Matthew 28:18–By the authority vested in me…

If you’ve been married, or have ever been to a wedding, you no doubt waited in anticipation for final statement of authority by the officiating minister or judge–“By the authority vested in my…I now pronounce you husband and wife,” or something of the sort. Then again, if you’re like me, you’re also waiting in great anticipation for the eating of the cake, another important wedding “ritual.”

Earlier this year we needed to rent a house. We found a house that we liked, but the owner of the house lived far from the city where the house was. Fortunately the owner had a sister who lived in town and the sister had Power of Attorney (or Letter of Authority as it is called here) for the house in question.

Both minister and the sister in these two cases have been given authority to make decisions on behalf of another. The minister is able to make the final declaration as to the marital status of the man and woman in question–he can either declare them married or not. The minister has the authority; not the man or the woman. In the same way the sister has the authority to make all decisions related to the renting of the home in question–the house in which we now live.

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authorityin heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18–NLT)

Jesus has been given all authority…for everything! He holds the Power of Attorney over your life; not just in things related to your faith, but in all things. He has the right, and the responsibility, of guiding and directing your life in the way he knows is best. What Jesus is essentially saying here is this–“By the authority vested in me by God the Father, I now send you…”

We’ll get to the sending part tomorrow, but it’s important to remember from the beginning that our purpose and our mission are not something we create ourselves. We don’t call ourselves and we don’t commission ourselves–only Jesus has the authority to do that.

And one thing is for sure; when Jesus spoke to his eleven disciples there was not a single ordained pastor, Sunday-school teacher, song leader, church board member, televangelist, Christian aid worker, Christian musician, Christian author, or any other sort of “high-profile” Christian worker among them. They were just ordinary guys like you and me. Ordinary, except for the fact that they had learned to walk with Jesus.

Jesus has the authority over our lives. He has a plan, a purpose, and a mission for each of us, if only we will first learn to walk with him.

Hoping to see you on the journey…

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