Jesus’ Respect For Authority Worldly theorists like to portray Jesus as a radical, who sought an upheaval of Jewish leadership and laws. While Jesus did seek to change the abuses of Jewish traditions and improper rule by some Jewish authorities, He was acting out of zeal for God and a desire that the Jews follow God’s true laws. Jesus clearly respected authority.
Jesus’ Respect For Authority We will notice three aspects of Jesus’ life in which He demonstrated respect for authority: –Submission to the Authority of His Earthly Parents. –Submission to Civil Authorities. –Submission to the Authority of God.
Jesus’ Respect for His Parents’ Authority Luke 2:40: Even as a Child, Jesus became strong in spirit, full of wisdom and grace. When Jesus was age 12, He remained in Jerusalem when His parents returned home from the Passover celebration. When they realized He was missing, they began searching for Him. After three days of searching, they found Him in the temple, in Q & A session with teachers.
Jesus’ Respect for His Parents’ Authority “Son, why have you done this to us?” “Why did you seek me? Didn’t you know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Verse 51: He went down with them and was subject to them. Jesus continued to increase in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man.
Jesus’ Respect for His Parents’ Authority John 2:1-11: At Cana, Galilee, Jesus attended a wedding with His family. When the party ran out of wine (broad term used in the Bible for both fermented wine as well as grape juice), Jesus’ mother mentions it to Him. Implication is that Mary thought Jesus had the power to alleviate the shortage.
Jesus’ Respect for His Parents’ Authority Jesus response to her in our English translations may sound harsh, but was not at all in the original language. Mary tells the servants, “whatever He tells you to do, do it.” Jesus proceeds to change water to wine (context indicates this was grape juice)- His first miracle. He did this at the request of His mother.
Jesus’ Respect, Concern for His Mother John 19:25-27. Jesus is on the cross, very near death. He sees His Mother, and the disciple with whom Jesus was very close. Jesus to His Mother: “Woman, behold your son!” Jesus to the Disciple: “Behold, your mother”. And from that time on, the disciple took care of her in his own home.
Jesus’ Respect, Concern for His Mother Even as He hung on the cross dying, Jesus was concerned about His Mother’s well-being. He obviously wanted to ensure that she was taken care of after He died. No mention of her husband Joseph. It is assumed he has already died by this point. Jesus clearly showed respect and concern for His parents.
Jesus’ Respect, Concern for His Mother Respect for Parents was a part of the Old Law. Jesus knew the scriptures. He was never guilty of sin or violating the Law. Consider Exodus 20:12; 21:17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Proverbs 30:17; Respect, honor for parents also a part of the New Testament Law: Ephesians 6:1. We should follow Jesus’ example.
Jesus’ Recognized Civil Authorities Matthew 22:15-22. The Pharisees plotted to entangle Jesus with a question that was of considerable debate among Jews: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?” He asked for a coin, noted Caesar’s likeness imprinted on it, and said “Render to Caesar, the things that are Caesars, and to God, the things that are God’s.”
Jesus’ Recognized Civil Authorities By correctly noting that Caesar had the right to demand a tax from the funds (or medium of exchange) of what was backed by him (or his government), Jesus recognized Caesar’s or Roman government’s authority and right to exist. Jesus also knew and taught that secular authorities and governments are put in place by God. John 19:10-11.
Jesus’ Recognized Civil Authorities We never see Jesus leading an insurrection against a government. Nothing in the Bible that suggests we should be involved in a government overthrow. Unless they cause us to violate God’s law, there is nothing in scriptures to indicate that we can ignore civil laws.
Jesus’ Submitted to the Authority of God the Father Jesus’ entire life was lived in submission to the authority of God His Father. John 5:30: “I do not seek My own will, but the will of My father.” John 6:38-40: Jesus came from heaven to do God’s will, not His own. John 12:49-50;14:10: Jesus spoke, not on His own authority, but God’s.
Jesus’ Submitted to the Authority of God the Father Philippians 2:5-8: To do God’s will, Jesus willingly left heaven to come to earth and live as a man (though he was still deity). Hebrews 10:5-7: Jesus fulfilled prophecy in doing God’s will by offering His own body as a sacrifice so that we might be sanctified.
Jesus’ Submitted to the Authority of God the Father Luke 22:42-44: Though Jesus’ human nature sorrowed and agonized over His impending death on the cross, Jesus’ desire to accomplish God’s will remained steadfast throughout. Jesus serves as our ultimate example of submitting to authority.
Final Thoughts The use of authority and leadership is sanctioned and ordered by God in nearly every aspect of life. Jesus clearly respected those who had authority over Him. Our series will continue to look at different aspects and situations in which we will find ourselves in position to submit to authority.