They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. Verse 32 (NIV)
When I am part of a gathering where a meal is part of the event, it seems inevitable that I am the one who is chosen to say grace before the meal. It is as if my prayers are more meaningful or I have a better connection to God than others. Recently, I have taken to joking that it must be that I am a “professional prayer.” Of course, the reality is that I have no more authority because I am a pastor than anyone else who has a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
I am very aware that Jesus is the true authority and power. Without Jesus I can accomplish nothing of spiritual value. Without him I would simply be a carpenter going about my tasks and using my own acquired skills to try and accomplish something beneficial. To be a pastor, to lead a church, to share the truth of the Good News of Jesus, to have insight into God’s word all require the power of the Holy Spirit to be actively at work in my life.
I think we all need this reminder in our lives. Any time we begin to think we have all the answers, we need to be reminded that ultimately it all comes from God.
At the end of Jesus’ ministry, he told his disciples that all authority had been given to him. Then he sent them into the world as his representatives (Matthew 28:18-20.) Prior to his ascension into heaven he told the disciples they would receive power from on high (Acts 1:8). By his authority and by the power of the Holy Spirit we are sent to bring the Good News of grace and love to the world as well.
Our faith isn’t built on our own abilities and strength. It is built on Jesus’ power and authority.
Jesus, remind us every day that you are in charge. Your power and authority are supreme, and we are your people. Help us Lord to live in this world and show who you are to people every day. Amen.