Submit to the Authority of the Lord

Date: 16 Oct 2022

Speaker: Ps Luwin Wong

Sermon Text: Luke 19:45-21:4

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For a brief moment in her history the United Kingdom was ruled by two Elizabeths. Queen Elizabeth II was the reigning Monarch when Elizabeth Truss assumed the office of Prime Minister of the UK. That picture of the two of them meeting together must have been a strange sight in medieval England, not the reason that they were women, but because who exactly, between the two of them, actually exercised authority over the Kingdom?

Queen Elizabeth wears the crown, but it is Liz Truss’s parliament that make the laws. Laws, which everybody, including the Queen is bound to obey.

We grew up watching movies and reading fairy tales where the King or Queen calls the shots. They did as they pleased. They set the rules, the words of the king and queen were the law.

So how did the crown come to be stripped of so much of its authority?

Well the beginning of the end came with the reign of King John. Which may seem a strange name of a king of England, because there is no King John II. No other king after him wanted to take his regnal name. He has gone down in history as the very worst of English kings. So despised was he, that when he died, it was said that “Hell itself is made fouler by the presence of John.”

It wasn’t good enough to simply say that he went to hell. They said he made hell a worser place by being there.

Now, because of his unpopularity, he had to take drastic measures to retain his crown. So some 800 years ago, signed a document that came to be known as the Magna Carta. The Great Charter.

Amongst other things, the Magna Carta said that the King no longer had the authority to do whatever he pleases. He can’t imprison people just because he didn’t like them, he can’t raise and impose taxes whenever he likes. The Great Charter placed limitations on the authority of the crown. The king is no longer a law unto itself.

Fast forward to today, and a Monarchy as a political system is largely a thing of the past. Kings and Queens still exists, but they hardly wield any real authority over the affairs of their country, their roles are mostly ceremonial, the parliament holds the real power. Nobody in this age really recognises the authority of Kings anymore.

Todays’ question is this, “What about King Jesus?” Will his authority be recognised? Will people submit to him? And what does it mean to submit to the Lord Jesus?

That’s question posed by our text today, it’s a question of authority.

1 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up 2 and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.”