Sunday, October 17, 2010

Essential for Being an Authority

A couple of years ago while working on my masters degree I did a 50+ page report on a four-day school week as a way for school districts to save substantial money. I spent weeks pouring over the academic research papers (super-boring), looking at tables, graphs, and other pictorial representations of findings. I even visited with the only superintendent to have successfully attempted a shortened week in Arkansas.

My extensive work gained me an "A+", compliments from my professor, and a suggestion I submit it to several academic journals for publication. If my paper was published I would be classified as an expert on the subject, qualified to travel all over the nation, and a professional speaker on the financial benefits of the shortened school week. I feel I am an authority on this tiny piece of academia.

Let's suppose YOU need to convince members of the local school board on a single method to save them scads of money. You have heard of the savings generated by the shorter school week. You can have only one person come in. Which would you chose? Would you chose me, or would you bring in a likable, experienced, successful, "4-day school week" superintendent? Anyone in their right mind will pick the superintendent. Why? He has authority based on experienced, not the type of authority based on what others have written.

Jesus had 'experiential' authority. He was with the Father in creation. He helped make man. He was with the Father when Moses received the 10 commandments, when Joshua crossed the Jordan, and when the walls fell at Jericho. Was he with the Father when the Jews stopped serving God? Was he involved in sending the Jews away to Babylon? Did he assist Nehemiah in re-constructing Jerusalem's wall? So, with all his dealings with man BEFORE he came to earth, he knows what mankind needs. He has experience!

The authority of the scribes during Jesus time on earth was like my kind of authority. They cited and quoted the works of many great Rabbis. They knew what had been written, and could report to the people what they knew. But they had no first-hand successful experience. It was an ineffective kind of authority. 

Is it any wonder people have always preferred to listen to Jesus?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Place your comments here. They will be moderated. I reserve the right to reject any comment before displaying. I will email you (if I have your address) if there is a problem.