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On whose s'mikhah?

Matthew 21:23-27

23 He went into the Temple area; and as he was teaching, the head cohanim (high priest) and the elders of the people approached him and demanded, “What s’mikhah do you have that authorizes you to do these things? And who gave you this s’mikhah?” 24 Yeshua answered, “I too will ask you a question. If you answer it, then I will tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things. 25 The immersion of Yochanan — where did it come from? From Heaven or from a human source?” They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From Heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From a human source,’ we are afraid of the people, for they all regard Yochanan as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Yeshua, “We don’t know.” And he replied, “Then I won’t tell you by what s’mikhah I do these things.

What is "s'mikah?" Here is the wikipedia definition:

Semikhah (or Semicha or Smicha; Hebrew: סמיכה‎) is the ordination of a rabbi within Judaism. It may also be called (סמיכה לרבנות‎, "rabbinical ordination", orסמיכה לחזנות‎, "cantorial ordination" when given specifically to a hazzan (cantor). The original semikhah was the formal "transmission of authority" from Moses through the generations. This form of semikhah ceased between 360 and 425 CE. Since then semikhah has continued in a less formal way. Throughout history there have been several attempts to reestablish the classical semikhah.

The word semikhah derives from a Hebrew root סמכ (smk) that means to "rely on" or "to be authorized"; the literal meaning of Semikhah is "leaning [of the hands]"

Here is the Jewish understanding from a link:

It is essentially "authority." It is also a "laying on of hands."

The religious leaders of the day wanted to know by "whose authority do you speak?"

Jesus asked them a question in response. He wanted to know where the immersion from John the Baptist came from.

Jesus loved to respond to questions with a question. I think good teachers are able to do this. It makes the other person think through why they asked their question. It makes the person stop and sort a possible answer.

We know, and believe, that Jesus had the authority of God. We know and believe that He was sent by the Father to live and teach among the people.

Stop and put yourself in the shoes of the people of the day. They had nothing really to go on, except the Words of the prophets. Do you see how confusing it could have been for them to try and discern who was right? They had been taught by these religious leaders and leaders before them and the line keeps going back.

And then here comes Jesus... Not teaching something different, but teaching in a fresh new way. One could see how it might be difficult to know whose "authority" (teachings) to follow.

I believe it is the same in our world today. We have all kinds of teachers and leaders. Someone new moves in and either we are drawn to him/her, or turned off. We either listen to him/her, or question.

In any situation, we must always go to the Word and read. Do the words that are spoken align with the Words from the Father and those He Annointed to preach the Good News? Do the words that are spoken line up with His heart?

This means that we have to KNOW the Words of the Father. This means that we have to KNOW His heart. We cannot just believe on and rely on everything someone else says. I have often heard people say, "But I don't know how to understand the Bible."

Friends, it is time to read the Word and ask the Spirit for revelation. YOU can read the Word of God and have it come alive. YOU can hear from the Father yourself and KNOW it is Him.

As you learn and understand, HIS Words will come to LIFE for you. Then, when you ask HIM a question, He will respond and walk you through the answer, just like He did the religious leaders of the day. Be ready, my friends. Be ready to walk it out.

Love and blessings,


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