November 13, 2007
God's Gift of Authority
One day as Jesus was preaching in the temple courts, the priests and the teachers of the law challenged him: “Tell us, by what authority you are doing these things? Who gave you this authority?”
Among this crowd were experienced teachers of the law and elders and leaders of the people. All of a sudden Jesus comes along preaching the good news of eternal life. Do you think that these leaders could have been threatened by his presence? Was Jesus convincing to them? Perhaps in their minds they could not deny God’s power of authority.
According to Matthew 7:28 the crowds were amazed at His teaching and they acknowledged Him. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who had authority, and not as teachers of the law." What was the difference then? It was this: Jesus responded to the challenge of the priests and teachers by asking if John’s baptism was from heaven or from men. After some discussion, they could not answer. But the answer was clear. The authority came from heaven. Jesus said: “My Father is always at work to this very day, and I too, am working.” I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees his Father doing because whatever the Father does the Son does also. (John 5:17 &18)
As believers, God also gives authority. We probably have the concept of having the authority to drive out Satan or rebuke sin when we have to. That may be so but the authority that God gives is the authority to build up the church. (2 Cor. 10:8) It is for building up not for tearing down. Using God’s gift of authority means availing of God’s power.
Jesus gave the disciples power and authority to cure diseases and drive out demons but also to preach the Kingdom of God. We can build the church fearlessly and with great confidence. We can build up the body of Christ and we can continue to preach Salvation. There is a profound verse that I would like to emphasize: “For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.”
(2 Cor. 13:8)
Remember the question, Jesus asked? Was John’s baptism from heaven or from man? If it were from man there would be little convincing or conviction. When work is ongoing to benefit the Kingdom of heaven, God will give us the authority to make his truth and purposes known. That’s what makes all the difference in all we do!
Whatever we do, do as though working for the Lord! Go in the strength of the Lord. Amen!
Labels: Janice Keats