Mankind is all the same. We all strive to set up our own earthly laws because God's law is too much for us. We write our own set of rules so the game will go our way.
The chief priests strived to apply their rules to Jesus in asking him by what authority he spoke. If he says "by God's authority", they have him, because they know that they are the official priests of God's covenant on earth and some country rabbi cannot possibly supercede that.
In yet another witty and knowledgeable answer, Jesus not only confirms that God speaks through all kinds of people, but also establishes the true foundation of the priests' authority. Jesus brings up the example of John the Baptist, who was widely accepted as a prophet of God, yet was just some crazy guy in the desert. If the priests dared say he was not from God, the people would have mobbed them.
So, on what authority do the priests really speak if they fear the people's response? It is a dangerous game assuming God is on our side or that we have ascertained the mind of God. Mankind loves to set up little kingdoms, as if God was going to share some of his power and dominion with us.
The Dong people do the same thing as the rest of us. Some who have been Christians longer presume it is their place to instruct those who have been Christians for a shorter period of time. In reality, the younger Christians have suffered for their faith and remained faithful, when the older have denied his name at the smallest sight of danger.
We need to pray that the Dong people would cling to the Word of God, not to their own rules. Pray they will bow humbly before him instead of seeking the honor of their fellow man.
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