“Then the Jews demanded of him, ‘What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.” John 2:18-22
“By what authority do you do this?”
Have you asked this of the Lord?
Note what Jesus does not say. He doesn’t say, “By God’s authority.” Or even, “By my Father’s authority.” He doesn’t say, “I made the world.” He doesn’t list off a string of credentials.
Jesus says, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
What?! “It’s taken us forty-six years to build this and you’re going to do it in three days?”
Of course, the leaders misunderstood. They think Jesus is referring to the brick and mortar building. No. The fullness of God’s presence dwells in Jesus, and He is the true temple, the true embodiment of God.
The authority by which Jesus can come into the temple and brandish a whip derives from his conquering of death, his power over the most profound effect of sin. He earned the authority through his position as sacrificial lamb.
Bottom line, the authority is his by nature of who He is and what He does.
So the foundational question, then, is: have you bowed to his authority? We cannot accept Christ as savior, without positioning him as Lord. Without Christ as Lord, we have only religion–like the Pharisees who challenged Jesus’ authority–not relationship. It’s the bowing of the knee that opens the heart for intimacy with Christ.