential political statement ever made.
Mark 12:17 – Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. Do you see what Jesus does? He points them to the fact that they are using Caesar’s coin. They are using Caesar’s money. There is his image on the coin. So, render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. In other words, Jesus says, “Yes, you must pay taxes.” And this is not only his words to the Jews but also his word to the church in the 21st century. Paul tells us in Romans 13 that it is good and right for citizens to pay taxes to the government. Because every governing authority is assigned by God. Including the evil Roman empire. And it is the duty of citizens to pay taxes. As much as we do not like it, we are called to submit to the governing authorities. So church, remember to pay your taxes and don’t cheat on your taxes. But Jesus does not stop there. If Jesus stops there, the crowd will hate him.
He continues, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This is remarkable. Do you know why? Because the Jews know Genesis 1:26-27 very well. They know that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God. So, this is what Jesus is saying. “Do you see this denarius? There is an image of Tiberius on it. He is the one who minted this coin. So, it is only right for you to pay taxes to him. But on your lives, there is another image. There is another image that is stamped on you more clearly than the image of Tiberius on a denarius. And that is the image of God who created you. You are created in the image of God. So, give God what is rightly his, your total allegiance. You belong to God. He owns you.” In short, Jesus says, “Give Caesar your money; give God your life.” So yes, we have a duty to pay taxes to the government, but we have an even greater duty to God, who created us in his image and likeness. We must give God what belongs to him. The question is, what belongs to God? Absolutely everything. Our bodies belong to God. Our eyes, ears, hands, and feet belong to God. Our time belongs to God. Our talents belong to God. Our money belongs to God. Our works belong to God. Our families belong to God. Everything we are and everything we have belongs to God. The fact that we are created in the image of God is proof of God’s ownership of us. It shows that we belong solely to God. This is the scope of Jesus’ authority. And when they hear Jesus’ answer, they are like, “How did he do that? It’s unbelievable. I thought we got him for sure this time. I thought this is it. Either the crowd will hate him, or the Roman government will get rid of him. But look what he’s done to us.” And they marvel.
So, let me land the plane this way. Jesus is a king, and his authority is divine. That means we only have two choices. Either we say, “Your will be done; You are king over my life,” or Jesus will say to us, “Your will be done; You wanted to be owners. Go ahead. But the rightful owner will come and destroy you.” There is nothing in the middle. We either build our lives on the cornerstone or we reject the stone and stay enemies. But here is the good news for us. We don’t have to stay as enemies of God. How? Let me tell you a story about another vineyard, another garden, the Garden of Eden. It was a perfect garden where there was no death, evil or imperfection. And God trusted Adam and Eve as tenants in the garden. But they wanted to be owners rather than tenants. They chose to exercise their own authority rather than submit to God’s authority. Because of it, they were banished from the garden and God put an angel with a flaming sword to stop them from entering the garden. And that’s our story. We rebelled against God’s authority, and we were banished from God’s garden. And there is a flaming sword of eternal justice that stops us from entering God’s garden. No one can enter the garden unless they go under the sword; unless they pay for the wrong that has been done. But no one could survive the sword. Until the beloved son came. We were tenants acting like owners, but Jesus is the owner who came to give his life for rebellious tenants. Jesus came and took the sword for you and me. He fell under the flaming sword of justice to pay the price of our rebellions. Jesus died to satisfy God’s demand for justice. So, when we put our faith in Jesus, we have the access to enter God’s garden. We have the access to draw near to God. Can you see it? Jesus is a king with divine authority, but he used his authority to save us. That’s why we can trust Jesus’ authority as king of our lives. He used his authority to turn enemies of God into children of God. So tonight, what is holding us back from submitting to his authority? Let’s pray.
- What struck you the most from this sermon?
- Oftentimes, the problem people have with Jesus is not due to a lack of evidence but an authority issue. Agree or disagree? Why?
- Why do you think people often find it hard to submit to God’s authority?
- Read Mark 12:17. What does Jesus mean?
- In what area of your life are you often tenants acting like owners? Share it with one another.
- How does the gospel empower us to submit to God’s authority?