Submission and Confidence

Submission and Confidence

Passage: Luke 20:1-8
Service Type:

Intro: An officer pulls over a man for speeding.

Before the officer can even say a word at the stop, the man—dressed in a tuxedo—blurts out, "Sir you have to listen to me…"

The officer cuts him off, "Sir, you were going twice the speed limit, I'm going to issue a ticket."

Insistent, the man pleads, "Please! I have to…"

The officer interrupts, "Don't bother, you're getting this ticket."

This back-and-forth continues for several minutes, eventually escalating to where the man was becoming openly hostile. The officer places the man under arrest.

At the holding cell, the officer says, "Lucky for you that the chief's at his daughter's wedding. He'll be in a good mood when he gets back."

"Don't count on it," answered the man in the cell. "I'm the groom."


Luke 20

1 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” 

They could see his authority. 

Jesus didn’t have any man-given authority at that point.

Some are “given it” (an boy hired because his Dad owns the company.) 

…and others just “have it”. (charisma and character demand attention)

The best is someone who has both.

“Who sent you?”

Example: What is so magical about a badge that says, FBI? 

A man cannot be greater than the one who sent him. 

1. Maturity recognizes God-given authority.

DB said: Maturity submits to authority

“Now a feature of a man’s maturity is responsibility towards other people, towards existing orders. He must let himself be controlled, ordered, restricted.”

Jesus knew where his authority began and ended.

He was submitted to the Father.

Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

John 5:19

He didn’t have to vindicate himself to them. 

2. Submission to God brings confidence.

Jesus was under the Father, not these law men.

They wanted to trap him… but they had a problem.

3 He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, 4 was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” 5 And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 

7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Luke 20:3-8

What was their problem? They feared the people. They feared each other.

They were in rebellion against God, but wanted the benefits of the opposite. 

Answers a question with a question.

“Ok, fine. Let’s talk about authority then”, says Jesus. 

“…was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?”

“We don’t know.”

3. Rebellion brings insecurity.

But what do they really want? What are the real motives behind the question?

“There are always two reasons for doing a thing: 

a good reason and the real reason.” ~ anonymous

Example: Al Capone was a known gangster but the authorities were unable to connect him with his crimes. So what did they get him on? Tax evasion.

Example: Why don’t you marry her?

Good reason: I’m not sure she’s the right person. 

Real reason: I love my independence more than I love her.

++ They claim to want answers (a good reason for the question), 

but they really wanted to trap and kill Jesus (the real reason).

“Those that bury the knowledge they have are justly denied further knowledge.”

~ Matthew Henry

4. Rebellion has a blinding effect.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear…”

~ anonymous zen proverb

Physical proof doesn’t always increase faith.

Jesus’ miracles should have been proof enough to believe.

Did we need answers in order to commit?

They didn’t really want the truth. 

Their question was the good reason, not the real reason for their lack of belief.

Or do answers come because of the commitment?

Example: The commitment of marriage answers lots of questions. 

Staying single while playing the field doesn’t answer many. 

People who say they need proof sometimes aren’y even looking for it.

5. Faith requires a decision.

Peter stepped out onto the water because he believed… 

not the other way round.

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 

“I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

2 Corinthians 4:13-14

Start with Jesus and the rest will follow. 

6. Jesus is the answer to every question.

If you submit to Jesus first, you know the answer.

“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”

~ Aaron Tippin (American country singer)


Ask yourself, “Is there a place in my life where I can’t get an answer?” 

Then ask, “Am I totally committed to Jesus in this area?”

“Then Jesus came to them and said, 

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go…”

Matthew 28:18-19a

Why not submit to the one who has all the authority?

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