All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth Matthew 28:18
All – Followers of the Way understand one absolutely fundamental fact. They are not in charge! It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? The basic fact of all existence is that men are not God. God is absolutely in charge. That’s what sovereignty means. God rules. Period.
But something happened when Jesus rose from the dead. The Father gave Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth. How He was given this authority is the story of the incarnation and the resurrection. How it occurred doesn’t matter right now. What matters right now is that unless I acknowledge Jesus as the supreme and absolute authority in heaven and on earth, I am not following in the way.
The Greek makes it abundantly clear. In this verse, pasa. Totality. Everything. All. Do you understand? Do you really understand?
When you serve someone who has all authority in life, do you make independent decisions about what you will say, where you will go, what you will do? When you are the slave (doulos) of a Master who is the supreme ruler of everything, do you just check in with Him when you’re not sure what to do next or when you’re in trouble? If you had a servant who acted independently of your wishes, what do you suppose you would say about that servant? Now the radical, nearly unbelievable nature of this authority hits us square in the face. What did we think we were doing? We, the followers in the Way, have subscribed to a role of total commitment to the Lordship of Jesus. We are His to command; no questions asked. A slave does not decide if he will serve the Master today. A slave does not need justification before he obeys. A slave has only one choice – obey. There is only one Way.
If you don’t know what the Master is telling you to do, do you just do what you think you should do until the Master gets around to telling you differently? That’s the way most of us treat the One with all authority. We serve by commonsense consideration. We don’t actually wait until we are given directions. We make up our own directions and then look for ways to spiritually justify them. Slaves like that are useless to the Master. They may claim to be in the Way, but they follow their own path to nothing. Jesus only acknowledges the value of obedience. He does not need us to go about doing good in the hopes that He will like it. He asks only that we hear and obey.
That’s it. Simple. Straightforward. No reasons needed. Just do it. That’s what His mother said. “Whatever he says to you, do it” (John 2:5). It’s the same today.
Are you doing only what Jesus says or are you filling in the gaps with your own imaginations?