Do you want to know what never, ever gets old with me?
What never gets old with me is the fact that when Jesus says something…IT HAPPENS. No if, and or buts about it. When Jesus speaks, people (and demons) listen. I guess that is also why I enjoy preaching on texts, like what we have for Sunday ~ Mark 1:21-28 ~ the authority of Jesus/casting out evil spirits.
Jesus teaches with authority (not like that of the scribes). The scribes, when they taught, would rely on the authority of the great teachers that came before them. Their teaching would be full of phrases such as:
[So and so] said [this] about [this] Commandment and therefore according to [so and so] you should live in [this way].
This got old for the people. The scribes never taught with their own authority. They didn’t make their own judgments.
But Jesus did…and the people loved it.
You see…Jesus’ authority wasn’t just in the manner he spoke. It wasn’t just in his voice inflection. It wasn’t just in his facial expressions and body language. Jesus’ authority was much different…and powerful. Jesus’ authority was his own’s and he didn’t need teachers who came before him. Actually…no one came before him because he was God for crying out loud. You don’t get any more authoritative than that.
And Jesus displayed that authority through his powerful words when he commanded those evil spirits to leave that man…and the evil spirits listened (kicking and screaming on the way out). But that shouldn’t surprise you because…
…when Jesus speaks people listen.
…when Jesus speaks his words do something
[“Lazarus, come out”, “Take your mat and walk”]
…when Jesus speaks he means exactly what he says.
[“Your sins are forgiven”]
Wow…that is authority. That is awesome. That is powerful.
We are God’s children because He says so.
We are forgiven because God says so.
We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ because God says so.
Next time you are in worship and hear the pastor announce forgiveness, know that the pastor does that with the authority of God and therefore the words being spoken are from God himself…AND therefore…you can trust that the words will do what they actually mean: YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN.
Thank you, God, for calling me your child, forgiving me when I stray and embracing me when I return. May you be praised always and forever. Amen!