Jesus view of Authority. Doing as he was told!

So the last few blog posts have dealt with Jesus’ view of authority and hopefully established in some small way that when it comes to authority, Jesus both follows it and exercises it in a service oriented way. Perhaps we will talk about the authority that punishes at some point (a very valid point to be made) but today we want to look at a simple thought: the message of Jesus.

Jesus’ message was not his own. We sometimes think of it like that, I suppose and we certainly would say that Jesus agreed with the message He presented but still, it was not His own message.

Unlike Jonah who was told to go and preach a message of repentance and did not want to, Jesus gladly did.

For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak. (Joh 12:49)

So what about the message of the Gospel? Whose message is that? I would suggest that this one is the message of Jesus. When Jesus came to the Apostles in Mt 28, He first told them that all authority had been given to Him and then gave them the message to preach!

Here are three passages from the Gospels:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Mat 28:18-20)

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mar 16:15-16)

and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. (Luk 24:46-48)

It is a simple message: Tell a person about Jesus, those willing to follow (e.g. believe the message), they are to repent of the old life, be baptized and then learn more about Jesus and His commandments.

The question then is this: Can we change the message? Do we have the authority to do so? I would suggest that we do not, any more than Jesus had the authority to change the message the Father gave Him.

Peter seems to have followed the authority of Christ, submitting to the Authority Christ when he preached the first Gospel sermon.

Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Act 2:36-42)

You can see (and really you should read the whole chapter 2) that Peter is preaching about Jesus, wanting to make disciples. some of those who listened were willing to respond and he told them to repent and be baptized, then they stuck around and learned more.

So, let me bring this down to a question/slash application. So many times you hear preachers end their sermons with an invitation, final chapters of books have a message about becoming saved. the message is, in short: If you want Jesus to be your savior, pray the sinners prayer, and ask Jesus into your heart.

The question is this: Is that scriptural? was the sinners prayer what Jesus commanded His apostles? If  you agree, like I do, that the sinner’s prayer has no part of converting sinners, then just don’t do it? It may be common today, it may seem simple, but without authorization from Jesus, dare we preach it?



About Steven Sarff

If I were to offer any one piece of advice to one wishing to serve God, it would be to put Hebrews 11:6 and Acts 17:11 into action and let God guide you to grow in the grace and knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ.

Posted on May 11, 2012, in Christianity, Faith and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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