Learning About Jesus — Lesson 14
Authority And Power
If you read the Gospel carefully you will notice that again and again Jesus is called "Lord." In fact, he was called by this title even before he was born. Read Luke 2:8-20.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
1. In the passage you have just read, who brings good news to the shepherds and describes Jesus as "the Lord"?
When people (and even angels) called Jesus the Lord they were acknowledging that he possessed power to rule and authority to command obedience. The title Lord points to a position of superiority. It points to such great superiority, in fact, that it is a title often used for God. According to the Gospel, Jesus fully deserves this title. Consider the following things:
2. One day Jesus told an immoral woman that her sins were forgiven (Luke 7:48). Do you accept Jesus’ claim that he has authority to forgive sins?
3. Once Jesus told a tax collector to leave his business behind and follow him (Luke 5:27). Do you accept Jesus’ claim that he has the right to command such obedience from people?
4. One time Jesus commanded evil spirits to leave a man who was completely under Satan’s control (Luke 8:29). Do you believe Jesus’ claim that he has power greater than that of Satan?
5. One day Jesus turned to a criminal who was dying on a cross and promised him that he would live in paradise (Luke 23:43). Do you accept Jesus’ claim that he has the necessary power to ensure that such a promise is kept?
6. On the day that Jesus was taken up into heaven, a group of his followers worshiped him with great joy (Luke 24:52). Do you accept the fact that Jesus has the right to receive such worship?
A person who answers yes to questions 2-6 believes that what the Gospel says about Jesus is true: he is Lord. If this is your own conclusion after studying about Jesus, you must now take a further step and ask a more personal question: "Is Jesus my Lord?" Your answer will be yes if you can honestly address the following prayer to God:
Merciful God, I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead. In Jesus’ name, I ask that my sins be forgiven. I want him to bring me close to you. I am ready to obey him.
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