Our Gospel lesson today comes from Matthew 21:23-27 (ESV).

And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Jesus often had debates with religious leaders. Unfortunately, those “in charge” never really wanted to know more about the kingdom, they were only interested in maintaining control and making Jesus look bad. Their focus was on themselves and not on God.

Fast forward two thousand years and what is our focus? Often our thoughts and actions are self-centered, not giving God the glory and not being concerned about the needs of others. Jesus would have gladly discussed God’s love and His plan for us with the religious leaders if they were willing to listen. He is willing to do the same for us if we are listening.

God wants to share His love and wisdom with us, and wants us to share it with others. In order to do this, we must pay attention to what He teaches. If we are constantly distracted by our own issues, how can we hear what God has to tell us? Today, listen for God’s voice and know the joy of being connected to Him.

Loving Lord, help us to be aware of the wonder and blessing all around us. May we live as You intend us to, caring for each other and the marvelous creation You have entrusted to us. In Your name we pray. Amen.


  1. Thank you Pastor Doug. Would you please pray for my grandson’s wife Megan Norris. She is 31 yrs old, a PA with Children’s Hospital. She is undergoing chemo for colon cancer and is almost 1/2 way through the prescribed treatment. My grandson Matt and their 9 mo. old baby girl, Ellie need prayers. I know they work. God is Good!

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