The religious people of Jesus’ day were after Him all the time. They attempted to undermine and limit Him, to make Him look small and insignificant, and went to great lengths to ruin His reputation in the eyes of other people. Sometimes it was through sly manipulation, other times completely overt. Often what seemed so benign on the surface was full of agenda: to control or destroy. This kind of behavior comes from a place in a person’s heart that is jealous, full of sin, seeking the power and glory that belongs to Jesus Christ, alone.

It happens in the Church today, just as in Jesus’ day, and sadly with great frequency. It limits the power of God in our personal lives and in our churches and it limits relationships. Beware:

By what authority do you say these things? (Luke 20:2)

By what authority are you doing these things? (Matthew 21:23)

Who gave you this authority? (Matthew 21:23)

Who sent you? (Exodus 3:13)

Who is your covering?

We don’t approve of what you are doing.

What are your credentials?

Where did you get your education?

How did you get such learning? (John 7:15)

You are not a scholar, why do you think you have an opinion?

Trust us we’re the experts, you don’t know what you’re doing.

We are the ones with the authority, who gave you permission?

I don’t agree with your theology.

What is your title?

Where is your ordination from?

Prove your authority (John 2:18).

We want to see a sign… (Matthew 12:38)

No need to listen to him… He’s out of His mind (Mark 3:20.

What kind of wisdom is this? He’s just an insignificant carpenter’s son (Mark 5:2,3).

The religious leaders kept a close watch on Jesus. They even sent spies who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Him in something… (Luke 20:20).

Related post: Fear is a bully