AUTHORITY

30 October 2013

AUTHORITY

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Luke 7:1-10

Luke 7

New Living Translation (NLT)

The Faith of a Roman Officer

When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people, he returned to
Capernaum. 2 At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman
officer was sick and near death. 3 When the officer heard about
Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and
heal his slave. 4 So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man.
“If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, 5 “for he
loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.”

6 So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house,
the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble
yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. 7
I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from
where you are, and my servant will be healed. 8 I know this because I
am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority
over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or
‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’
they do it.”

9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was
following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like
this in all Israel!” 10 And when the officer’s friends returned to
his house, they found the slave completely healed.

The title of this passage is ‘The faith of a Roman Officer’ and
what impresses Jesus is his faith. But what we must not miss in this
account of one of Jesus’ miracles, is what gave the officer his
faith: an understanding of the authority of Jesus Christ.

Authority is an interesting thing. A police officer standing in the
middle of the road with his hand raised will stop traffic. If I had to
stand in the middle of the road with my hand up, either I’ll get run
over or cars will fly past me, hooting and pointing to heaven with
their middle finger. Security guards at OR Tambo international airport
asking people to evacuate the building will result in some panic,
followed by a mass exodus. If I had to ask people to evacuate,
they’d give me a strange look and carry on their conversations. The
reason, is because a police officers uniform tells drivers that he
speaks on behalf of the law, while a security guards uniform tells
travellers that he speaks on behalf of airport security. The source of
his authority gives credibility to his instructions.

Likewise, the source of Jesus’ authority is what gave Him the
ability to perform miracles, and what gave people like the officer
faith in his ability to perform them. The source of his authority is
God Himself.

A CALL TO ACTION

The exciting part is that Jesus has delegated some of His authority to
us, meaning that when we speak and act in accordance with His will,
our words are backed by His power. In a sense, He has given us the
uniform. However, many of us never put it on, but go through life
wishing we could do the things He did. We need to both have faith in
/His/ ability to do miraculous things, but also believe in /our
/delegated authority to do things like pray for healing, drive our
demons, proclaim truth to the nations and speak life into situations
of emotional, physical and spiritual death.

A PRAYER TO PRAY

Jesus, thank you that you have given me authority in the physical and
spiritual realm. Please help me to have a confidence to do the things
that you require me to do, knowing that my words and deeds are backed
by your authority. Amen.

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