By what authority are you doing these things? ~ Mark 11:28a
READING: Mark 11:1-33
Christ the Lord has all authority to do with us and our church plant according to His good pleasure.
Less than a week before He went to the cross, Jesus demonstrated His authority in three unmistakable ways. To prepare for His entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He instructed His disciples to commandeer a donkey (vv.1-8). Who does He think He is? – That’s private property! Then He pronounced a withering curse upon an unproductive fig tree (vv. 12-14). Who does He think He is? – It wasn’t even the season for figs! And before He was through, He cast the moneychangers out of the Temple, calling Herod’s magnificent structure, “My house” (vv. 15-19). Who does He think He is? – He’s not even a Pharisee!
All of this was very offensive to the religious establishment, of course, because it undermined their man-centered equilibrium and forced them to confront the truth of who He is. But when they tried to trap Jesus, He refused to joust with them. Effortlessly He silenced them (and demonstrated His authority!) with His own question.
Jesus’ authority is offensive – even to us, sometimes. We church planters have a preconceived idea of how our ministries should go, but if the Lord unveils different plans, we might feel betrayed or confused.
But the truth is, Jesus is the Lord, and He does have authority in our lives and ministries. Our resources, our private property, our stuff – it all belongs to Him. He has every right to bless (or withhold blessing) on our “fruit bearing.” And cleansing our “temples” – our lives, our ministries – is exactly what the Lord will do.
Lord of church planting and Lord of my life, I know Your ways are best. Have your way with me today. You are the King, and I am at Your disposal. Amen.
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