x297.....The Scribes---Way Under Authority

28* And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29* For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7: 28-29)

21* And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22* And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1: 21-22)

Jesus' teachings and actions were done "with authority"--with the power and permission of God the Father. But for some reason--the scribes teachings was not so. Why is this?

When we study authority, we see that in the New Testament, this authority--the power of God, is very specifically directed for certain purposes. To simplify it, the authority of God is meant to destroy the works of the devil in the earth. This is exactly how Jesus used His authority---He utilized this authority specifically to cast out devils--to heal the sick--and to preach the Gospel of the kingdom of God. This is exactly where and how the authority of God is meant to be directed--to destroy the works of the devil.

authority destroys works

The authority that is given from God is meant to destroy the works of the enemy---But Jesus told His disciples not to use this authority one over another--

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10: 42-45)

Why? Because authority destroys works, and when one person uses authority over another--they destroy their works. God meant for all Christians to be doing the work of God in the earth--

Mr 13:34* For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

WE all as Gods servants--or at least every Christian who is interested in being a servant of God--has the same authority that Jesus had in His ministry in the earth.

But what about these scribes--why didn't they have authority like Jesus? Let's look at what a scribe was exactly--

grammateuv grammateus {gram-mat-yooce'} n m

-----scribe 66, townclerk 1; 67

1) a clerk, scribe, esp.a public servant, secretary, recorder, whose office and influence differed in different states

2) in the Bible, a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher. Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion. Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people. See a Bible Dictionary for more information on the scribes.

3) a religious teacher: so instructed that from his learning and ability to teach advantage may redound to the kingdom of heaven

A scribe was a teacher of the word God. They knew every detail of the word--they certainly should have had authority--the power that comes from the word of God. Jesus was teaching the same word of God --yet He spoke it with authority.

But as we can see, the scribes were a group of "ministers" who were in fact under the authority of others---they were definitely under the authority of the high priest--and in fact, the high priest themselves were under the authority of the Roman government.

Acts 9:14* And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

High priests had authority

Luke 20:20* And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

And the Roman governor had authority also.

The scribes were a group of teachers who were definitely under the authority of these people--they were "way under authority". And that authority did it's job--it basically destroyed their works. Now, they thought they were being obedient to God by putting themselves "under the authority" of the high priest. But here we see that they were singled out as doing the same thing (teaching) as Jesus--yet not having the authority of God--the power and effectiveness of God in their teaching--as Jesus did.

Jesus did not have the correct birthright to be a priest according to Jewish law (He was born tot he trive of Judah, rather than Levi)--yet He as a man--filled with the Holy Ghost and power--had a greater authority than the "proper" teachers--who did the "right thing" and put themselves under the authority of others. Jesus told His followers 3 times not to put themselves "under authority" not to utilize their God-given authority "over" others within the church--amongst themselves.

Why? because it would destroy the authority of others within the church---instead of destroying the works of the devil in the earth.

In fact all of Israel was under the kingdom of the Gentiles at the time of Jesus. Jesus specifically taught against the Roman governmental system--the system of mans authority over other men.......and those "under authority" believing that this type of functioning of authority benefited them--

Lu 22:25* And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

How do we know that Jeus is referring to the Roman system of government? Well, for one, it is obvious that the Gentile kings which ruled the earth at the time, were the Roman emperors. Of course recorded history bears out this fact--we have a clear picture of Roman authority--a hierarchy of one man set under another's authority--an empirical system. But, amazingly enough, the Bible records only one person who makes the staement that he was "set under authority"--the Roman centurion!

8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. (Luke 7:8, KJV).

(When we put ourselves under the authority of church leadership--it effectively destroys our works for God--think of the Catholic church. They certainly have a government which most of us protestants would say is incorrect--having a hierarchy of priests--bishops--cardinal and a pope who is considered king of all. We certainly realize this is an incorrect government.

Yet what is the result ?---How does this effect the Godly ministry of the majority of catholics in the earth? The plain fact is that most catholic people--millions of them--do little or no work for God in the earth--simply because their belief in authority over them destroys their works for God. Most catholic people feel that it is their job to contribute to the ministry who does the work of God instead of being servants of God themselves. But now let's look in the mirror. The plain fact is that most churches--whether we call ourselves "evangelical" or "pentecostal"--operate by the same system and rules as the catholic church! We meet with a rule that says "all must attend" Sunday service--under the authority of "the ministry"--and the "job" of most is to contribute money tothis "ministry". The fact is that a huge proportion of the time, effort, and money of most Christians is spent on these "rules" which were clearly made up by popes and Roman emperors centuries ago!)

Do we strictly teach Jesus doctrine about authority in our churches? Or do we gravitate toward the "kingdom of the Gentiles" the type of government of "authority over" rather than servant leadership? It's very easy to do this as the "kingdom of the Gentiles" is particularly the system that is still in rhe world with regard to leadership.

Most of us have bosses who have "authority" over us. In our country we have police who have authority over us--we have governmental officials who have authority over us--etc. We accept this "kingdom of the Gentiles" readily, as it is the familiar system we see and function under in the world. It is an unfamiliar thing to set up leadership by servant hood the way that Jesus has stated. But maybe if we tried it it might work! The Bible calls us to set up a network of equals--brothers and sisters in Christ--and NOT to set up our own kingdom under man's authority and rule. Only Christ is the Head of the church--no man.

In the Bible we can clearly see that at the beginng of the book of Acts, the very earliest church was holding to this system---because they had the result of having perfect authority over the devil.

21* So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. (Acts 4:21)

When the apostle are brought before the council--the council cannot touch them--"because of the people" Because the people and the apostles "had all things common amongst themselves"

44* And all that believed were together, and had all things common; (Acts 2:44)

Having things common amongst themselves focused all their authority or power exactly where it belonged--against the devil--and so they had perfect authority over the devil.