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The Authority of Jesus

Today’s reading: Matthew 7:24-9:38

My selection: Matthew 7:28-29

28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

My reflections: It was not just the content of Jesus’ teaching that astounded the crowds, but also the authority with which He taught. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus concluded His sermon with the challenge to not just hear but to do His words. Hearing alone is not sufficient. One must act on what he hears. It was an individual responsibility that applies to everyone who hears His words (vss. 24, 26). It has personal benefits or consequences for each person: survival or destruction (vss. 25,27).

My challenge: The question of “who was Jesus Christ?” continues to resurface regularly in our time. That question needs to be considered in light of two other questions: who did He claim to be? and who do I believe Him to be? It is not enough to say He was a great teacher and miracle worker. He claimed to have authority that goes far beyond that. If He claimed that kind of authority, that obedience to His words was a matter of life and death, then He was either a lunatic, a charlatan, or God Incarnate.

I believe He was and is God Incarnate. Do you? How will this belief change our actions today? Hearing is necessary but not sufficient. If you trust Him, obey Him. Your house will be unshakeable in the floods and winds.

Tomorrow’s reading: Matthew 10:1-12:14

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