Who Said So?

W. Terry Varner
June 2, 2013

When children are playing, invariably, one will attempt to control the situation by bossing others around. One will attempt to get the other(s) to do what they want. Some child will respond with “Who said so?” Children will often reply, “Mom said so” or “Daddy said so.” Using modern day parlance that means, “orders from headquarters.” The other child or children knew they had better do just that!

Underlying this basic attitude there are certain people who have authority in our lives and we do certain things because of it. There are people who speak to me and I must stop and listen, and do as they say, unless they are contradicting God’s Word; i.e. the government. Then there are people, who speak to me, which require I be polite, kind, and courteous, but I do not have to respond and do what they ask or tell me.

The Jews questioned Jesus about His authority in Matthew 21:23-27. They asked, “By what authority do You do these things? Who gave You this authority?” Jesus in turned questioned them in Matthew 21:24-25a). Their attitude was wrong and Jesus did not give them a direct answer because they were asking from the wrong motive. They were trying to ensnare or trap Him hoping to make a fool of Him in front of a crowd. But, in this section of Scripture, the Jews realized that there was a need for proper authority. If a man came into their midst and appeared to be a prophet or a teacher from God, it was necessary for him to come with proper credentials; i.e. with proper authority (Matthew 21:25b-27).

We must have authority or a standard by which we live. An illustration of this would be as follows. When we drove to church this morning we did so by driving on the right side of the road. In South Africa and you will drive on the left side of the road. Discuss with each government which is the better side. The decision we come to is arbitrary. The government made the decision for each nation. Can you imagine driving in our nation without rules and regulations. Just drive anywhere you want—right side, left side, the middle of the road, median strip, sidewalk, etc. It would be dangerous.

We must have authority in religion. In religion, there is great diversity in what is termed “matters of faith.” Why? It is because men recognize various types of authority; i.e. Synods, Councils, Conferences, etc.

Where is authority in religion? If I am going to follow God and be united with God’s children, where do I look for authority? Does it matter? Absolute and primary authority rests in Jesus. “All authority is given to Me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). God instructed us to hear His Son (Matthew 17:5). Why? Because Jesus is the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:8-9). Solomon stated it this way: “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). The prophet Jeremiah stated it this way: “It is not in man that walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

It is important to listen to God. How important is it to turn and open our Bibles and read, study, and obey God’s Word regardless what we have heard, understood, felt, or thought about matters of religion? It is so important that it determines the destiny of our soul. David asked, “Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9). Therein lies our authority.