Pastor in the Pasture, Wendel Elliott: Authority
I heard a story about a crooked ranch manager. He didn’t get there overnight and his dealings weren’t noticed very quickly either. The ranch was owned by a good family that had built an oil business from scratch. The family had bought the ranch to enjoy and produce beef as well. They hired a manager to handle the day to day and overall operations. Word got back to the headquarters office that things weren’t going well. The crooked manager was getting kickbacks from contractors hired to build barns and other construction projects. Other employees were joining in the dealings as well. The headquarters office decided to find a different manager they trusted and respected to put in place before the crooked one was let go. A new manager was found and was sent to the ranch unannounced. He was there by the authority of the owner and carried their full backing in his decisions. The crooked manager was terminated by the new manager but of course not before contacting the headquarters. Sure enough the office confirmed he was fired and was to vacate the property post haste.
There is a similar story in the Bible about a turf war of two types of “managers” if you will. It’s found in Matthew 21:23-32. I encourage you to read it however I will give a brief overview. Jesus has come to the Temple to teach and preach and the chief priests ask Him, “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?” (Matthew 21:23 NASB) The chief priests were feeling threatened. They were supposed to be the ones that had the answers and were supposed to be “managers” of God’s Word. They were crooked however and the new feller on the scene was forcing them into a turf war. This Jesus had come into Jerusalem on an unbroke donkey colt and the people had greeted Him with shouts of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!” Plus He had cleared the Temple courts of money changers and merchants (the chief priests may have been getting their cut as well). Now Jesus is drawing a crowd of followers that He is teaching in the Temple. He hadn’t asked their permission. He hadn’t quoted any of them or their teaching, giving them acknowledgement and recognition. He was messing up their racket but good!
You see Jesus had authority from His Father in Heaven to set the record straight. He had come to do the Father’s will and that was to seek and save the lost, sinners like you and me. He came to expose the lies of the religious elites that had become corrupt managers of His Word. Jesus had come for relationship not for religion.
Sometimes we can abuse the authority that is placed with us by our boss or the ranch where we work. Sometimes we can be like those chief priests and misuse what is entrusted to us. We can become bad stewards of resources when we let pride and self win that turf war.
How are you handling your authority? More importantly, how are you handling, treating and using what God has given to you? Are you being a good manager of His Word? Are you exercising and practicing the gifts He has given you with His Holy Spirit? There’s someone around you that needs encouragement, hope and healing that can be found within His Word and within what He has done for you. What will you do with it and the authority He has given to you so you can use it for the benefit of others?
Let us all be good managers and use His authority to do His will.
Well I best be going. He’s given me a lot to manage…
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!