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By What Authority Are You Doing These Things?

Updated on May 12, 2020
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Gary studies the Word of God and shares what he learns freely. He has a Ph.D. from the Bible University of Canada.

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Introduction - From the Heart

When writing it is clear it has to come from the heart. If it doesn’t it is not sincere and comes across as superficial. No one wants to read that. There is so much on TV about violence and people harming each other out of a spirit of the evil one. I know it is popular or it would not be there. But I also fear that it is in the increase of crime that is all over our land.

It is getting to where we really need to think about defending our home and that goes against my religion. But, so be it. If it happens it will. The world is not getting any better and quite to the contrary. Many persons attitude is to take care of their own and heck with their neighbor. We hardly know our own despite our attempt to get to know them with gifts at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

You know me as a Christian writer and I am. But there comes a time to write the truth and that time is now. I am mad. The medical community where I live is another sort pot. A good many of them are to busy covering their own back ends to take care of you and I to diagnose our real issue.

RELATIVISM – the Catastrophic Concept of our Time

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Relativism

The 2020 census is about to begin here in Aroostook and we see if the population continues to trend down or if work to bring construction personnel and factory workers has off-set the baby boomers who are leaving. Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10.39)” I have provided a link to the commentary of the entire Matthew 10 which explains what Jesus meant when He said what He said.

Those of us who walk in Christ in our daily lives may know some who do not walk in the same. John the beloved Apostle said it so succinctly, “We know that the whole world lives in the power of the evil one. “ (1 John 5.19) What a profound statement that many Christians may have forgotten or have chosen to ignore. I told you it would be sincere. The whole world is now under the control of Satan. The world is trapped in the power of materialism and relativism.

The list includes:

1) Godless rulers

2) Teaching without the Bible

3) Relativistic ideas - There is no universal, objective truth according to Relativism.

4) Humanist Manifesto – Firmly in place featuring a world without God trapping people encouraged not to believe in truth.

5) Relativism is treasonous – The very idea goes against objective reality of our God. (John 14.6)

6) Relativism encourages double thought or duplicity.

7) Relativism entraps and enslaves people under the power of the evil one. In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

8) Relativism boils down to belief focused on material "things" as opposed to that which is spiritual or intellectual in nature.

Relativism

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Relativism a little closer

Let’s look at Relativism a little closer with a vivid scene with Jesus and some spiritual leaders of His time. Read this:

Matthew 21:23-27:

And when He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Hm as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe Him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So, they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

In verse 23 we see these two groups linked out of boldness and jealousy again when they seek to have Jesus killed (Matthew 26:3, 47; 27:1, 3, 12, 20).

“By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (v. 23b). “These things” refers to a technical and religious term that Jesus would be familiar; the cleansing of the temple. Here possibly Jesus’ failure to disclaim the title, “son of David” (Matthew 21:9, 15).

Without little research we know the chief priests and elders are appointed and responsible for the religious life of the citizens of Israel and the temple. God appointed them so it is appropriate in their eyes to question the God that gave them the authority in the first place. To them, who gave the Lord the authority? To who is He accountable?

What is Relativism?

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Sanhedrin Relativism?

A couple of days before the chief priests incident and two days before the Passover, Jesus said these things to His disciples as is plain from Mark 14:1.

By "the chief priests" are meant, either those who had been high priests, or either those heads of the twenty-four priests or the principal men of the priesthood, who were chosen out of the rest, to be members of the great Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin had oversight to the Scribes; they were the doctors of the law, who wrote out copies for the people, and interpreted it in a literal way.

You can chase this information down on the clause which is left out in the:

However, it is retained in the Syriac version and these men had a place in this grand council and the elders of the people.

Now though a king of Israel might not sit in the Sanhedrin, yet a high priest might if he could provide sufficiently qualified wisdom. The president of this grand council at this time was more than likely Rabbani Gamaliel, Paul's master; unless it was Caiaphas, at whose house they were.

This time they came to meet at the High Priest's palace, deserves a look-see; since they usually meet in a chamber of the proper and usual place of meeting, since their proper and usual place of meeting, was a chamber in the temple, called Gazith

According to the counts the Jews themselves give, the Sanhedrin removed from this chamber, forty years before the destruction of the Temple; and which, as Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, "was about a year and a half before the death of Christ.

The lodging more than likely located at Capernaum, which is very probable; since that was His own city, where He paid tribute, where He frequently resorted, and was on the banks of Jordan, near the lake of Gennesaret; and the disciples were Galileans: and abode with Him that day;"

The Sanhedrin removed from the paved chamber and met at Chanoth, "the sheds", which was a place within the bounds of the Temple, in the mountain of the house; and the question still is a mystery how they did not meet there?

The question looms why they chose to meet there in privacy. The fact remains that it might not be known they were together in the high priest's house always located in Jerusalem, and he never removed from there.

Nor did he go from the Temple there only in the night, or an hour or two in the day; for he had an apartment in the Temple, the chamber of the high priest, where he was the whole day.

There were set procedures for who had the authority from one generation to the next in the Temple. A new candidate would be examined for worthiness. A priest or rabbi would then lay hands on the candidate, preferably in a public ceremony.

This not only served to transmit Godly authority but also protected people against interlopers and false prophets. The Church still recognizes the validity of such procedures and practices the laying on of hands to this day.

The Sanhedrin, of which the chief priests and elders were members, was the highest authority in Israel. By what authority does Jesus challenge their administration of the temple? How can his authority exceed theirs? From where does his authority come? The question of authority is important throughout and is the core issue of the ruling party.

Edmunston, NB, CA

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Historical Bonus

Matthew’s New Testament Gospel featured the following:

• Jesus taught as one having authority (Matthew 7:29).

• A Roman centurion, a man under the authority of the emperor and having authority over many people, recognized the power behind Jesus’ authority, saying “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

• Jesus’ authority to forgive sins was validated by his authority to heal paralysis. The crowds were in awe of his authority (Matthew 9.8).

• Jesus conferred authority on his disciples over unclean spirits (Matthew 10.1).

• Jesus gave his disciples authority to bind and loose (Matthew 16.19; 18.18).

• This Gospel will close with Jesus’ words, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28.18).

By asking Jesus the source of His authority, the chief priests and scribes are giving Jesus enough rope to hang Himself. By being God, they believe they can “borer down” to expose the weak foundations of such a claim.

But in reality, they cannot. If He says that He is the Messiah, they can cite Him for blasphemy. We can be sure that they feel certain of the ground on which they stand and the weakness of any case that Jesus might present because of their spiritual blindness.

My Final Thoughts on This One

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My Final Thoughts on This One

This essay got a good going over and rewriting in spots. I hope you learned something from it you can take away from reading it and put it to use. That is what I hope to accomplish in writing the essays.

The Sanhedrin of Jesus day and the average person is not much different I suspect. They would not only not recognize the Lord Jesus Christ, they probably would not even care according to the Barna Research Studies.

Thank you for reading the essay and as always, I invite you to give your thoughts below the article on how it may have affected you. If you are a Hub Page member, please subscribe so you know when new articles arrive.

Again, thank you and God's blessings to you, Gary

A Simple Poll for Fun

Is Christianity true or Moral Relativism?

See results

Chuck Missler on the Coming Darkness

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Gary E Hill

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    • profile image

      Alf Anders 

      15 months ago

      What a nice read. Thank you for writing. Read many here. Like yours best. Alf.

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