The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 2 - Day 3
Savior and Lord
The Authority of Jesus
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 20:1-8 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
This account is an incident in which the religious leaders questioned the authority of Jesus. When they asked him to validate his authority, they certainly had the cleansing of the temple in mind. What gave him the authority to disrupt the practices of the temple? Jesus had inserted himself into a realm that ordinary people did not dare to tread. The temple was the responsibility of the priests and Jesus had made a scene in what was their territory. The religious leaders certainly had other questions about Jesus’ authority. “Who gave you the right to heal on the Sabbath?” “Who are you to collect disciples around you?” “Who are you to think you can forgive sins?” They also thought this question might entrap Jesus and cause him to slip in his words. Jesus’ reply kept him from being snared in his response. He also asserted his independence from and against them by refusing to answer their question.
People question the authority of Jesus today. They ask, “Why do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved?” “Why can’t a Buddhist be just as close to God as a Christian?” “I’m not going to let Jesus run my life!” To those who doubt Jesus’ authority, he gives no sign or irrefutable proof. They must examine his life and determine for themselves. Yet if they will come humbly, like a little child, Christ will receive them and grant them forgiveness and eternal life.
If we are honest, we as Christians prefer Jesus as Savior rather than Lord, yet Jesus is both. If we call him Savior, we should also be willing to allow him to have authority over us.
Things to Consider –
· Do you know people who do not accept the authority of Jesus?
· Do you know people who say they accept Jesus’ authority but live as they don’t? Throughout church history, there have always been people who have not accepted Christ’s authority. Why do you think this is?
· What authority do you think Jesus should have over your life?
o To cleanse it?
o To cleanse parts you don’t want cleansed?
o To discipline you for your good?
o To call you to tasks of his choosing?
o To ask you to sacrifice?
o To ask you to give of your time?
o To ask you to forgive?
o To ask you to serve?
o To ask you to attend worship regularly?
o To ask for your time?
· Is Jesus asking you to do any of these in particular at the moment? Are you resisting Christ in any of these?
· Consider that having Christ as Lord as well as Savior means allowing him to rule and have authority in your life.
Guide for Prayer –
· Close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Thank Jesus that he came into the world, was born as a baby, lived in a family, experienced ordinary life, and worked as a carpenter. Thank God that the experience of ordinary life was part of Christ’s work and ministry.
· Thank God for the ordinary things that make up your life at the moment. Ask God to allow you to see his purposes in them.
· Think about people or groups of people who do not accept the authority of Jesus. Ask God to open the minds and hearts of some of them to believe in him
· Confess to Christ that you sometimes resist his Lordship. Ask him to help you recognize that giving him authority is the path of life, peace, joy, and hope.
· Ask God to reign in your life, in all its parts, in every moment, in your thoughts, words, and actions. Imagine Christ as the king over your life and you willingly giving him access and authority.
· Thank God for allowing you to come to Christ, in faith. Renew your commitment to Christ as your Savior and Lord.
· Prayer to our Heavenly Father – Lord of all creation, forgive me for resisting your reign. May your kingdom come, beginning in my life.
· Prayer to the Son – Light of the world, shine your light into my life so I can experience your healing power.
· Prayer to the Holy Spirit – Holy Comforter, change my heart so I will always be receptive to Christ’s authority in my life.
· Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Thank God for your family. Pray for your parents if they are still alive; thank God for them if they are not. Pray for each family member by name.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.