28 After Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, 29 for He taught as one who had real authority — quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
I briefly debated with myself about whether to include this under the category “Words of Jesus,” because this particular sentence wasn’t actually spoken by Jesus — it was spoken by the author of the book, Matthew, about Jesus. However, this sentence speaks loudly to me, because it is about the authority of Jesus’ words, therefore, I decided that this must be included in “Words of Jesus.”
Jesus had just finished telling the people that if they listened and obeyed the words that He spoke to them, they were wise, but those who refused to listen and obey His words were fools:
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.”
28 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
It is extremely important we understand that Jesus’ words aren’t just nice words, or good words. His words are words to build our lives on… “… everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24 NASB) In fact, when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, “… He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.“‘”
Those words are spoken by someone with authority… The Greek word used for authority in Matthew 7:29 is exousia, which is the power of Him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed. When Jesus first called Peter, Andrew, James and John, they went to the synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath, and Jesus began to teach there, and as He spoke and taught them, the disciples began to realize that Jesus was not like other teachers and scribes.
They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as One having authority, and not as the scribes.
After Jesus finished teaching, He cast an unclean spirit out of a man who was also at the synagogue, and then, the others who were also at the synagogue saw that Jesus truly was different from the scribes and Pharisees.
The were all amazed, so they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
Whenever Jesus spoke, His words were followed by miracles, signs and wonders. He was fearless when He spoke the words that God had given Him. He didn’t worry about the opinions of man, choosing instead, to preach the word of God, and to live according to the Word of God, no matter what anyone else thought of Him…
24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because He knew what people were really like. 25 No one needed to tell Him about human nature.
You see, Jesus, in His almighty power and authority, knew that He must entrust Himself to God, and God alone, who was righteous and just… the One who with Christ, created the heavens and the earth. Man, who he had come to redeem, was not to be trusted…
17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to push through the crowd to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach Him. So they went up to the roof, took off some tiles, and lowered the sick man down into the crowd, still on his mat, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Praise God! Jesus not only taught with authority, He also had the power (authority) to forgive sins…
21 “Who does this Man think He is?” the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to each other. “This is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins?”
This is exactly why Jesus did not entrust Himself to man. For He knew that since the fall of mankind into sin, rebelliousness was a large part of man’s sinful nature, and that sinful man, just like Satan, resented the true authority that flows from Almighty God to His Beloved Son…
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so He asked them, “Why do you think this is blasphemy? 23 Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? 24 I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!” 25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped to his feet, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe. And they praised God, saying over and over again, “We have seen amazing things today.”
Beloved, when you hear or read the words of Jesus, what kind of feelings do His words evoke in you? Do they arouse your anger? Do they offend you? Or do they have the power to bring tears to your eyes? Do they have the power to change your life, as Paul urged the Romans to be changed by the Gospel of Christ?
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.
There is so much power and authority in Jesus and the words that He spoke, that now, more than two milleniums after His death and resurrection, lives are still being changed by them. I know that when I began to not only read His word, but to also apply it to my life, I was changed from the inside out. No longer did I see things the way I had once seen them. No longer did I see people the same way. Now, because I submitted to His authority, I was able to look at my circumstances through His eyes, and suddenly, things didn’t seem so hopeless. Because I submitted to His authority, He allowed me to view people through His eyes, making it possible for me to forgive the ones who had hurt me… making it possible for me to not only forgive them, but to also love them, as He loves them.
Because I walk under the authority of Jesus, I am able to do things I never thought I would do… I’ve ministered in prison… I’ve ministered in church… I’ve ministered to co-workers when I worked… and now, I’m writing a book. Because I walk under Christ’s authority, even though I’ve been through a lot of sickness lately, and even though I’m in a lot of pain, I know that He still has a plan for my life, and I believe that He causes all things to work together for my good, because I love Him, and He has called me according to His purpose.
Beloved, it is vital that you grasp the authority that Jesus has… His authority did not just die with Him over two thousand years ago, when He died on the cross. Don’t you remember? He was resurrected three days later — He’s alive! And look at these words He spoke to His disciples after His resurrection…
18 Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
How much authority did Jesus say He had been given? Complete authority… The Greek word that was translated as “complete” here is pas, which means:
each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything collectively…
Do you get the point? Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on the earth, and in that complete authority, He gave a command to His disciples… Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.
Now this is important, beloved… The command that Jesus gave His disciples is an everlasting command. How do I know this? Look at the wording, and remember, Jesus didn’t just make small talk, like we do. The Word’s words are all important… He commanded the disciples to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them (yes – for those who say baptism is not required, Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize)… Then, He told them to teach the new disciples to obey all of the commands that He had given them… Now, if His disciples obeyed Him, they would have taught their disciples to obey all of the commands that He had given them, and they in turn would have taught their disciples to obey all of those commands, throughout all the generations to us, and beyond us!
What great authority He has, and it extends to all generations! Beloved, it is of utmost importance for you to read, study and know the words of Jesus, so that you too, can obey all of His commands… And here is the most wonderful part… as we walk in obedience to Him, He promises that He will be with us, until the end of the age… Isn’t it comforting to know that the God of all authority promises to be with us, remain with us, stay with us until the end of the age?
When I think about that promise, in light of the current events that are taking place all around us, I draw great comfort from it. I’m comforted to know that the God of all authority was not surprised by the terrible events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and at the Boston Marathon. None of us knows what other evil lies ahead of us, but the God of all authority knows, and He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me… He has promised that no matter what happens to me or around me, that He will be with me until the end of the age, and knowing that gives me the strength I need to carry on, and to do as He has commanded, making disciples of all nations in His name.
Cheryl A. Showers