A MAN WHO UNDERSTOOD AUTHORITY
(Matt. 8:5-13; Lk. 7:1-10)
1. Centurion's servant near death. Sent Jewish elders to Jesus to ask Him to save the servant. Jesus went, but centurion sent his friends to Jesus, asking Him to just say the word & servant would be healed (Lk. 7:6-7).
a. He understood authority (Matt. 8:9).
b. "Great faith" (Matt. 8:10); Servant healed (Matt. 8:13).
2. Contrast (8:10-12):
a. v.10 - Great faith, but not in Israel.
b. v.11 - Gentile inclusion into the kingdom due to faith.
c. v.12 - Sons of the kingdom (Jews) cast out for lack of faith.
3. Point of emphasis which defined & contrasted the centurion's faith: He understood authority!
I. THE RIGHTS OF AUTHORITY - Matt. 8:8-9 (Lk. 7:7-8); Matt. 28:18.
-("From the meaning of leave or permission, or liberty of doing as one pleases, it passed to that of the ability or strength with which one is endued, then to that of the power of authority, the right to exercise power...or the power of rule or government, the power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed by others" -Vine, I:89). -JESUS-
A. The One With Authority Has The Right To Rule - 8:9; Psa. 2:6-7, 10-12; Eph. 1:21-23.
B. The One With Authority Has The Right To Bless - 8:8 (cf. Rom. 13:3-4); Jno. 17:2.
C. The One With Authority Has The Right To Judge - 8:9; (cf. Jno. 19:10); Jno. 5:26-29.
Lesson: Our faith must acknowledge Christ as having the right (power) to rule, to bless & to judge our submission to His will. (Jno. 8:23-24; Heb. 11:6)
II. SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY - Matt. 8:8-9; Lk. 7:7-8.
A. Not Everyone Is Willing To Yield To Authority.
1. Naaman - 2 Kgs. 5:1, 9-14 (Finally persuaded).
2. King Saul - 1 Sam. 15:13-14, 19 - Argued he had obeyed, yet he had not - v. 22-23.
3. Both cases, pride the obstacle to submissive obedience.
B. Some Willingly Yield To Authority.
1. Matt. 8:8 - Humility before authority is essential for faith - "not worthy" (not sufficient, footnote, ASV).
2. Jno. 9:6-7; Acts 26:19 - Simple trust to obey the Christ (the one with authority) results in the blessings of faith.
Lesson: It is our submission to authority which causes us to receive the blessings of faith from the authoritative one (Christ). - Matt. 8:8,13; 28:18-20; 7:21
III. FAITH AND AUTHORITY.
A. Living Under Divine Authority Is Living By Faith.
1. Christ's authority only conveyed thru His word - Jno. 12:48-50.
2. Faith comes only thru His word - Rom. 10:17 (v. 8).
3. Therefore, saving faith adheres to Christ's authority.
a. Jas. 2:14-26 ("Works") - Who defines works of faith? -- God does, in inspired scripture! - 2 Tim. 3:16-17
b. Col. 3:17 - A call to faith & faithfulness!
4. Impatience with & weariness over the subject of Bible authority is in fact expressing a lack of faith!
B. Shall We Be Faithless Or Believing? - Matt. 8:12-13
1. God's plan of salvation (Hear - Believe - Repent - Confess Faith - Be Baptized -Live Faithful).
2. True worship (Jno. 4:24).
3. Church organization (indep., autonomous churches vs. sponsoring churches).
4. Church work (preach, edify, relieve needy saints).
5. Doctrinal purity? Gal. 1:6-9 (2 Jno. 9).
6. Moral purity? Phil. 4:8.
Lesson: Living by faith is really a question of whether we will submit to the authority of Christ in all things!
1. Jesus said great faith involves a trust which regards & submits to His authority.
2. How great is your faith? How well are you yielding to the authority of Christ? (Col. 3:17; Matt. 7:21)