“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” — Matthew 7:28–29
At the end of the sermon on the Mount (Matt 7:28-29), we are told that “the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority…” At the end of Matthew (28:18), Jesus says “all power is given to me in heaven and in earth.”
It is clear Jesus has teaching authority. In Matthew 8, He will demonstrate His authority over disease, demons, and disciples.
- He heals a leper (v.1-4). He is willing to touch one who is unclean and contagious. He heals that which was considered completely incurable.
- He heals a centurions servant of paralysis from a distance by just saying the word (v.5-13). He did even have to be there. And the faith of the centurion was a lesson and rebuke to those Jesus who saw the same power of Christ but did not believe.
- He heals Peter’s mother-in-law and she is immediately able to serve them (v.14-15).
- In fulfilment of prophecy, He casts out demons and heals all who are brought to Him (v.16-17).
- He lays out the commitment and sacrifice necessary to be a disciple for two men who don’t seem to get it (v.18-22).
- He calms the winds and the sea to the amazement of his disciples who are with him in the boat (v.23-27).
- He casts out demons from two exceeding fierce men (v.28-34).
Clearly Jesus is a man who can teach with authority and has all authority over heaven and earth. No sickness, no distance, no weakness, and no person is beyond his power. Such a King deserves wholehearted surrender and sacrifice.
What kind of faith do we have? Jesus is looking for faith the recognises His total authority (v.10). May we have the faith of the centurion and the willingness to follow Him wherever He goes like His disciples (4:18-22). And may any thoughts of personal concerns or delays be forsaken. He has all authority and He demands my total allegiance and faith!