What authority does Jesus have in our lives? What role do we play in granting that authority? And how might it change us to acknowledge it more completely?

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“What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’

“‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went.

“The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ But he didn’t go.

“Which one of these two did his father’s will?”

They said, “The first one.”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God’s kingdom ahead of you. For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn’t believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn’t change your hearts and lives and you didn’t believe him.”

Matthew 21:28-32

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As we join this theological discussion in progress, it has taken an uncomfortable turn for the temple priests and leaders who began by questioning the authority of Jesus. Their conversation has shifted from the theoretical to the practical, and Jesus has placed the focus back on them.

Even though they can give Jesus the correct answer, it’s clear they aren’t living a life that’s consistent with what they know. There are many examples of this in our own lives. We know that fast food is unhealthy and still eat it. We know that studying will help us do well on the test and choose to watch t.v. instead. We know that talking in person would be better than sending a text, but we still hit send.

Giving Jesus authority in our lives will affect not only our thoughts and beliefs but also our actions. It is about aligning what we know with what we do. Where are these gaps in your life? What do you know and what are you doing? Do they match up?

Chad Senuta

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Gracious God, I know my life isn’t always consistent. Fill me with the knowledge of your love, so that I can be honest, forgive myself, and seek once again to live what I believe. Amen.

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May your knowledge of Jesus and the way you live your life draw nearer and nearer until both become one.

Go in peace, inviting and seeking that unity.

Chad Senuta

Chad Senuta serves as the Associate for Youth and Campus Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. He enjoys good coffee, listening to music on vinyl, and spending time with his family. He lives in Northfield, IL with his wife Lisa and two daughters.

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