Summary: the authority of Christ upon our lives

“Responding to Christ’s Authority”

Matthew 21:23-22:14


Intro: How do you respond to authority figures? Each of us has those who are over us. We are motivated by fear and respect to those who are in authority over us.

I heard a story once about the time the Pope visited the US. They had rented a large limousine to drive him around. The Pope saw the car, and told the chauffeur, Boy, that’s some car. He proceeded to look at the engine, then asked, Could I drive it? The chauffeur did not want to say no to the Pope, so he sat in the back while the Pope drove. Going down the road, the Pope decided to floor it to see what it could do. A police car happened to be checking speeds, and proceeded to stop the limo. One officer went forward to the limo to ask the driver for his license. He returned to his partner shaking. The partner said, what’s wrong. The first officer said, We’re in trouble, we’re in big trouble. Why, Why his buddy asked. Well, I don’t know who’s in that limo, but it’s got to be someone important--he’s got the pope for his chauffeur!

How do you respond to authority--whether it be parents, or teachers, or your boss, or your spouse? But above all, how do you respond to the authority of Christ upon your life?

Let’s look at Matthew 21 this morning.

READ MATT 21:23-27

I. Do we recognize the authority of Jesus? 23-27 - do we see him as Lord?

The chief priests refused to acknowledge the authority of Christ. They wanted to dismiss his power as simply self-induced, because to admit that he had been sent by God would mean that they would need to follow and obey.

This morning, how do we view Jesus?

Many would like to see Jesus as a historical teacher - a man of human birth who did good

Some would even admit that Jesus was an example for us to follow - to do good as he did

Some would see Jesus as God’s son--yet one who is not involved deeply in our lives

The only option open to us by Scripture is that Jesus is God, alive today, and requiring the obedience, service, and worship of our lives. If we honestly look at the demands of scripture, there is no way we can lead lives for our own pleasure: Christ never leaves us that option.

II. Do we receive Christ’s authority over our lives? 28-32 - do we accept him as Lord?

Read Text

Christ is not as concerned with profession as obedience. It does not matter if we call ourselves Christians--He wants to see us show it by our lifestyle. The Pharisees are condemned for they had a profession of obedience, but denied godliness by their lifestyle. The prostitutes, though having a sinful lifestyle, repented and obeyed God’s call.

Do we receive the call of God? Let’s not deceive ourselves into thinking that going to church is the same as obeying God. How is your lifestyle? How is the attitude of your heart?

The priests, even after seeing the repentance and changed lives of the prostitutes did not change their heart. Are you moved to repentance when you see God work in your life and in the lives of those around you?

III. Do we respond to the authority of Christ - 33-45 - do we obey him as Lord?

Read Text

This parable is a picture of God’s dealing with the nation of Israel. He planed for the nation to be specially devoted to himself. Yet they prostituted themselves with idols and killed the prophets of God.

How do we respond to the working of God in our lives?

Do we bear fruit? Each of us is designed to bring forth fruit. We are to be sharing with others the gospel message. We are to be faithful witnesses. We are to show the fruit of the spirit at work in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness...

How do we treat those whom God brings into our lives to bring rebuke and correction to us? Do we respond favorably when a brother or sister confronts us about a sin or area of weakness?

How do we treat God’s own son? Each believer is indwelt by the spirit of God. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we carry the presence of God with us. If you visually saw God right beside you, would you continue to do the same things you do every day. We would be much quicker to change our thoughts, actions, and hearts.

IV. Do we resist the invitation of Christ? 22:1-14 do we fellowship and rejoice with Him?

Read text

This is a second invitation. The first had been sent months before. This one says, come on, we’re ready for you. Christ said, I go to prepare a place for you. Are you ready to meet him?

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