They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. . . Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”
The Final Authority
Seventeenth-century French philosopher Rene Descartes is known for the saying: “I think, therefore I am.” The Twenty-first Century bumper sticker equivalent is: “Honk if you exist.”
If you want to know what issues matter to society or the mindset of current culture, read their bumper stickers. One of the more popular is the command to “QUESTION AUTHORITY.” It is a warning not to follow blindly after anyone just because they are influential. Certainly, not everyone with authority is trustworthy, but that does not mean that everyone is not trustworthy.
Jesus is an authority you can trust. He proved it by what he proclaimed. When Jesus taught in the synagogue, he did not just regurgitate what other teachers of the law thought God’s Word meant. He did not reiterate their manufactured laws. Jesus proclaimed the freedom, healing, and release that God promised. Then he backed up his word with action. With the same authority that the people heard Jesus teach, they witnessed him drive a demon out of a man.
Despite society’s efforts to convince us otherwise, regardless of whatever bumper sticker gets slapped on the back of a car, Jesus is the final authority. When Jesus died on the cross, he destroyed the devil’s work. And when he rose from the grave, he proved his victory over sin, death, and hell. That victory is yours through faith in your Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, what peace, what joy, what hope is mine that you are the final authority over all things in life and in death. Amen.