Authority is a principle that’s known to most people. Some people appreciate it because they understand that without any authority in our lives, things would be chaos. Yet others, detest the idea of anyone having authority over them.
Authority is seen all through Scripture. It is an attribute of God. It is a part of His nature. He has authority over everything and everyone.
I was reading through the book of Matthew this week and thinking this week about the authority of Jesus. Jesus continually demonstrated His authority. Matthew 7:28-29 comes right after Jesus has preached the Sermon on the Mount. “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law."
Jesus taught with authority. In the culture of that day, most of the teachers quoted other people. Jesus didn’t quote anyone. He just spoke the truth and did it with authority.
In Matthew 8 we find the story about Jesus calming the storm. You remember the story. The storm was raging and the disciples were afraid. Jesus was asleep and they went and woke Him up. Jesus then rebuked the winds and the waves and it immediately got calm. The disciples were amazed that the even the winds and the waves obeyed Him.
That chapter goes on to tell the story about Jesus driving the demons out of a man and into a herd of pigs. In this story, the demons recognized Jesus and obeyed Him.
In Matthew 9 we see Jesus healing the paralytic man. In this story, Jesus shows His power over sickness and disease.
Then He calls Matthew to follow Him.
As I thought through these passages, I came up with these ideas. If I really believe Jesus had authority over the wind, the waves, the demons, and sickness, how could I not follow Him?
This is not a “have to” follow Him. This is - “WOW! God chose me to follow Him!” This is - I “get to” follow Him. What is there to be afraid of? Everything is under His authority. He created it all. He’s in control of it all.
And He calls me to follow Him, just like He called Matthew. So what are my choices? I have the freewill to choose to get up and follow, or to refuse and go my own way. But I must choose.
I choose to get up and get moving and follow Jesus. There’s more to having a relationship with Jesus than just praying a prayer. There’s more to it than just studying His Word. Although both of those things are important, I’m saying there’s more. There’s obedience and action.
If you continue to read through Matthew you find that Jesus calls 12 disciples. Then in Matthew 10, He tells them that He is sending them out like sheep among wolves. He is cautioning them about the world in which He is sending them into. This is true today as I go out as a disciple of Jesus. The world wants to tear me apart. Sometimes it is even people in my own family that come against me. But what choice do I have – I either follow, or I turn my back on Jesus.
My decision - I simply have to follow Jesus – it’s all I want to do. I trust Him completely. I believe everything He has promised me.
In Matthew 24, Jesus tells us that many people will turn their backs on their faith, but he that endures to the end will be saved. It’s all going to be worth it. It might not be easy, but the rewards will be amazing.