Jesus and Authority

When Christ finished preaching His sermon on the mount, the multitudes “were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29). Their reaction is important because it indicates to us that we should respect authority. We need to be told how to be upright, and that’s the purpose of Jesus and the New Testament.

The Lord taught in Matthew 5:21, 22, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 34, 43, 44 that He had the authority to announce that a new order was at hand. He repeated the phrase, “But I say to you” to show the strength of His authority. Furthermore, He said that authority belonged to Him and to none other (Matthew 9:6; 28:18).

Jesus taught by command (Matthew 6:33; John 12:49-50), example (John 5:19; 13:14-15), and necessary inference (Matthew 22:29-32; John 7:21-24). This is nothing more than a logically necessary teaching method of “tell, show, and imply” which is the way that we communicate anything. In addition, it positively shows that when we do something religiously, we have to do it because it’s what Jesus wants and what He directed (Colossians 3:17).

In Matthew 16:19, Christ bestowed His authority, via Holy Spirit inspiration, to Peter and eventually to the rest of the apostles (Matthew 18:18). They went into the world, teaching by command (1 Corinthians 6:18), example (Philippians 3:17), and necessary inference (Hebrews 7:1-12). This allows us to understand the mystery of Christ, God’s plan of salvation (Ephesians 3:3-5). It also helps us to analyze the substantial religious error that clouds the hearts of sinful men.

Kyle Campbell