Whose Authority?

Description

As you come to God in prayer, seek his will and come under his authority.

Pray:

Lord, I am Your student. I want to learn from You and walk in step with You.

Read:

Matthew 21:18-27

Reflect:

What does it mean to speak with authority?

When spring arrives, some trees will blossom and look as if they will produce fruit early. The fig tree here looked so vigorous that it should have had fruit (19), but it was too early in the season for figs to be ready. This is the only example of Jesus' miracles which is not good and life-giving.

The fig tree is a symbol for the health of the Temple. The Temple looked as though it was flourishing and bearing fruit in people's lives. In reality, Jesus was saying, the Temple was sterile, godless and deserved to wither.

The disciples notice Jesus' power (20). Can they do such miracles, too? Jesus invites them to pray boldly, confidently and with trust (21,22). Like Jesus, the disciples must ask in tune with God's will. How, then, should we pray?

The first conflict occurs between Jesus and the Temple authorities (23,27). Their questioning of Jesus' authority (23) ends up with them tied in knots (25,26) and resorting to a feeble, "We don't know" (27). Jesus demonstrates powerfully that as God's Son he has authority over the Temple and its leaders (19,23-27) and the authority to answer prayer (22).

Apply:

As you come to God in prayer, seek his will rather than simply telling him what you want.

Pray:

Lord, I know I can bring all my cares to You. Yet, I want to learn to pray according to Your will and in Your authority.

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