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Jesus Still Has The Same Authority

Mark 16:19-20
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (NIVUK)

Although Mark probably did not pen the final 11 verses of the Gospel, this final summary bridges the gap between Jesus' life and the ministry of the early church.  Following Mark's theme about the authority which people recognised in Jesus (Mark 1:27; Mark 2:10; Mark 3:15), this postscript to Mark's Gospel makes clear that His authority continued and continues.  Having ascended to heaven, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God.  This means that Jesus is the one in whom all authority in heaven and earth has been delegated (Matthew 28:18).  The seated position on the heavenly throne marks Him as both ruler and Judge (Hebrews 12:2).    

So, the work of Jesus did not finish when He went back to heaven - it continues to this very day and will keep on into eternity until He has established the New heaven and New earth – the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13).  On that day, all other authorities will be vanquished and Christ will reign supreme and unopposed (1 Corinthians 15:24).

After Pentecost, the emboldened Spirit-filled disciples could not be restrained from speaking about Jesus (Acts 4:20). As they preached, He worked with them.  What a transformation! From the frightened group of tough talking men huddled behind locked doors (John 20:19) - to courageous messengers who could not be silenced.  Yes, the miraculous signs drew the crowds; but it was the message of the Gospel which won the hearts.  The same message also stirred up hatred and violent persecution, even though they also saw the signs.  However, that did not stop the messengers from preaching the message, because the Lord was working with them - and they knew it!

Where is the Lord Jesus today?  Although He now has cosmic authority, He is still with His people (Matthew 28:20).    Indeed, He promised that the Father and He would make their home within those who love and obey Him (John 14:23).   Have you personally welcomed Him into your heart and life?  If not, do not let Him stay on the outside (Revelation 3:19-20).  Watch www.crosscheck.org.uk to check where you are with Jesus who was crucified for you.  Belonging to Jesus transforms weak and weary people to be able to do some of the hardest tasks: working with Jesus provides its own extraordinary refreshment (Matthew 11:28-30).  The real Word at work is Jesus working with you and in you ... to help you to do what He says and share what is true (Philippians 2:13).  You are never alone (Deuteronomy 31:6-8).  His authoritative presence enables great spiritual productivity ... for the blessing of all who will receive the Word, and the glory of our Saviour.

Dear Lord. Thank You that You are always with me and wanting me to work with You each day. Forgive me for the times I have left You outside, or have never welcomed You to make Your home in me. I want You to have authority in my life today as well as in heaven. Help me to recognise the opportunities to live and speak for You; so that I will play the part You have asked of me ... and that I can trust You to do the wonderful transforming work - that comes as You are welcomed into people's lives. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams