Monday 17 February 2014

TFTD - 15 February 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

15 February 2014

Exodus 26
Psalms 79; 80
Mark 11


It is necessary for the orderly functioning of life for there to be those in authority to approve and oversee what is to be done. This is essential for the proper functioning of life, but is it so in every case? In particular, is it so with Christianity?

Jesus was the authority until he ascended to heaven. Then the Apostles were given special Holy Spirit powers to exercise authority. An outstanding example was the drama with Ananias and Sapphira [Acts 5:1-11] who told lies to the Apostles, but Peter said, "You have not lied to men but to God." [Acts 5:4]

Our thoughts on this question arose from today's reading in Mark 11 where we read, "as he (Jesus) was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and elders came to him and they said to him, 'By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?" [Mark 11:27-28] These men were the bosses, no one was supposed to teach unless they gave them authority, this is one reason why John the Baptist went into the wilderness to preach. It was this exercise of authority that saw the disciples thrown into prison when they taught in the temple [Acts 4:1-3] although later, such was the prestige of the Apostles, created by their miracles, that dramatic scenes unfolded. [Acts 5:12,13; 5:17-20), but "none of the rest dared join them."

History shows that as the early believers evolved into large established churches these churches too began to exercise an attitude of authority climaxing in the power of the Pope and the cardinal system. In the Middle Ages, if you were not appointment by church authorities to minister in a church, you had no authority to preach. Some, such as John Bunyan, were put in prison for doing so. But as we will read at the end of Mark's Gospel, Jesus said, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved …" [Mark 16:15,16]. That authority is given to everyone the responsibility to share their faith; it is summed up by Paul when he wrote, "Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel" [1 Corinthians 9:16]
- DC

Thought for the Day

15 February 2014

"There is something very beautiful and hopeful in that expression,-“the God of peace,” ... God will bring peace upon earth, but of course in harmony with His own divine principle of glory to Him in the highest first, then peace on earth, and good will toward men."

- C.C. Walker
The God of Peace (1909)

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