TO CHEW ON: " '…But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, "Go," and he goes; and to another "Come," and he comes; and to my servant "Do this," and he does it.'" Luke 7:7-8
We know intuitively that in order to get action on an issue—from better service in a store to a change n the laws of the land—we need to appeal to the people who have the authority to make those changes [authority - the right to command and to enforce obedience; the delegated right or power, authorization; the official or group having administrative control in a specific area].
In our story today, the servant of a Roman centurion begged Jesus, through Jewish friends of that centurion, to come to the home of his boss and heal his sick son. While Jesus was on the way, the centurion's friends came with a strange request. They asked Jesus, on behalf of their Roman friend, not to come, but instead to simply give the command to heal. The centurion's rationale: Just like he (a Roman solder with rank) had the power and authorization to get things done by simply commanding the soldiers under him, so he recognized that Jesus had authority over sickness: "Just say the word and my servant will be healed" he said.
Jesus was impressed. This Gentile Roman soldier recognized something that evaded the Jews and especially their leaders. The Gospel writers got it though. Their writings are full of the many aspects of Jesus' authority:
- They reported that Jesus taught with authority (Mark 1:22).
- He took authority over crowds and activities in the temple (Matthew 14:19; Matthew 21:12).
- He commanded evil spirits with authority (Luke 4:36).
- He demonstrated His authority over nature by stilling storms, multiplying food, healing people from sickness, and even raising them from the dead (Mark 4:37-39; Matthew 14:19-21; Mark 2:8-12; Luke 7:11-15).
- He had authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6).
- Jesus was aware of and declared His authority, as did God the Father (Matthew 28:18; Mark 9:7).
- The exciting part of all this is that we are implicated in Jesus' authority. On the basis of His authority, He sends us out to fulfill His great and final assignment (Matthew 28:18-20).
In the light of all this, two questions come to mind:
1. Do you and I recognize His authority over all the areas in which He demonstrated and declared that He had/has it? Do we really believe He has authority over nature, sickness, death? Do we claim His authority over sin and dark spiritual forces?
2. Do we let His authority operate in and through us? Do we speak, pray, and minister with authority?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, You have all authority in heaven and earth. Help me to live every day under Your authority and as an agent of Your authority. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.