Scriptures: Matthew 28:18-20 John 17:1-18 Matthew 8:23-27 Mark 11:12-14, 20-21, 27-33 Matthew 21:33-46 Mark 2:10 Luke 10:13-16
As Jesus ended His time of being visibly on earth, He declared “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” All authority. There is not one iota of creation, of the ordered circuits of the heavenly bodies or of the path of each of our lives where our Lord and Saviour is not in authority. Without His authority nothing that exists would have been created and sustained.
When Jesus came to live amongst those He had created, despite still retaining His Nature as the Son of God, He chose not to hold onto the equality with His Father that was His by right. He made this choice out of love, deep, sacrificial, unwavering love for the world, love that would ultimately lead Him to Calvary’s tree.
As the Son of man, Jesus still exercised complete authority over this natural world, the creatures He had created and the bewildered, lost souls He so longed to see know His Father as intimately as He did. And He used this authority to teach His disciples and the crowds who followed Him daily.
Who else could have caused a storm, that terrified experienced fisherman enough to shake Jesus awake in their fear and panic, to cease in an instant and a great calm take its place. No gradual receding of winds and lashing rain, no slow lessening of the huge swell that had threatened to overwhelm their boat, but an immediate and great calm. Only the One who held all authority could have done this.
Just a few days before His crucifixion, Jesus did something that incensed the religious and political hierarchy greatly. He used the example of a seemingly flourishing fig tree to show them exactly what would happen to the nation so beloved of His Father. The fig tree should have been laden with fruit, instead it was all showy leaves. Sadly, those who Jesus had come to appeared, by their religious observances and traditions, to be spiritually flourishing, but there was no fruit. These very leaders would engineer His arrest, His mock trial and then incite the people to demand His death. For this, the Kingdom would be taken from them and given to those producing the fruit of the Kingdom.
When we look at the nineteen miracles that are recorded in the four gospels, we can see that they are proof of Christ’s authority, verifying and authenticating His claim to be God’s Son. Not only did He physically heal the paralysed man whose friends lowered him through the roof, Jesus forgave his sins. This healing confirmed His supreme authority to also forgive sins. “That you may know that the Son of man possesses authority on earth to forgive sins (he said to the sick of palsy), I say to you, Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house” (Mark. 2:10).
It may appear easy for us, looking down the pages of history, to pass judgement on those who failed to accept that Jesus was the long awaited, and yearned for, Messiah. Surely they should have known, with all their knowledge of the prophetic words spoken of Him, that He was Emmanuel, their Saviour and Redeemer. But would we have been any different? Would we have sat in sackcloth and ashes, repenting before this man whose acts displayed His absolute authority? Yet, He refused to overthrow Rome, even using His authority to make a fish appear with a coin in its mouth so that they could pay a tax, that He had no need to pay, so as not to cause offence. Would we along with them have rejected Him and therefore the One who sent Him?
Our Father God has set our feet on a path, saving and redeeming us by the precious Blood of Christ, whilst continuously sanctifying us in His tender love and mercy. God will use whatever He knows is best for us to humble us, to refine us, so that we become as pure gold, reflecting His Glory for all eternity. And only He, through His Son, has the authority to do this.
Prayer: Father God, open our eyes, open our understanding, open our hearts that we may know, without a shadow of doubt, that all authority has indeed been given to Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, and that we belong to You and You alone. Through the power of Holy Spirit, we pray, Amen