12 Jesus spoke to the people again. He said, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness. They will have that light. They will have life.” 13 The Pharisees argued with him. “Here you are,” they said, “appearing as your own witness. But your witness does not count.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I am a witness about myself, what I say does count. I know where I came from. And I know where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards. I don’t judge anyone. 16 But if I do judge, what I decide is true. This is because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 Your own Law says that the witness of two people proves the truth about something. 18 I am a witness about myself. The other witness about me is the Father, who sent me.” 19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the temple courtyard. He was near the place where the offerings were put. But no one arrested him. That’s because the time for him to die had not yet come.
This passage is all about the notion of authority and there is a revelation about the difference between worldly authority and the way authority works in heaven.
In my experience, authority in a worldly sense has to be given from one person to another by way of honouring someone or submitting to them. Even a person who has fought their way into a position of authority has forced others to submit to them.
Heavenly authority though is intrinsic to God and can only be delegated from the top. God has Authority because he is the author and creator.
In the view of the Pharisees, they refused to honour or submit to Jesus and therefore believed that he had no authority over them. The problem with this view is that Jesus DOES have every authority in heaven and earth (Matt 28:18) and if I choose not to recognise that authority, I put myself in an awkward position with the creator of the universe!
For me, this goes far beyond solving the problem by having a relationship with Jesus – having Jesus as my saviour and friend only goes part of the way. I need to put Jesus in the place of authority over ALL aspects of my identity and life.
Lord, even when I try to give everything I have over to you, there are still dark parts of me that you need to redeem. By your Spirit, show me those areas and continue to show me what I need to do to put you in the place of Lord.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware