Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and was indeed God in the flesh when He walked this tired, old earth; and, because He was God, Jesus had the full authority over all the earth to save people from their sins and to heal them from all of their inflictions, no matter how grave their condition, or the size of their faith in Him. In this paper, I will discuss the specific things that Jesus proclaimed to have authority over by way of His miracles and His authority over the human body, nature, and demons, and where His authority to do these things came from.
There were many areas that Jesus showed His authority to the people around Him. Jesus' authority allowed Him to heal diseases (such as leprosy); cast out demons (the father's son); command the laws of nature (calming of the storm); heal from a distance (the Centurion's servant); give Gentiles entrance into the Kingdom; forgive sin; heal bodily dysfunctions (lady with issue of blood); over every human being; over the future; and over the future harvest. When it came to the Law of Moses D. A. Carson explains in his book, "God With Us; Themes from Matthew," that Jesus' "obedience to the law of Moses became the occasion for the law to confirm the authority of Jesus, who needed only to will the deed for it to be done" (p. 49).
A few of these miracles of authority are quite extraordinary in the fact that these are true miracles because they could not be explained away by science or anything other than spiritual faith. For example, in the case of the woman with the issue of blood (Mt 9:20-22), the sudden stoppage of blood could only be explained as a miracle because the doctors of that time could not heal this woman who spent all she had to find healing. Next we see Jesus' authority over nature in the calming of the storm (Mk. 4:37-41), or His walking on water (Mt 14:25). Each time the disciples couldn't believe their eyes and were reprimanded by Jesus for having so little faith. Then we have the healing of the Centurion's servant, who Jesus healed from a great distance (Lk
7:2-10). The Centurion showed more faith in Jesus after having only heard about what miracles He had already performed than the disciples did after having been with Him day after day. Faith is what Jesus looked for in those He healed; would they believe that He could heal them. Jesus's miracles proved time and time again that He would and could because His Father in Heaven told Him to, and because of His great compassion for those who were suffering.
Next, we need to see how Jesus performed His miracles. We know that Jesus looked first at the faith of those He healed. Did they believe that He could heal them of their afflictions (and if they did, Jesus found great joy in their proclamations of trust in Him)? Jesus exemplified his authority in these ways: by the laying on of hands (the blind man); by simply speaking the illness gone; showing His faith in the Father by praying before the healing was performed (Lazarus from dead); by always leading others to the truth.
In Mark 8:23-25, Jesus heals a blind man by putting mud on the man's sightless eyes, "Jesus took the blind man's hand and led him out of the village. He spit into the man's eyes and placed his hands on him. Jesus asked him, "Can you see anything?" The man looked up and said, "I see people. They look like trees walking around." Then Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes a second time, and the man saw clearly. His sight was normal again. He could see everything clearly even at a distance" (GW).
Of course, one of the greatest miracles of authority that Jesus performed was in His authority over death and the grave. In the raising of Lazarus, we see Jesus' taking command of death and reversing its sting. We find this told to us in John 11:41-44: "So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb. Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you for hearing me. I've known that you always hear me. However, I've said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me." After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, "Free Lazarus, and let him go" (GW).
Many times, as in the example of the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus proclaimed that His Father in Heaven was the source of all power given to the Son through God's Holy Spirit. Jesus was known for proclaiming that He only did what the Father told Him to do. Jesus never took credit for the things He did, but always gave God the credit for everything done in His Name. Jesus was not a self-serving, miracle worker, but was humble and obedient to the God who sent Him to earth. As Jesus once prayed at the end of His time here on earth, "Father, the time is here. Give your Son glory so that your Son can give you glory. After all, you've given him authority over all humanity so that he can give eternal life to all those you gave to him. This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. On earth I have given you glory by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, give me glory in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed. I made your name known to the people you gave me. They are from this world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They did what you told them. Now they know that everything you gave me comes from you, because I gave them the message that you gave me. They have accepted this message, and they know for sure that I came from you. They have believed that you sent me" (John 17:1-8/GW). Jesus gave God all the glory because God is the glory-giver, and all authority, even the authority of Jesus Christ, comes from God the Father, through the power of His Holy Spirit.
All Scripture is taken from GOD'S WORD, 1995 God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
Carson, D. (1995). God with us: themes from matthew. Eugene, Or:Wipf & Stock.
Teague, W. (2005, 2006). Synoptic gospels: the life and teachings of christ.Springfield,
MO:Global University, Berean S chool of the Bible.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.
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