Scripture: “They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority” (Luke 4:32)

Observation: Jesus has just read from the Isaiah scroll in the synagogue (Lk 4:16ff), and stated that the prophecies he read were fulfilled in Him!  The people, however, did not accept His authority.  They could not get past the fact that they knew Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. They neither recognized nor respected Jesus’ authority.  However, just a few verses later (Lk 4:31ff) Jesus taught people who were not from his home town and they recognized Jesus’ authority.  They saw something about Jesus that was different than other teachers.  What was it?  He spoke with AUTHORITY.  Jesus spoke the Word of God and people recognized it as carrying the weight of God’s power.  In fact, Jesus even drove out demons in their presence (Lk 4:33ff).  Yes, Jesus had authority.  What was the basis for that authority?  It was the Word of God.  This was in fact the power and authority that Jesus had just used to stand up against Satan’s temptations at the beginning of Luke chapter 4.

Application: Being in a position of authority myself, I’m keenly aware that just being in a position of authority does not always mean that authority is respected or even recognized.  It’s easy to fall prey to “operating in the flesh.”  Especially as a leader, it’s tempting to provide direction, give encouragement, cast vision and even solve problems by my own strength.  But ultimately, people do not and will not respond to that.  The only true authority is that which comes from God through His revealed Word to us.

Prayer: Lord, may I be like Jesus today.  May I speak your Word in the face of temptation.  May I speak your Word boldly, even when confronted by people who do not receive you.  And may your Word work powerfully in and through me, such that even the demons and forces of darkness flee.  In your Name, Amen.