“Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’, they asked. ‘And who gave you this authority?’” (Matthew 21:23, NIV)
There are some things that God requires that confounds the watching world: Love for one’s enemies; forgiveness of those who have harmed us; rejoicing in trial; and hopefulness in adversity.
As a disciple of Jesus, be prepared to answer those who ask: “By what authority. . .?”, because the ways of God are sometimes foreign even to those who inhabit the “temple courts” as the chief priests and elders of the people did in Jesus’ day. Our “authority” is our heavenly Father. It is His spirit within us. It is His word informing our decisions. We aspire to be like Him.
As many of us were taught years ago by our parents: Resist “peer pressure.” Furthermore, obey the teaching of the One who created us, and loves us — no matter what and no matter who. – Luther