Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Authority cont.

Now it is time for taking orders.

“Thimbles and thunderstorms!” cried Trumpkin in a rage. “Is that how you speak to the King? Send me, Sire, I’ll go.”

“But I thought you didn’t believe in the Horn, Trumpkin,” said Caspian.

“No more I do, your Majesty. But what’s that got to do with it? I might as well die on a wild goose chase as die here. You are my King. I know the difference between giving advice and taking orders. You’ve had my advice, and now it’s time for taking orders.”

Trumpkin did not believe in the magic horn but he did recognize the King. There were others in the party who believed in the Horn but refused to obey the King. Trumpkin did not like that.

All obedience starts with a recognition of a person in authority. The authority and recognition of it can be accomplished in many ways.

1. By election
2. Military takeover
3. Propaganda

Jesus had his by inheritance. It is given by an even higher authority. Jesus was not elected. He did not have a police force to gain or retain his positions. Nor did he have a public relations team.

He stated his authority in statements like these.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18

“So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” John 8:28, 29

“Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:36, 37

He assumed His authority in statements like this one to Martha on His power over death.

“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;” John 11:25

And this one from the Sermon on the Mount as the final judge of the human race.

“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:21-23

He exercised His authority in events like this.

“He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:26, 27

Jesus’ authority was recognized by others.

“That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Luke 7:7

“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 their teachers of the law.” Matthew 7:28, 29

Jesus’ authority continued after His death.

“If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.” Acts 4:9, 10

Jesus’ stated His final authority.

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” Revelation 1:17, 18

If there is a civil or military authority it must be backed up by force. A poor leader will use this force much more than a good leader.

The greatest leaders need no force because their servants are attached to them with such a love and devotion that coercion is not necessary as a means to obedience.

Now the authority of Jesus past and future is not just a matter of academic interest. Relevance always starts with “things as they are.” And the greatest thing that is, is the authority of Jesus Christ. Relevance starts here.

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