Faithlife Sermons

A question of authority - pt. 1

Gospel of Mark: Jesus a life to serve   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Passion week: Day of questioning (Tuesday) starts

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Who loves a good confrontation? in fact look at the meaning of it. Confrontation (noun): a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties. It is now Tuesday of passion week and so starts the day of questioning or day of confrontations. Watch how Jesus deals with things and what we can learn. The other major subject in our passage is the item that He is being confronted about, watch for it.
After triumphal entry (Mk11:1-14) - Sunday
A day of cursing and cleansing (Mk11:15-26) - Monday
Comes the day of questions (Mk11:27-12:44) -Tuesday
Confrontation 1 - chief priests, scribes and elders (11:27)
The question (11:28)
The response by Jesus (11:29-30)
Their response (11:31-32)
Jesus response (11:33)
Authority, today we will focus on authority.
Before getting to authority, we need to look at the passage.
Mark 11:27–28 NASB95
27 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 began saying to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?”
Mark 11:29–30 NASB95
29 And Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 “Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.”
Mark 11:31–32 NASB95
31 They began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 32 “But shall we say, ‘From men’?”—they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
In wanting to keep this brief we need to look at the contents of the passage before we get onto discussing authority which is where I want to go today.
Who is confronting Jesus?
This is the religious leaders, chief priest representing the religion, the scribes representing the law; elders representing the leadership of the people
Why are they confronting Him?
Authority, they are questioning authority for it would take away from theirs.
How does Jesus respond to their question?
Jesus responds to the question with a question, they ask about authority, so Jesus asks about place of authority in referencing John’s baptism
How did they respond?
They did not come to a suitable answer so they said they did not know.
Then, finally how did Jesus respond?
Jesus was not answering their question now either, they would not be willing to hear the answer because of their hard hearts anyways.
The question about authority and place of authority can be asked about many different things, many religious practices couldn’t it?
Infant baptism, sprinkling, pouring vs. immersion
Denominational leadership vs. eldership, spiritual leadership
Once saved always saved vs. ability of apostasy, falling from grace
Instrumental music vs. acapella, just to name a few things.
Authority has two sources and where we get it matters.
Mark 11:30 NASB95
30 “Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men? Answer Me.”
From heaven or from man, so as we look at authority today and whether some religious practices are from heaven or from man.

Authority from Heaven

It is good to look to the authority of the bible to find the authority from heaven so hold on as we look at the Bible together to see what we can know about authority that is from heaven.
It must come from Jesus (Mt28:18)
Matthew 28:18 NASB95
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
So if Jesus has been given all authority both in heaven and on earth is there anything outside of His authority? NO! Many may act outside of Jesus authority but that is from man not from God.
It must come through His Apostles (Jn13:20; 2Cor5:20; Jn14:26; Jn16:12-13)
other passages to consider too (Act2:42; 1Cor14:37 and 1The2:13) when it comes to instructions, encouragements regarding the authority of Jesus and the Apostles.
It must come through His Apostles (Jn13:20; 2Cor5:20; Jn14:26; Jn16:12-13)
John 13:20 NASB95
20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Jesus gave authority to the Apostles and sent the apostles
2 Corinthians 5:20 NASB95
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
The apostles were the ambassadors of Christ, ones sent with a message and sent with authority.
John 14:26 NASB95
26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
The apostles sent with a message, authority and with power.
John 16:12–13 NASB95
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
Apostles sent with a message, authority, power and prophesy too.
It must come through His Apostles (Jn13:20; 2Cor5:20; Jn14:26; Jn16:12-13)
other passages to consider too (Act2:42; 1Cor14:37 and 1The2:13) when it comes to instructions, encouragements regarding the authority of Jesus and the Apostles.
Acts 2:42 NASB95
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
When it comes from heaven it is from Jesus, from His apostles and that is what the people were devoting themselves to.
1 Corinthians 14:37 NASB95
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.
They did not do it on their own, they wrote under the power of the Holy Spirit and under the Lord’s command.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB95
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
For the Apostles were speaking the word of God!
If the Apostles of Christ taught it, it is from heaven!
It must come only from the Apostles
They were given and proclaimed the full counsel of God (Act20:27)
Acts 20:27 NKJV
27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
They were given all things for life and godliness (2Pt1:3)
2 Peter 1:3 NASB95
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
His divine power given to the Apostles, written down for us to have full knowledge, true knowledge through the scriptures.
The faith delivered through them was delivered one time for all (Jude3)
Jude 3 NASB95
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
They appealed to us to contend for our faith, earnestly, that faith that came from the word of the Apostles.
They were given all things needed so they were equipped and we are equipped (2Tim3:16-17)
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NASB95
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

