During the 13th and 14 centuries, the Church in Europe came up with the Discovery Doctrine. It claimed God gave the Church His authority to conquer and plant the Gospel anywhere on earth that was not yet converted. Based on that doctrine, Columbus and other explorers believed that had legal and moral license to strip people of their land, enslave them, or even kill them—with the Church’s blessing and God’s approval. In Matthew 12, we find the religious leaders using the same claim of divine authority to oppose Jesus. They saw His disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath and objected, charging them with violating God’s law through Moses. They believed they had divine authority to prohibit such work on the Sabbath. Jesus saw through their hypocrisy. He knew they were really trying to protect their positions of power and the benefits that went with the power. He stated the Sabbath’s purpose and His lordship over it. He could define how best to observe it. Jesus reminds us we must be very careful claiming authority we do not have. What God permits us to do may not be His perfect will. Jesus calls us to discover and obey His perfect will as revealed in His holy Word.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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