Authority: Rejected and Abused
Today’s reading: II Samuel 13-14; Luke 20:1-26
17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Luke 20:17-18
Now therefore let me go into the presence of the king, and if there is guilt in me, let him put me to death.’” 33 Then Joab went to the king and told him, and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom. II Samuel 14:32b-33
Authority was an issue in Jesus day and in David’s time. In one case legitimate authority was rejected and in the other legitimate authority was abused.
Jesus assumed authority to teach and preach and heal. His popularity threatened those in power. They attempted to trap Him in some chargeable offense that would end His influence. In this passage, they actually asked Him directly the basis of His authority. We know how that turned out. Then Jesus taught a parable showing that their rejection of Him and His authority would end in their own destruction. Rather than take to heart His warning, they re-doubled their efforts to arrest Him.
David was the duly anointed king of Israel. He had authority to apply the Law of God in the land, to bring justice. David failed to take any action after the rape of his daughter, Tamar, by his son (her half-brother), Amnon. He was angry, but he did nothing. Absalom plotted the murder of Amnon. David took no action against Absalom, and eventually reinstated him.
Absalom, as we shall see tomorrow (II Samuel 15:4-6), exploited the desire for a king that would act justly in the land to mount an insurrection against his father. David had raised sons similar to himself, an adulterer and a murderer, and he apparently found it hard to be a consistent ruler.
But Jesus is the rightful King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-16). He is not blinded by any sin of His own. He executes justice perfectly. Those who reject His authority will suffer the consequences.
Let us submit to the One who sits at the right hand of the throne of God and give Him our worship and obedience (Philippians 2:5-10).