Power and Authority

In a world measured by outcomes and efficiencies, power and authority are revered. An executive’s importance is often measured by the number of people under his command. Everyone reports to someone.

The Pharisees, Scribes and chief priests were constantly trying to trap Jesus by asking him where His authority came from. In Matthew 21:23-27, Jesus counters with a question about John’s baptism, and when they are unable to answer, he declines to quote his authority.

But Jesus is clear that He has power and authority directly from his Father, and that he has given this authority to us: He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 10:1).

Gioacchino Asserto (ca. 1640) Christ Healing the Blind Man

Gioacchino Asserto (ca. 1640)
Christ Healing the Blind Man

In Matthew 9:1-8 Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic man and he was able to walk again. The crowds were in awe, and praised God, “who had given such authority to men.”

Although they observed Jesus healing and driving out evil spirits, the disciples failed to embrace their calling immediately. In Matthew 17:14-20, Jesus heals a boy with seizures after his disciples failed. When the disciples ask Jesus why they failed, he responds, “Because you have so little faith. If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 

As Christians we’re often content to practice loving our neighbor by being “nice”, being honest in our business dealings, and giving some of our money to good causes. This is all good, but Jesus has called us to do much more, giving us power to “drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”

Jesus never gave us his authority to judge, only to heal.

Why aren’t we using our power and authority to change the world? 

Blessings, my friend,

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