Jesus Has All Authority
In this prelude to the Great Commission, Jesus states the basis on which He can command His apostles, and through them the church, to be the messengers of the gospel. It is a huge statement for Jesus to say that 'all authority' resides in Himself. However He made it clear that the authority was not snatched (as Satan has done Matthew 4:8-10; John 12:31). Jesus did not grasp authority or divine status (Philippians 2:5-6); it was given to Him.
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus consistently said that He was working in partnership with Father God and with His authority (John 14:10, 23, 24). Jesus has authority to create everything (John 1:1-2); to sustain everything (Hebrews 1:3); to give new life to those who believe in Him (John 5:21); to forgive sins (Matthew 9:2,6); to raise the dead (John 6:39) and to be the judge of everybody (John 5:27). He not only has authority on earth but also in the cosmos (Matthew 24:27-31) and over the angels and demons (Luke 4:34).
Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), and all the fullness of God lives in Him (Colossians 2:9). That means that He cannot be just a teacher or a healer or a prophet. He is so much more. His claim to have all authority is exclusive and one day every knee will bow to Him (Philippians 2:10). His claim to be above religious authorities was offensive to some, that is why they wanted to crucify Him; but He rose from death because He has authority to lay down His life and to take it up again (John 10:18).
As we come towards the end of our studies in Matthew's Gospel it is important that we see the Lord Jesus Christ as the eye-witnesses did; to understand that Jesus is not one of many authorities but the One who has all authority. Some may be offended, but Matthew stood by what Jesus said and so should we. It is by His authority that we have the responsibility to announce Jesus as the Saviour of the world - and that starts where we live and work, and extends to wherever we go. He said it, we do it!
© Dr Paul Adams