Sunday after Pentecost
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
16th October 2016
Christ and His attitude to All Lawful Authority by Rev. Fr.
When Christ went to Jerusalem for the great feasts, He was
in perpetual conflict with the rulers. Why was this so? It
was because, however respectful our Divine Lord might be to
authority, and however desirous of maintaining peace, He
could not resign His own authority, nor could He ignore the
work He had come to do.
Respect to earthly power has its limitations; in excess it
serves to destroy rather than to edify. Jesus was in
Galilee, which was then under the jurisdiction of Herod.
While He was preaching before a great crowd of people, the
Pharisees pretending to be anxious as to His personal safety
came to Him and said: "Depart, and get Thee hence, for Herod
hath a mind to kill Thee". He answered: "Go and tell that
fox, 'Behold I cast out devils, and do cures today and
tomorrow, and the third day I am consummated. Nevertheless,
I must walk today and tomorrow, and the day following,
because it cannot be that a prophet perish out of
Jerusalem.'" What wonderful words! What tranquil majesty
they hold! What grave simplicity they bear! Does He not here
show all that He is free? Is He not in very truth a Master?
"Go, tell that fox!" He calls him by this name, this crowned
impostor, coward and murderer. What an example He sets to
those who, in moments of weakness and tepidity, though they
have the right to speak indeed, whose duty it is to speak
think they can serve God by maintaining a cowardly silence.
He will not allow His truth to resign its rights to those
who, even on the pretext of prudence or charity, try to
silence the representatives of Christ.
As though we could be prudent only by being cowardly! As if
truth could only be preserved by being hidden under a
bushel! As though one could show love for one's brother by
abandoning him to the treachery and snares of his enemies!
And what message did He send to this fox/Herod? He said:
"Behold, I cast out devils, and do cures today and tomorrow;
after that is the hour of the powers of darkness. I will
suffer all that I must suffer, and meanwhile, I will
accomplish that which I have come to do. After three days
will come My death, but death because I will it, and where I
will it, not in your kingdom, O ruler of Galilee! but at
Such is the attitude of Jesus before manís authority, no
provocation, but absolute liberty. Jesus came on Earth to
edify and to establish a spiritual power. If, then, He found
any resistance, there was but one thing for Him to do: Break
the opposing force, and, above all things, guard that which
was essential to His work namely, His liberty. This, then,
is what we must understand when we consider the relations of
Jesus with the Jewish authorities. There is, indeed, a false
liberty which consists in judging without the right to
judge, in seizing without permission, in condemning without
authority; but we cannot speak of this sort of liberty in
connexion with Him Who possessed all rights and authority,
and Who was the Source of all wisdom. His conduct was always
prudent, and well did He demonstrate to all that He was
master of His work, His actions, and Himself.