The Essential Distinction
“By what authority are you doing these things . . . ?” Mark 11:28
What authority does Jesus have for urging us to believe in God? It might be enough to say He is God and is not to be questioned, but it was never the way of Jesus to force His authority upon another. Jesus’ call to us to have faith in God has been won by His relationship with God, and He has lived through the darkness. He asks us to believe in God.
He has gone before us in life and death. He calls us to have faith, not from the throne, but from the cross. He speaks to us, not from an easy place, but from a soul heavy with sorrow, suffering and loneliness. His authority is His experience of solitude and grief, and that at every turn in life, He found God to be near. It’s in this God we put our trust. Faith is not an argument or a conclusion, it’s a response to the life Jesus has won for us.
Here is the fundamental point of knowing the authority of Jesus – Jesus offers Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, as the clear guide of life. He says “seek and you will find.” All of our experience is the history of our answer. He is the truth and to go on finding the truth every day, one thing is needed, knowing Jesus’ authority is not found in a book of rules, a code of conduct, or academic acceptance. The pathway to God is friendship.
This is the essential distinction between a religious response to Jesus and the way Jesus lived and died to make it real to us. We follow him, not as one who is detached and uninformed of the Master’s purpose, but as His friends. Jesus discloses all the things He’s heard from His father to His friends.
The trouble with many is not fully believing themselves to be friends of Jesus. We are uninformed of our own standing in Christ’s presence. Friendship with Jesus sharpens the soul, infuses the spirit with courage, and gives strength to the will, changes the humble into heroes.
How’s your friendship with Jesus?