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October 1, 2017

MATTHEW 21:23-32                                       BY WHAT AUTHORITY

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?”

24 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. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.


28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

  1. There are many who question the credibility of Jesus. Rather than defend his authority, Jesus changes the conversation and uses a story to talk about how we can KNOW God.


  1. This story is about those of us who rebel against God but ultimately REPENT. (We think we know more than God does, but realize we don’t)


  1. It’s also about those of us who say the right things but don’t FOLLOW what God wants. (We also think we know more than God, but we say the right words so we don’t look bad)
  1. The good news is that there is HOPE for both sons!  It’s called REPENTANCE!
  • ADMIT our sin/failure.
  • ACCEPT that we need God’s help in order to experience real change.
  • ACT to bring our lives into harmony with God.
  1. A meaningful faith is not just about “feeling” good; it’s about submitting ourselves to be SHAPED by our relationship with God!

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