January 13, 2007Email to a FriendPrint
The people were amazed at His teaching, because He taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Mark 1:22
As a pastor, I drive a very sensible and most dependable Chevy. But when a friend offered me a ride in his Corvette, I jumped at the opportunity. That machine was beautiful to look at and, after some squirming, impressive to sit in. Riding a few inches off the ground, my friend put that contraption through its paces. In first gear, I was thrown back. In second gear, it felt like the G-force was stretching my face like that of astronauts during a blastoff. In third gear, we blew by a truck like he was standing still.
Then doing around a-thousand-million miles an hour (I may be exaggerating there), we came upon a parked police car. My friend quickly slowed down. The truck slowed down. Everybody slowed down, which is the point … that ’vette had power. The 18-wheeler with a big diesel engine had power. But the unmoving, unstarted, parked police car had authority.
Who is “the authority” in your life? I’m not asking who can make you afraid. A bully may terrorize and a dictator may intimidate, but they should never be the authority. A person’s “authority” should be that individual he respects and honors; that respect should be given, not because it is demanded or because of some real or imagined compulsion, but because it has been earned.
There is no one who deserves our honor more than Jesus. Those who heard Him would attest that He taught as one with authority. He taught people to love their enemies and do good to those who persecute. He told all who would listen that God wanted people to show their appreciation for His love by how they lived their lives and the sincerity of their hearts, not by the money they put into the temple treasury.
As important as His teachings were, Jesus’ authority is based on much more. Leaving His throne in heaven, Jesus came to earth and substituted Himself for sinners—that means all of us. There was no logic to His sacrifice. Nevertheless, because of His suffering, stripes, and crucifixion, all who trust in Him as Savior know that they are forgiven and life eternal is their future. It is the kind of thing that only a loving Lord would do. It’s the kind of action that gives Him authority worthy of our worship.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on February 2, 2003