S201P14 – The abundant life: authority

Mt. 28:18-20

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Lk. 10:17-19

Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”  And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Authority and jurisdiction are very real things in this natural world.  For example, two people cannot become legally married simply by pledging their love and commitment to one another.  The law requires that an officer with the requisite authority preside over the union to validate it.  If you spot another vehicle exceeding the speed limit on the road, pulling it over and giving the driver a warning could make the road safer for everyone.  However, you should not try this unless you have the legal authority to make that stop.  If we want to obtain the authority to perform either of these jobs, we can do so by going through the proper channels and becoming qualified.  It is no different with the spiritual authority that we carry as a result of being in Jesus Christ and his being in us.

Today we have two verses that describe the authority we have in Jesus Christ.  The first verse tells us the extent of the authority that He has available to give.  There are no limits to the authority of Jesus Christ.  He has all authority in heaven and on earth.  Under that authority He prophesied, healed the sick, cast out demons, and defeated sin and death once and for all.  He caused a healthy tree to die, turned water into wine, and multiplied food to feed the hungry.  The second verse tells us that He sends us out under that very authority.  Because Jesus has all authority, He is able to pass that authority on to us.  When we battle the enemy, we have authority through Jesus Christ to win every time.  When we take on the serpents of today who roam with the same intent as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, we can be victorious without being harmed.  We can trust this authority because we receive it from the one who has all authority. 

We cannot cower to the things in this world that we are called to defeat.  Whether illness, temptation, or spiritual attack, we must claim and act in the authority that we received from Jesus Christ.  His life was the example of what it looks like to operate daily under the spiritual jurisdiction to not only hold the enemy at bay but to vanquish him.  We must be shrewd as serpents ourselves in calling upon this authority to complete the work that God has called and equipped us to complete.  We simply must have faith in this authority and trust that it will operate through us.  Father, awaken us to the power that we have through your Son, and give us the confidence to walk in that authority without doubt.