Words of Jesus – Undiminished Authority

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come into my home. Just say the word from where You are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. Turning to those who were following Him, He said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.

~ Matthew 8:5-13 — NLT ~

This passage of scripture is rich with wisdom, and I pray the Lord gives me the words to share the message He wants us to learn from it. In order to glean as much as possible from this passage, we’ll camp here for however many posts it takes to share all the Lord gives me on this particular passage… Meanwhile, today, I want to talk about Jesus’ authority.

This is the second time that Jesus’ authority is spoken of in Matthew. The first time it was mentioned in reference to Jesus’ teaching what is known as the Sermon on the Mount. For it was there, that people first began to sense His authority…

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.

~ Matthew 7:28-29 — NLT ~

The crowds who were amazed by His teaching were mostly Jews, although I suspect more than the Jews witnessed His teachings and HIs miracles. Otherwise, how would the centurion (an officer in the Roman army) have known about Jesus’ authority?

Exousia – the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)

I love this. In Matthew 7, the authority the people took note of was Jesus’ authority in teaching, and while that is powerful, this Roman centurion (You took note of that, didn’t you? This was not a Jew {one of God’s chosen people}, but a Roman, a gentile, a pagan, privately called a dog by many Jews, and the scum of the earth.) recognized that Jesus’ authority was not limited merely to what He spoke and taught…

This Roman officer recognized that Jesus had the authority to heal…

He recognized that Jesus’ authority was not limited to the words He spoke…

He recognized that Jesus’ authority was not limited to one ethnic group, but encompassed everyone, both Jews and Gentiles…

He recognized that Jesus’ authority was not limited by distance…

He recognized that Jesus, a Jew, had authority over him, a Roman officer, even though the Romans ruled over Israel…

He recognized that Jesus had authority to not only heal his servant’s pain, but that He also had authority to heal his paralysis…

Now, here is something for each one of us to ponder… Do we recognize Jesus’ authority in all of these areas? Are there any areas that we doubt Jesus’ authority? If so, let’s pray as the father of the demonized boy prayed, “Lord, help my unbelief!”

Many blessings to you, my beloved readers, and I look forward to sharing some more from this passage, as the Lord leads!

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

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