Did Jesus have God’s authority during His earthly ministry?
“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” (John 5:43)
Today’s big question: did Jesus come in the authority of the Father?
Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:1). He came to earth around 2,000 years ago and was born of a virgin named Mary (Matthew 1:16). As discussed in our previous devotionals on the Father, the Father is our ultimate authority. Jesus did many things while on earth, such as teaching and miracles, but did He do these things in the authority of the Father?
Jesus was actually asked a similar question when “the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’” (Matthew 21:23). They recognized that Jesus was doing and saying things that no other man could do in his own authority. We should note that they did not ask this because they honestly wanted to know the answer, since Jesus would have told them what they wanted to know if they were earnestly seeking the truth (Matthew 21:27).
Before they asked Jesus this question, Jesus had already clearly shown the source of His authority through His miracles and teaching. However, they did not want to accept His answer.
Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
When Jesus claimed that God was His Father” or “I have come in My Father’s name,” the Jews recognized what this meant (i.e., “making Himself equal with God”). Indeed, Jesus came in all of the authority of the Father, and they did not want to accept it. This is one of the main reasons why Jesus was crucified—they did not recognize Jesus as the Christ (Messiah).
Recognizing Jesus Christ as our authority in every area is just as critical as recognizing the Father’s authority. After all, Jesus is God—“And Thomas answered and said unto [Jesus], ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28).
Today’s big idea: just as the Father is our authority, Jesus is our authority.
What to pray: ask God to help you trust in the authority of Jesus Christ.