Blessed… Know Who Has Authority!

Boarding a boat, Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake and went to his own city. People brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man who was paralyzed, “Be encouraged, my child, your sins are forgiven.” Some legal experts said among themselves, “This man is insulting God.” But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you fill your minds with evil things? Which is easier—to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?  But so you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“Get up, take your cot, and go home.” The man got up and went home. When the crowds saw what had happened, they were afraid and praised God, who had given such authority to human beings (Matthew 9:1-8, Common English Bible).

The legal experts just didn’t get it. They had already seen Jesus heal. They heard him teach. He did both with authority. But, when it came to forgiving sin, that is where they drew the line. For this, Jesus just couldn’t have authority.

When they heard Jesus teach, he amazed them because he didn’t teach the way these legal experts themselves taught. They recognized Jesus was a real teacher. Think about it, if the Bible is the Word of God, and as Christians we believe it is, who can teach it better? Would we say someone who has gone to law school? Would we say a Bible scholar? What about someone who went to seminary? Or, what about the deity who gave us the Word to start with?

Think about it this way. If I wrote a book, the kind of book really doesn’t matter. I wrote a book and you read the book. Which of us is most likely to know the book best? Me, the author? Or, you, the reader. I think it would fall to the author, whether me or someone else. In this case, we are talking about a Deity who is the ultimate someone else.

I also think it is easier to recognize the authority Jesus has to heal than his authority to potentially do something else. After all, the results speak for themselves. A person they knew was blind, now has her/his sight. A person witnesses know cannot walk suddenly has the ability to do so. Peter’s mother-in-law has a fever and suddenly, not only is the fever gone, she gets up and starts serving her guests.

It would seem to me, if these legal experts weren’t ready to recognize Jesus’ authority to forgive sin, they weren’t going to believe it just because he heals yet another person in need. It isn’t that I think Jesus healing the guy is a waste of time. That is far from the case. I just don’t think the effort will convince those who remained unconvinced.

The same is true today. God is at work around us. God has authority to change our world and change our lives. God can change our lives by healing us. God can and does change our eternities by forgiving us. Here is the thing, regardless of what God does, some folks just aren’t going to believe. Still, we try. Still, God works. Perhaps one day, through God’s prevenient grace those who refuse to believe will begin to see the authority that comes from Almighty God.

How have you seen God’s authority at work in your life and in the world?

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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