Authority Underlies Power

Read: Matthew 8:5-13

The centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (v. 8)

It’s clear from the Bible that Jesus worked miracles because of his power and his authority. It’s not just upbringing or theological education that produces faith. The Roman centurion had neither. Faith in Jesus is one response to Jesus’s power and authority, and it’s what we see in today’s reading.

The centurion was a Roman officer who knew the reality of authority and how it worked. “I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (v. 9). He understood that proximity is not power. Authority is power. If you have power and authority, you say the word, and it is accomplished.

In this miracle, God shows us that Jesus did not have to be present to perform a miracle. He performed miracles because he had the authority to do so. Miracles are statements of Jesus’s authority over all things.

Jesus taught his disciples, and us, to speak in the same way so we might begin to share that authority: “Make sure your statement is, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil origin” (Matt. 5:37 NASB). With our first yes we agree in mind. With our second, we commit in faith. It is as good as done. Understand and believe in Jesus’s authority, and you will find your heart growing in your faith in his power.

As you pray, thank God for the authority he has over all things.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus