In his exploration of authority, Jesus confronts those confronting him, and reveals a way of being in the world that can save us all.
Sharing it is our vocation
Proper 21A | Matthew 21:23-32
Authority. It’s a sticky concept in every way.
It’s sticky—in that when we get into it, we get stuck in all of the different facets to it.
And it is sticky—in that we get stuck on the concept. Sticky like a slogan or a moment or a song. [“Cecilia”]
With authority, we obsess over who is allowed to speak and when. Who to trust and why.
And when the chief priests and elders come to Jesus and ask him about authority, we might feel conflicted.
On the one hand, we’re on Team Jesus, so we don’t really worry about his authority. But on the other, we hear the question and think it deserves an answer. That reaction is what we call integrity. It becomes a matter of honesty and decency. Because we believe every question deserves an answer.
In the abstract, this encounter also triggers long-standing issues for the church about our own authority. Who we entrust with authority and where it comes from.
But there’s a problem with all of this abstraction. It isn’t really in service to the truth.
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