Urgency Defines Authority
All Christians – and even many unbelievers – rightly regard Jesus as a great teacher. But what made Him a great teacher? Luke 4:32 provides some insight to this question. “They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.” (Luke 4:32) And again a few verses later, “All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!’” (Luke 4:36)
Authority is defined as, “The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience”. What gives someone authority?
People often have authority based on their position in life. Preachers, parents, bosses, police officers, judges, church elders, and the list could go on, all have positional authority. But position does not ultimately define authority.
I have a friend who recently had a medical emergency. He was having terrible pain and decided that he could not even wait on an ambulance to take him to the hospital. As he drove urgently to the hospital, he was pulled over by a police officer because he was speeding. The officer asked if he was having an emergency and he told him he was indeed. The police officer commanded him to pull over and that he would call an ambulance. My friend refused and told the officer to give him a police escort to the hospital. The police officer told him again to pull over. My friend refused to pull over. He had to go to the hospital NOW. The police officer conceded and led the way to the hospital. Thankfully, my friend was able to get the appendectomy that he desperately needed, and all is well!
This story points out that urgency can supersede positional authority. If you have something urgent in your life, you will not be denied your goal. If it’s urgent enough, you will find a way to get it done, no matter what.
Jesus had urgency to his message and mission. It was a matter of life or death. Luke 12:4-5 warns us to heed the ultimate authority, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”
Friend, if you do not know Jesus – if you are not trusting in Him alone to save you from your sins – turn to him in faith now and you will be saved. Believer, you have been entrusted with the words of life. Live today with the same urgency – and authority – to share the Good News that Jesus did!