What we will all have in common with Lazarus?
It won’t be:
- that we all lived in the town of Bethany
- that we all had sisters named Mary and Martha
- that we all got to spend personal time with Jesus while living upon the Earth
- that we all experienced a sickness unto death
- that we all were buried in a tomb converted cave
It is (save the Lord’s return during our life):
- that our bodies will come forth from the grave when Jesus calls our name! (John 5:28-29)
“Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”” (John 11:43-44)
In Matthew’s account of the Great Commission, Jesus asserts his authority. Here are some of the things we note about his authority.
A received authority.
The verb apparently uses the “divine passive” which refers to the action of God. Jesus received his authority from the Father. His is legitimate. Anyone else’s is not. Jesus is the only head and Lord.
His authority is complete and universal: “on heaven and on earth.” No one can escape the necessity to submit to the authority of Christ.
An exercised authority.
- Some people fail to use the authority they have. Others attempt to exercise an authority that is not theirs.
- The “therefore” means that Jesus’ order is based on his received authority. He exercises or uses his authority to order his disciples to do something.
As Lord, Jesus gives specific commandments so that people may become his followers.
A saving authority.
- To make a disciple of Christ is to bring one to salvation. This is what Jesus wants for all. He did not come to condemn but to save. His authority is exercised for a benevolent purpose.
Jesus prayed to the Father about himself in Jn 17.2: “you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him.”
Paul affirmed something similar in 2Co 13.8-10, that he had received authority to edify the saints.
So what? Have I submitted to Christ’s authority by obeying him? Is there some area in my life that I have refused thus far to put under his authority?