Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –
I have in mind some special people for this brief word. I think of those who have worked hard to bring something from God’s word to God’s people and to all who will listen. Whether you speak to many or to few, you have a privileged place – to speak on behalf of the King of Glory.
With that in mind, think of this from Matthew 8:8:
The centurion answered and said,
“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof.
But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.”
When the Roman centurion asked a favor of Jesus, he asked it with great sensitivity towards Jesus. He knew that it was forbidden for an observant Jew to enter a Gentile’s house, so the centurion insisted it was not necessary for Jesus to come to his house. All Jesus had to do was speak a word, and the centurion’s servant would be healed.
The Roman centurion understood something that many people do not: that the healing power of Jesus was not some sort of magic trick that required the magician’s presence. Instead, he knew Jesus had true authority, and Jesus could command things to be done and outside His immediate presence – and they would be done!
The centurion showed great faith in Jesus’ word. He understood that Jesus can heal with His word just as easily as with a touch. The centurion knew that the authority of Jesus was at least as great as the authority of a commanding officer over the soldiers under his charge. When the commanding officer spoke, the soldiers were to respect his authority. When Jesus speaks, He commands authority over every created thing.
Dear friend who labors in the proclamation of God’s word: please remember that there is tremendous authority in the word of God. Your own authority or personality doesn’t really matter much; you are a messenger of the God of all authority! When you clearly explain and apply what God says in His word, you can be as bold as a lion. As you stick to God’s word, you have apostolic authority in the best sense.
Uncertain times call for clear words from our pulpits and places of Bible teaching. This isn’t a season for vain speculations; people need to hear the authority of God’s word. They need to hear it from people who are persuaded that the word of Jesus has authority. I hope you have as much faith in the authority of Jesus’ word as the Roman centurion did!
The authority of Jesus’ word has not weakened one bit in the last 2,000 years. Ask God to give you a fresh appreciation of the authority of the word of God as you present the message of Jesus Christ, the living word.
Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik