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Daily Devotional for July 2


July 2                                                             Matthew 21:23-32

"By what authority are you doing these things?" is an inquiry
often posed from a defensive posture. The question arises from
people who believe they have authority over those whom they
doubt or with whom they differ. The chief priest and the elders
were annoyed by the crowds Jesus attracted. The attention
he was receiving because of his teaching and healing made him
a threat to the status quo. The question concerning John's
authority which Jesus placed before them simply angered them

Perhaps if the elders and priests had listened calmly to John
and to Jesus and observed their acts of healing compassion,
they might have discerned that their authority came from the
God of their ancestors. Certainly their works displayed a power
and authority beyond what was merely human. Yet the fear
felt by the elders and priests drove them relentlessly to resist
those works, to call them evil, and to try to drive out the ones
who performed those works. In the end, they found
themselves driving out God.

In our own lives, circumstances and events which we could
not have predicted or desired sometimes develop. Our world,
with all our neat classifications and clear controls then begins
to crumble. At such times we are tempted to think that evil
has attacked us, and, like the chief priests and elders, we want
to challenge such threats to our control. Often, however, what
we fear so greatly is in fact God breaking into our lives, discard-
ing the old and bringing in the new. At such times the call on
our lives is to bring the tax collector, the harlot, and even the
chief priest within us to Christ, where they can "repent and
believe" and enter the new age in which "All authority in
heaven and on earth has been given to [Christ]." (Matthew

           Dear God, you gave all authority to Christ.
Help the chief priest and elder within me today to accept
        Christ's authority over every aspect of my life.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989  

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