Now, we are getting closer to the crux of the matter. So let me ask… Who is a man of authority? Or how does one assume authority? How long can a man be in authority? The text would also attempt to recommend ways in which we can exert this authority.
Like Shakespeare would say; “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” In a similar way, men assume authority by their family status, others either work for it or by providence receive some status or position of authority. But this text is not about the earthly authority, No! It is an authority that comes from above. The kind of authority that comes from God. From the entrance quote in this text we hear Jesus saying that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him… it is however not a self-acclaimed authority, neither is it that given by man or the gods of this age (the devil) remember the temptation of Jesus and how the devil asked Jesus to show reverence in order to receive authority… Matthew 4:1-11. But this authority is bestowed upon him from above: Philippians 2:9-11 and Hebrews 1: 1-4 Now we have an insight to where true authority comes from; it comes from God!
Again, I would ask who is the man of authority? Matthew 8:5-9 and Luke 7:1-10 speak about the Centurion and his show of great faith. The story from both texts give the story from different angles but one thing is constant which we should understand. The centurion’s reply reveals to us the show of authority and the centurion’s understanding of how authority works and who has the authority.
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
I guess you already know, that all authority comes from God (Romans 13), both worldly and spiritual; and Jesus has both. However, God’s concern for us was that authority that gave us a place in the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately, we are often overburdened with the authority that affects us in this world, hence, we have a disconnect on what really applies or what God desires of us. As expressed in Matthew 23:37
“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.”
For God to gather his children he sent Jesus. John 1:12-13
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Children born of God are born into the Kingdom of God and similarly share in the heirship of Jesus. Romans 8:17
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
And if we share in this heirship, and share in the daily persecutions, we may as well share in the authority. But do we even believe in this authority of Jesus? Like the Centurion, do you see/recognize Jesus as a man of authority and accord him the necessary respect? Do we even believe in the heirship or the kingdom of God? The truth is that whether you believe or not, it is not your faith or believing that justifies the truth. God does not require your faith to be God! Rather our application of our faith in God profits us for salvation (in this world or in the hereafter).
Consequently, your acceptance or faith as a child of God assures you of God’s blessings. In fact, Matthews gospel, Matthew 15:22-29 teaches us that “healing is the children’s bread”. In order words, children of God have right to worship and fellowship with God and ultimately, enjoy the blessings, healing and favours from God. This should steer our faith towards claiming our rights as children of God, through fellowship with God. We may say then that authority is given to the children of God, to those who believe, as expressed in Mark 16:15-18
But would our faith alone save us? If we claim to be children of God and act like children of darkness; do we also have a share in God’s Kingdom? If we refuse to do the will of God, can we claim to be applying our faith as children of God? As children of God we must know and act by God’s will, hence we are liars – Liars are children of the devil. Matthew 7: 21-23; 12:48-50; John 8:39-47. Now the line is drawn, who is your father and whose authority to you follow?