It is from man

Religious practice that can be found to be taught by Jesus or the apostles is truly from heaven. It can be backed up by God’s Word. Religious practices that are from men, well they can, however, might come from a variety of sources.
Based on what majority thinks; but look what Jesus says (Mt7:13-14)
Matthew 7:13–14 NASB95
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
hey following the majority would have killed you in the flood and you would have perished in the wilderness.
Based on what parents taught; but look what Jesus says (Mt10:37)
Parents may be of good intentions, and they may even be good examples but look at what Jesus says
Matthew 10:37 NASB95
37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
If we simply followed parents, then we would still be idol-worshippers (Gentiles) and more than likely polytheistic (multi-gods). There is much we can learn from parents, good principles we can grasp, but not before God and God’s Word.
Yes, even based on what a preacher tells us (2Cor11:13-15; Mt15:12-14) but Paul gives a solution (Act17:11)
2 Corinthians 11:13–14 NASB95
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:15 NASB95
15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing!
Matthew 15:12–13 NASB95
12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.
Matthew 15:14 NASB95
14 “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Don’t be blind and follow a blind guide!
Based on the traditions and creeds of man; but look what Jesus taught (Mt7:6-9
Traditions of men is the basis most denominations get their authority (i.e. infant baptism, sprinkling, pouring; instrumental music; and once saved always saved)
Now a word or two about Word;
Believe and obey the Bible you get what the Bible says: you are a Christian
Believe in the Bible and some other book, creed, tradition and that is what you will become but it is not a Christian if you have to turn to an outside source of the Bible. Let the Bible, the Word be your creed, your tradition
There are many creeds and traditions that are contrary or are in conflict with the commands of God.
Matthew 7:6–7 NASB95
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:8–9 NASB95
8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
Based on your own conscience; conscience can mislead (Act23:1; Act26:9-11)
you have heard it I’m sure “Let your conscience be your guide” but is it reliable? It is truthful, is it correct? look at his
Acts 23:1 NASB95
1 Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day.”
Paul had come from what he had perfectly good conscience prior to conversion and from conversion, but they both can’t be correct can they? Check this out
Acts 26:9–10 NASB95
9 “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them.
Acts 26:11 NASB95
11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.
Wrong information in, wrong information out, even if the information seems good, it needs to be seen in the view of God’s Word. For wrong direction gets you to wrong destination.
Let our conscience be set, established by God’s Word!
How about based on human wisdom; but look what God says (Isa55:8-9)
Isaiah 55:8–9 NASB95
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
We need God’s wisdom to know God’s will (1Cor2:9-12)
1 Corinthians 2:9–10 NASB95
9 but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11–12 NASB95
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
God shares His will through His Word (Eph3:1-5)
Ephesians 3:1–2 NASB95
1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;
Ephesians 3:3–4 NASB95
3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
Ephesians 3:5 NASB95
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
whew, I know that is lot to take in, but wait there is more.
Based on your own feelings (Pro14:12; Pro28:26; Jer10:23)
we cannot trust our own feelings they can mislead us
Proverbs 14:12 NASB95
12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 28:26 NASB95
26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.
Don’t be a fool!
Jeremiah 10:23 NASB95
23 I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
Let God direct your steps!
Or based solely on the Old Testament
People turn there oftentimes claiming authority there (i.e. Sabbath keeping, instrumental music to name a couple)
Old Testament was temporary until it was fulfilled in Christ (Gal3:19, 24-25)
The law was given because of sin, transgressions, until the time when Christ.
Galatians 3:19 NASB95
19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.
Galatians 3:24–25 NASB95
24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
The law was a tutor to lead those under the Law to Christ and then it was taken out of the way. It had been fulfilled in Christ and the things commanded under the law are dead to the law and the regulations under the law.
Those in Christ are dead to the Law and the Old covenant (Rom7:4; 7:6)
Romans 7:4 NASB95
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Romans 7:6 NASB95
6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
The Old prophesy said it was going to be fulfilled, (Heb8:7-13)=
Hebrews 8:7–8 NASB95
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
The Old prophesy said it was going to be fulfilled, (Heb8:7-13)
Hebrews 8:9–10 NASB95
9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.
Hebrews 8:11–12 NASB95
11 And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ For all will know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.”
Hebrews 8:13 NASB95
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
I know a long passage but an important one!
How about practices of Old covenant being forced under the new? (Act15:1, 6:22-29)
You can look up those scriptures about circumcision and adherence to the law even though saved by Christ.
Now don’t get this wrong, there is much value in the Old Testament, don’t miss out on it
Written for our comfort and hope (Rom15:4)
Written for our admonition, for our learning (1Cor10:6, 11)
Need to give you the scriptures here though.
Romans 15:4 NASB95
4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
And then
1 Corinthians 10:6 NASB95
6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
and finally
1 Corinthians 10:11 NASB95
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
We cannot just enjoin the practices, traditions of man to what the apostles did not teach. Only way to do that is to know what they taught, know the bible, be a daily bible reader.
Avoid being mislead, deceived, or easily swayed know where true authority comes from an may we be good Bereans and we will close with that.
Acts 17:11 NASB95
11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
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