Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?. . . “Jesus replied, ‘I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?’ (Matthew 21:23-24)
The Lord always seems to ask the hard questions. Like this one.
"From heaven, or from men?"
And every now and again the same kind of question disquiets me. Even after all these years I still sometimes bristle against the tension that pulls me from what I want to do, when I know it’s not what He wants me to do.
You’ll never hear me say the Scriptures are simply good moral teachings and philosophies of men. No, for I am more than convinced they are the very word of God written by men moved by the Holy Spirit.
Yet why do I sometimes live as if those words are human-contrived suggestions and not heaven-born commandments? Why, when it suits me -- regardless of its infrequency -- do I call my shadows, light, and rationalize my disobedience with an appeal to the slippery excuse of "I'm only human"?
Probably for the same reason the religious leaders in this text struggled with their response to Jesus – they wanted their kingdom, not God’s. Their will, not God’s. Their opinions. Not God’s.
Oh Lord, help me to practice it, as often as I pray it: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”