Jesus was a man of power and authority. I would take a moment to remold you who Jesus was and is. Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. “16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him, all things consist,” Colossians 1:16–17. In Heaven, Jesus received the worship of angels. In Heaven, Jesus shared the glory of the Father. But Jesus willingly stepped away from the glory and worship of Heaven to come to this world as a man.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, God became flesh and dwelled among humans. The Creator took on the form of the creature, and He lived as one of us. “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. The phrase “dwelt among us,” means Jesus “pitched His tent among us.” Jesus did not just live among us, He lived like us.
While He lived on earth, Jesus surrendered the independent use of His divine power to the will of His Father. In other words, Jesus could and would only use divine power when He was allowed to do so according to His Father’s will. Jesus lived here as a Spirit-filled man, who did not work, preach, and teach as He thought best, but as he was led by the Spirit of God. Here is how Jesus described his work and life on earth—“19 …Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and showed Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel,” John 5:19–20.
While Jesus was here, His Father granted Jesus the authority the preach the gospel in power and authority. The Father granted Jesus the power to heal all manner of diseases, cast out demons, and even raise the dead. As God, Jesus half all power, but as a man, the authority of Jesus was a humble authority, given to Him by His Father.
In this text, I want you to see His authority in action. As we continue to talk about Our Lord’s Humble Authority. I want to share some more insights into the authority Jesus held, and how He applied it in his ministry. These insights will help us see His authority in action and how His authority affected both the ministry He had while He was here on earth and how His authority still impacts the world today.
AS SEEN IN HIS DEPENDENCE – v. 12 – Jesus was about to make a monumental decision. He was about to choose twelve men to be His disciples. Before He elevated these twelve men to a position of authority, Jesus withdrew Himself from the crowds which followed Him, and He went away into a mountain to pray. Jesus wanted to be sure He knew His Father’s will regarding the decision he was about to make. After spending the night in concentrated prayer, Jesus knew His Father’s will. He knew which of His disciples would become His apostles.
AS SEEN IN HIS DECISION – v. 13-16 When Jesus came down from the mountain, He surveyed the throngs which followed him. From the great mass of people, Jesus chose twelve men to follow him, to learn from him, to preach his gospel, and to share in his authority. These twelve men, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, would become the nucleus of the church Jesus was about to build.
These men were the first preachers of the gospel to bring the word of salvation to the new Israel of God and salvation in the Gentiles and the church. They were the recipients of direct revelation, the unfolding of the mystery of Christ which they preached and which they wrote and now makes up the New Testament. They were the founders of doctrine, which establishes the truth of God for the church. They were the early edifiers, preachers, and teachers of the believers. They were the first examples of virtue and they were the primary and only men who have been given miracle power by the Lord Jesus to confirm their preaching as true and from God.
The apostles were remarkable and they were absolutely unique. They were chosen sovereignly by God. They were chosen after a night of prayer, so they weren’t people who applied for the job. They were chosen by God and Christ in an all-night communion. They were chosen to be taught, to be drawn near, to be taught intimately. In less than two years, all the teaching, all the example of Christ before them, all of the short-term opportunities, all the internship was done. And during their time with Jesus, they had no occupation, they left their nets, they left their tax tables, they left their fields, they left everything. They spent their time learning from Jesus, and genuine learning is not an easy business.
In choosing the twelve apostles, Jesus changed the course of human history. In fact, the ministry of these men is still changing the world. But the apostles are gone, and we are here. The burden of ministry has fallen on our shoulders. We are not the Lord’s apostles, but we are his workers in the world, and it is through the world will see him, and hear his Word. We need him as much or more than they did. It is up to us to be His ambassadors to a lost and dying world. How are we doing with this work we have been given?
AS SEEN IN HIS DEMONSTRATION– v. 17-19 – After choosing His twelve apostles, Jesus comes down from the mountain to face the crowds waiting below. This passage leads us into a major sermon by Jesus. In Matthew, this sermon is called the Sermon on the Mount. Here, it is called by some, the Sermon on the Plain. In its essence, it is the same sermon. We will begin considering what Jesus preached to the crowd in our next sermon. For today, we will consider verses 17-19, and see the events leading up to our Lord’s message. In these verses, we see a clear demonstration of our Lord’s authority.
What did Jesus do? Verse 19 says he “healed them all.” The word “healed” comes from a word that means “to cause something to change.” In this case, the people came to Jesus one way, and they left another. They came sick, they left well. They came being carried on their beds, they left on their own two feet. They came blind, they left seeing. They came deaf, they left the hearing. They came unable to speak, they left rejoicing. They came diseased, they left a perfectly whole. They came under the power of Satan and his demons, they were left free from the devil and his power. Everyone who came to Jesus was changed by the power of Almighty God.
What sort of miracle is this? This is a mass miracle. This is not one person being healed like the paralyzed man in the synagogue, Luke 5:17-26. This is not a single leper being healed, Luke 4:12-16. This is not a case of healing here or there in the crowd like you see in the so-called healing services today. This is a mass healing in which verse 19 says Jesus “healed them all.” Every single sick or demon-possessed person in the crowd was healed when they fell under the power of the Son of Man. Jesus unleashed divine power and they were all left changed by His power.
What we need to do is to bring our needs to Him like the people in this passage did. We need to touch Jesus through the medium of prayer. We need to depend on Him for all things, and we need to expect great things from Him. Our Lord has unlimited power, and He can bring his power to bear in our lives, as we lean on Him by faith.
This is why the Bible says, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you,” 1 Peter 5:7.
This is why the Bible says, “6 Be careful with nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6–7.
Stop living your life in fear and doubt. Bring your need to Jesus and trust Him to meet your needs. Above all, bring your, soul, to Him and lean the full weight of yourself on Him, and He will support you. He will help you. He will give you peace. He will extend His grace to you. He will use you. We serve a Redeemer who possesses “all power…in heaven and in the earth,” Matthew 28:18. He can take care of what you need.
What did these miracles accomplish? These miracles set the stage for the sermon Jesus would preach in the next section. The miracles prepared the people for the message. But these miracles performed by Jesus also served to showcase His divine authority over all things in both the physical world and in the spiritual world. The miracles performed by Jesus then teach us our Lord has the power to both change us inwardly (in the cases of the demon-possessed), and He has the power to address the external physical and material needs in our lives (in the cases of those He healed). Again, bring your needs to Him, and He can take care of them for you.
Can you trust Him? The people who came to Jesus for healing and deliverance from demons trusted Him, and they were “all” healed and helped. Our Lord still has the same power today.
Why would you want to carry around a mountain of sin, when Jesus can make it go away? Why would you want to continue living at a guilty distance from Him, when Jesus stands ready to reconcile with you and forgive all? Why would you want to struggle under the crushing weight of your burdens, when Jesus is ready to give you the grace to handle your burdens, and while Jesus stands ready to help you? Why would you want to keep trying to serve Him under your own power, when Jesus is willing to give you the power to do it right? Why would you wait, when Jesus could fix it all today?
Our Lord has all authority in the universe. He can unleash His authority in your life. Look to Him in humble dependence and get the help you need.