Authority and submission

RE Verse reading–Matthew 23 (day three)  “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe.”  (vs 2-3)  This will require some careful thought.  Jesus regularly broke the traditions of the elders.  He ignored their legalism and treated the rules that they had superadded to the Mosaic law with disdain.  Given this example,  what did the Lord mean when He told the disciples (and us by extension) to obey them?  The key is the word therefore.  Because they had taken the chair of Moses (a place with teaching authority),  to the extent that they communicated what Moses taught, the disciples were to obey.  God establishes all authority. (Romans 13)  It is His normal will for us to live in submission.  Even illegitimate and hypocritical authority has binding power in our lives, unless and until it runs contrary to the word and will of God. Then, we answer a higher call.

Author: Don Guthrie

Don Guthrie is the Senior Pastor at FBCSA.

0 thoughts on “Authority and submission”

  1. Interesting post. I have never thought of it before today, but Jesus who was perfect/sinless/spotless did not respect authority…apparently that did not keep Him from being sinless. Yet, Hebrews 13 says, “obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” I could give my opinion… but it would be just that… my opinion. Interesting to think about/ask for wisdom/understanding, though.

    I find it interesting that He says THEY HAVE SEATED THEMSELVES and then begins to have some strong words for them. I think this figures into the whole picture.

    According to a little further down in Matt 23 where it says:
    “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

    the Lord makes it clear that One is your Leader… that is Christ. Thankfully… so thankfully… He made a way for us to be restored to the Father and receive the Spirit ….which makes this even possible.

    The bottom line, for me, is that Jesus is our leader. His Spirit will not only cause us to submit to leaders…. not for their sake or because their leadership is somehow binding on us… but for His sake (“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Eph 5:21). No only that, but He will cause us to love them deeply… from the heart…. and pray for them continually.

    Father may your will be done in your Church. May you restore your Bride to unity within the Body. Amen.

    Great post! Thanks.

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