Ever get stuck in a storm without an umbrella? Wet, cold, miserable? As we continue our Change Your City series – todays message, “Under Authority” is about getting under the authority of God. Like an umbrella.
5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer[a] came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant[b] lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
The servant had palsy – we know this from Luke 7 and the research of theologians.
Palsy is when the head gives a command the body doesn’t listen to or act on. One symptom is the body has tremors – meaning that the body acts on its own accord outside of what the head speaks.
The reason this story is critical –
- It not only demonstrates that Jesus divinely heals…. but
- It shows the state of the Church. The head (Jesus) has been speaking but the Body (humanity) is not listening or acting on it.
The Church had or has an authority issue.
Luke 7 gives additional background on the Centurion…
4 So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, 5 “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.”
The body failed to build the church… the centurion saw the need of the body to be under authority of the head and begin restoring it.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
*Doing life together*
Have you gone beyond acknowledging Jesus is your authority? Are you taking action on all that the head is speaking? What area of your life do you need to come under the authority of Jesus?
How to start getting under authority…
8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.
- Centurion didn’t need Jesus to physically show up in his house…. he needed the Word of God to say it is so….
- The centurion knew wherever Jesus was, His word is the authority….
- Jesus is sitting alive in heaven on His throne – the head – in full authority.
Do you have the faith that His word has full authority?
Picture the authority of Jesus as an umbrella….(the head, the covering)
Are you holding the authority above you?
Like an umbrella it’s up to you to remain under that authority.
Jesus is speaking are you, as the body – acting, moving, participating in the kingdom of God??
You cannot change your city if you are outside of the authority of Jesus.
When you leave the covering of Jesus:
- you will leave His favor,
- you will leave His protection.
Insight: I believe Jesus allows failure or the taste of failure to linger in our lives at times, to know what it’s like being outside of the authority of Jesus.
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
Jesus was amazed another time… remember
Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. 2 The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” 3 Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
4 Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.
The people saw Jesus not as an authority, but as common everyday Jesus.
Have you allowed yourself to see Jesus as your authority or as ordinary? Your faith and the potential faith of others around you is dependent on you coming under authority.
NEXT STEPS – Take a good look at yourself and repent of any area you’re keeping outside of Jesus’ authority. Then purposefully submit to the fullness of Gods authority.