In the first reading today from Numbers 24, we read of a prophesy of Balaam. He prophesies about how a king would come from Jacob’s line. “His king shall rise higher, and his royalty shall be exalted.” He then goes on to speak this prophesy, “A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.” This was not the Star of Bethlehem, but rather Jesus.
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 21, the chief priests and elders ask Jesus, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus answers their question with a question, and a tricky one at that, saying that if they answered His question, the He would answer theirs. Well, they didn’t, so He didn’t. But why? Jesus could have easily spoken the truth; that His authority came directly from the Father. But He knew that that answer would cause an uproar and jeopardize the rest of His ministry. In other words, His time had not yet come.
We know of course that Jesus was given all authority from the Father. The question is, are we living our lives as though we have that knowledge? If we truly believe that Jesus has all authority, are we following His commands? Are we living our lives by His teachings? Are we accepting and submissive to the authority that He has handed down to the Apostles and their successors? If not, then perhaps we are much like the chief priests and elders, questioning Jesus’ authority.
Father, teach us to stop questioning Jesus’ authority. Help us to submit to His authority in every area of our lives. Amen.
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