"And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,
And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?" (Luke 20:1-2)
It is human nature to want to know, "Where are you coming from?"
People want to know, "Who gave you the authority to say and to do the things that you are saying and doing?"
And that is a legitimate question. But, many times, it is only asked because what you are saying, or doing, is being rejected by those asking the question. They do not want to hear what you are saying, and do not want to accept what you are doing.
So, they ask, "Who put you in charge?"
Jesus has been addressing some things that have ruffled some feathers in religious circles. Some people are very upset with Him about some things that He has said!
So, here comes a delegation!
1) The "chief priests". (v. 1) These are educated men that have been prepared to minister to God, by offering sacrifices, burning incense, leading prayers, and taking care of the temple. They should know God, and be able to recognize His presence.
2) The "scribes". (v. 1) These are also educated men. Their job is to make copies of the scriptures, and to interpret their meaning. They are experts in the written Word. They should also know the Lord, and be able to recognize His Spirit in people.
3) The "elders". (v. 1) They are sages. They are mature men who are endowed with wisdom and experiences. They are proven men, and have been entrusted with authority and power. They, too, should be able to recognize the presence of God in their midst.
So, why do they question Jesus' authority?
Because they have rejected Him! It is just that simple.
Remember, Satan rejected God's authority, too. Look at what it got him!
The people of Jesus' day thought that they could just dismiss Him, and every thing would be alright. Nothing is alright if you reject Jesus.
From my heart to your heart.