“…who is he who gave You this authority?”– Luke 20:2
In sports, home-field advantage has its perks. It has been said that one of the significant benefits are attributed to the psychological effects supporting fans have on the competitors. Home teams have the advantage of familiarity. They play from a position of strength. These advantages can be heavily relied upon. In the spiritual sense, flesh has now become the arm.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were diametrically opposed to each other in their religious views. Yet when it came to questioning Jesus’ authority, they joined forces with evil intent. One group attempted to bait Him into a political debate hoping to incite insurrection. The other group desired to make Him look foolish by using the Scriptures and asking a ridiculous question. What a sad day it is when religious leaders want anyone to stumble. They approached Jesus from their positions of strength. It would be this unrepentant arrogance that would lead to punishment (Proverbs 11:21).
The advantage the Pharisees and Sadducees thought they had was their affiliations and knowledge. The flesh had become their arm of strength. It was their “home-field advantage.” They attempted to approach Christ in this way. It shut their hearts and minds to dependence on Christ. It closed them off to the truth. When Jesus is approached in this fashion, His authority is questioned. A place of victory for our enemy.
Are you experiencing a time of waiting? Is that waiting causing you angst? Uncertainty in stillness may cause us to question Jesus’ authority. We begin to look for answers elsewhere. Let us be careful not to rely on past experiences or earthly hopes to propel us. Reliance on flesh can become our “positions of strength.” We can begin to reach forward to attain that which was not fit for us. We can take something as ours before His appointed time. May we pray and wait. And, if we do not hear Him, let us repeat the process until we do.
“All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.”– Oswald Chambers