Jesus spoke with moral authority to the religious and political leaders of his day, who were determined to find fault between His words and deed. Boldly, Jesus publicly confronted His opponents who attempted to paint him guilty without any trial: He challenged them as He said, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” (John 8:46). Jesus willingly offered Himself for public scrutiny, for he had nothing to fear..
At times, moral leaders begin to believe they are above the law. Many even teach that nothing is inherently good or bad, it’s only our thinking that matters. Moral living is trampled underfoot! Doesn’t this have a resemblance to the culture in which we live?
Moral authority is a combination of the leader’s vision and a follower’s belief. It is the leader who proposes a vision, and a plan of action with specific outcomes, expressing values with which followers align themselves. Moral authority is thus an outcome of a leader’s compelling vision followed by a commitment of heart and mind expressed through consistent truthful living. This generates trust and security which inspires followers to believe in the leader’s vision. Masses followed Jesus to listen to His teaching and be healed of their emotional, physical, and spiritual ailments.
The vision of the kingdom of God, inaugurated and lived by Jesus, emotionally and morally convicted His disciples; they too began living according to values of the kingdom of God. Jesus nurtured disciples capable of envisioning and creating just, truthful, and peaceful societies.Jesus set before us a path to overcome craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions (1 John 2:16). We need to develop a culture of repentance and mutual accountability. Even today, Jesus empowers us by His grace and Holy Spirit to live lives that match our words.