Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’ power and authority’

It never ceases to amaze me how often words of Scripture can jump out at us and impact us all over again, even if we have read them many times before. They may challenge us deeply and perhaps even make us a little uncomfortable, but what a privilege to receive these reminders over and over and know they come from the hand of our loving, patient Lord!

One day recently, I finished reading Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well but decided to continue a little further in the same chapter. And there I found the wonderful story of the royal official in Cana in Galilee who asks Jesus to come and heal his son (John 4:43-54). At first, Jesus seems reluctant, but the official still insists he do just that.

Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” John 4:49

Jesus then responds with a brief but huge statement of promise—and, lo and behold, the official takes him at his word and immediately leaves.

Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. John 4:50

Wow! Jesus’ few words hold such power and authority—but the official’s simple, unquestioning obedience made me sit up as well. Perhaps he was among those who had witnessed Jesus in action in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast when he cleared the traders and moneychangers out of the temple and also performed miracles (John 2; 4:45). Yet, whether this is true or not, to me, this official’s firm belief in Jesus’ promise that his son will be healed speaks volumes. Would I have been as ready to trust Jesus as he was? Would I have perhaps still begged him to come and actually lay hands on my son? Or would I have headed home heart-in-mouth, half-filled with hope and half with huge doubts?

He does not get far, however, before his servants meet him with the news that his son is now better. Then he also discovers that the boy became well at the exact time Jesus had said his son would live.

And this is the point in the story where I received my second simple yet huge challenge that morning. All John writes in the next sentence is the following:

So he and his whole household believed. John 4:53b

Just like that, this official and his family believe in Jesus. Would that have been my response? Or would I have perhaps been tempted to rationalise things and not be too hasty about it all?

Somehow, I think this whole event has jolted me into remembering how powerful and trustworthy Jesus truly is and how much more I need to take him at his word. If he says something will happen, it will happen. He does not lie or break his promise. If he tells us to do something, we had better do it—because Jesus, after all, is the Son of God. If Jesus says it, that settles it!

And when he answers our requests today for healing or provision or whatever else, as he always does, it surely is up to us to believe and give him our love and full allegiance, all over again, don’t you think?

Advertisement

Read Full Post »

Jo 12I well remember how, as a child, I was at times particularly averse to being told what to do. If my poor mother wanted me to do something I did not want to do, my response would often be ‘But why?’ I would keep asking this until my mother, in exasperation, would eventually snap, ‘Because I said so!’

Perhaps that’s why a certain phrase jumped out at me recently when I read Luke’s account of the calling of Jesus’ first disciples. After Jesus sits in Simon’s fishing boat and teaches the crowd on the shore of the lake, he tells Simon to head for deep water and let down the nets. Then Simon replies:

Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5

No wonder Simon respected Jesus enough even then to do whatever Jesus told him to do. After all, Jesus had just healed many people while in Simon’s home, including Simon’s own mother-in-law. But Simon soon becomes much more astonished when his fishing nets start to break and both his and his partners’ boats begin to sink from their enormous catch. In fact, in fear, he falls at Jesus’ knees and says “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (8) It’s almost as if he is saying, ‘What have I got myself into? I can’t handle this!’ But Jesus reaches out and reassures him, so much so that he and his partners James and John end up leaving their boats and following him:

Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” (10)

Recently, I learnt how a newcomer to our country heard this story for the first time while fishing in the Parramatta River. He laughed loudly at the idea of catching men—yet now he has begun a journey just like Simon’s and we hope his mind will also soon be boggled by Jesus’ awesome power and authority. But what about my own response to Jesus’ authority? What is Jesus calling me to do in 2020? Am I going to say like Simon, ‘Because you say so, I will do this or that?’ Or will I instead curl up in fear and decide not to let down my own ‘nets’ in the coming year?

I have always felt Jesus’ gentleness and love, as well as his quiet authority, whenever he has challenged me to step out and do something. And this was particularly strong when I began my current novel. Back then, I sensed Jesus saying, ‘I’ll be so delighted if you write this book, Jo-Anne. But I’ll be just as delighted with you if you don’t!’ What wonderful freedom that gave me—simply to write as time permitted and enjoy the process, irrespective of the outcome! Yet surely this is Jesus’ heart for us all in whatever he calls us to do. Jesus has the power and authority to call us to act—and we need to listen and be obedient. Yet it seems to me he also surrounds us with such love and grace and mercy, however we respond.

‘But because you say so …’. May that be my honest response—and yours—as we embrace all God has for us in the coming year.

Read Full Post »