- Matthew 6:1-34
- Luke 11:1-4
- Luke 12:22-34
- Matthew 7:1-29
- Luke 6:37-49
- Luke 11:5-13
“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” –Matthew 7:28-29, ESV
Submitting to authority seems to be a selective human trait. When we can know the immediate consequences of not submitting, sometimes we more easily submit. If you are driving through town and notice a police car turn in behind you, suddenly you are very aware of every aspect of your driving. Did you do something wrong? Is there a reason the police car pulled in behind you? And then the sigh of relief comes when the officer pulls past you and goes on his way. We know the consequences of not submitting to traffic laws. And so we are careful to observe those laws.
But sometimes the consequences of not submitting to spiritual laws are less concrete. I am not talking about the salvation tract of the four spiritual laws. I mean the rules that govern our spiritual existence. Where immediate consequences seem unclear, recognition of authority comes in handy. I may not know the soul-deep result of a particular sin, but I do know the One Who declared it as sin. If I truly recognize Jesus as Lord, then I trust what He says is true, including that the result of sin is death. I may not see it immediately, but I can believe the One who speaks with authority. I don’t have to experience the grime of sin when I simply believe the Lord of all and avoid the sin.