As One Having Authority
"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" (Matthew 7:28-29). The general plan of this article is to begin with a statement made by Jesus. Hence, the overall title AND JESUS SAID. However, the message of these two verses is too plain to ignore. The people who listened to the teaching of Jesus were impressed with the fact that it sounded authoritative. That is exactly why the emphasis of these articles on what Jesus said.
By What Authority — The Jews of Jesus day knew that for a man to speak as Jesus spoke, there must be some authority for it. "The elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, `By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority’?" (Matthew 21:23). In response, Jesus asked them about the authority of the baptism of John. He said, "The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?" (verse 24). Authority is either from heaven or from men. Jesus spoke from heaven. "God . . . has . . . spoken to us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2). It is sad that so many believe that a religion based on the authority of men is just as beneficial as one based on authority from heaven.
All Authority — What the people saw in the teaching of Jesus at the beginning of His earthly ministry is verified by Jesus Himself at the end of it. Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18). While Jesus was on earth, He spoke of those who "lord it over" and "exercise authority over" others (Matthew 20:25). "Yet it shall not be so among you" (verse 26). He spoke of those who worship in vain "teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9). If Jesus has all authority, that does not leave any for any one else to determine what is to be practiced in religion. A Pope, a church, a senate, a council, a board of elders and deacons, the preacher, pastor, or reverend is not given any say in the matter.
Whatever You Do — The apostle Paul put it this way, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17). That does not mean say the Lord’s name over everything. It means to do everything we do by the authority of the Lord. Just as the man in blue will pound on a door and say, "Open up in the name of the law." If Jesus has all authority, then whatever we do must be done by His word, The will of the Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21). That is what Peter had in mind when he said, "Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Are you listening to Jesus as one having authority?