1. Growth in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18) requires careful Bible study (John 5:39). 2. Jesus' authority is an important subject addressed numerous times in the Scriptures. 3. A proper understanding of Jesus' authority and submission to it will clear up much of the confusion that exists in religion today.
I. DURING HIS MINISTRY JESUS WAS QUESTIONED ABOUT HIS AUTHORITY (Matthew 21:23-27)
A. (vs.23a) The Jewish leaders approached Jesus in the temple while He was teaching. 1. These people had been plotting against Jesus for some time (Matthew 12:14). 2. They were looking for something they could use against Him. B. (vs.23b) These men questioned Jesus about the source of authority for the things He did. 1. Jesus had: a. entered Jerusalem as Zechariah had prophesied (vs.1-11; Zechariah 9:9) b. cleansed the temple (vs.12-14). 2. These men wanted to know who gave Jesus the authority to do these things. C. (vs.24-25a) Jesus agreed to reveal the source of His authority to these men if they would answer His question about John's baptism--was it from heaven or men? D. (vs.25b-27a) The Jewish leaders refused to answer the Lord's question because they realized their hypocrisy had been exposed. E. (vs.27b) Jesus refused to reveal the source of His authority.
II. LATER, JESUS CLAIMED TO HAVE ALL AUTHORITY (Matthew 28:18)
A. He has "all power [authority] in heaven and in earth." B. He also said that His authority had been given to Him. C. In John 17:1-2 Jesus stated that the Father had given Him His authority.
III. THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT JESUS DOES INDEED HAVE ALL AUTHORITY
A. The Father identified Jesus as His "beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). B. As God's Son, Jesus demonstrated His authority: 1. in His teaching (Matthew 7:28-29) 2. by calming the stormy sea (Matthew 8:23-27) 3. by forgiving a man's sins (Matthew 9:2-8) 4. by casting out unclean spirits (Mark 1:23-27) 5. by delegating authority to His apostles (Luke 9:1-2) 6. by His resurrection (Romans 1:4). C. Jesus' position reflects His authority. 1. Peter declared that Jesus is "by the right hand of God exalted" (Acts 2:33). 2. At God's right hand, Jesus rules as the head of His church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). 3. Jesus is God's spokesman today (Hebrews 1:1-2). 4. Jesus is "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16).
A. There are only two possible sources of authority in religion: heaven [the Lord] and men. B. Submission to: 1. man's authority is a serious mistake (Matthew 15:9). 2. the Lord's authority results in a blessing (James 1:25). C. Concerning everything that is said or done, Christians must submit to Jesus' authority (Colossians 3:17). D. By letting the Lord's Word dwell in us richly in all wisdom, we will know what He wants us to say and do (Colossians 3:16). E. Those who reject Jesus and His Word will pay the price (John 12:48).