Authority of Jesus Christ

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The right of Jesus Christ to speak and act on his Father’s behalf in forgiving sin, pronouncing judgment and promising eternal life to those who believe in him.


Jesus Christ’s authority underlines his divine status

John 8:28 NKJV
Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
See also Jn 8:58; Jn 14:6; 1 Co 1:24; Col 2:10

The origin of Jesus Christ’s authority

It is given by God the Father

John 3:35 NKJV
The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
See also Mt 28:18; Lk 10:22; Jn 5:26–27; Jn 7:16; Jn 10:18; Jn 12:49–50; Jn 17:2

It is limited by the Father

Mark 10:40 NKJV
but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”
See also Mt 24:36; Php 2:6–8

It is questioned by others

Matthew 12:24–28 NKJV
Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
See also Mt 21:23–27; Jn 2:18

The authority of Jesus Christ is seen in his works

He has authority over nature

Mt 8:23–27; Mt 14:22–33; Mt 21:18–22

He has authority over sin

Mt 9:1–8; Lk 7:37–38; Lk 7:44–50

He has authority over sickness

Mt 8:14–15; Mt 20:29–34; Ac 3:16; Ac 4:30

He has authority over evil

Mk 1:23–27; Lk 10:17

He has authority over death

Mt 9:18–25; Mt 28:1–7; Lk 7:11–16; Jn 11:38–44

The authority of Jesus Christ is seen in his teaching

Jesus Christ claims authority for his own words

Luke 4:18 NKJV
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
See also Mt 5:21–22; Mt 5:27–28; Mt 12:41–42; Mt 17:5; Mk 2:5; Mk 2:10; Mk 8:38; Mk 10:15 The use of the phrase “I tell you the truth” emphasises Jesus Christ’s authority; Mk 13:26; Mk 13:31; Jn 4:24–26; Jn 6:63; Jn 7:15–18; Jn 12:48–50; Jn 13:13; Jn 14:6 The “I am” sayings in John’s Gospel emphasise the divine nature of Jesus Christ’s authority; Jn 15:3

His authority is recognised by others

Matthew 7:28–29 NKJV
And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
See also Mt 22:33; Mt 22:46; Mk 1:22; Mk 1:27

His authority is questioned and opposed by others

Mt 26:65–68; Lk 4:28–30

Jesus Christ delegates his authority to others

His followers preach in his name

Mt 10:7; Mt 28:18–20

His followers continue his works

Mt 10:1; Mt 10:8; Mk 3:15; Mk 6:13; Mk 16:17–18; Lk 10:1–12; Jn 14:12; Ac 3:6; Ac 3:16

His followers pronounce his forgiveness and judgment

Mt 18:18; Mk 6:11; Lk 22:28–30; Jn 20:22–23; 1 Co 6:2–3

The results of Jesus Christ’s authority

He receives honour and glory

John 5:22–23 NKJV
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
See also Jn 11:4; Jn 17:5

He arouses amazement

Mt 9:33; Mt 12:23

He is opposed

Matthew 12:14 NKJV
Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.

He is feared

Luke 8:37 NKJV
Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

His disciples are opposed

Acts 16:16–24 NKJV
Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

The authority of the exalted Christ

He is Lord

Eph 1:20; Php 2:9–11; Col 3:1; 1 Pe 3:22; Re 3:21

He is Lord of creation

Colossians 1:16–17 NKJV
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

He is Lord of the church

Eph 1:22; Eph 5:23; Col 1:18

He is judge

Ac 10:42; Ac 17:31

He is Saviour

Jn 3:15; Jn 14:3; Col 1:19–20; Tt 2:13; Heb 7:24–25; Heb 9:28

He is interceder

Ro 8:34; Heb 7:25; Heb 9:24; 1 Jn 2:1
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