I truly believe that there is an authority issue in our culture today. Most people do not naturally like to submit to authority. There is something inside of them that resents being told what to do or what not to do. On the other hand, most people enjoy being in charge.
This problem is something that can be traced back through our parents to our first parents: Adam and Eve. Remember, they were placed into the garden and told they could eat of any tree but one. God had given them incredible freedom. They only had one rule. And so they hung out by the tree and succumbed to the temptations by the Serpent and revolted against the authority of God. They wanted to be in charge.
Yesterday, I finished a preaching series on the Authority of Jesus from Matthew 8-10. What we have seen in this series is that Jesus is authoritative over sickness. He is authoritative over nature. He is authoritative over diseases. He is authoritative over the spiritual world of demons. He is authoritative over sin. But there is still one question remaining:
Is He My Authority?
Jesus says that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. He came to confront and wage war with the evil that opposed His loyalty. He came to cut out, remove, separate, eliminate, and put to death anything that competes with His authority as the ultimate One to worship. He is not going to stop until He has your undivided loyalty. He will seek to remove or divide anything from keeping Him first place in all things. This might even include your family.
The Christian is called to love Jesus more than their family. They are called to love God more than their parents. They are called to love Jesus more than their children. But this is not exclusive. His point is that if there is any relationship that takes a priority in your life other than Jesus, you are not worthy of being in a relationship with Him.
And so, what are we to do? He tells us to take up our cross and follow Him. He tells us to realize that the Kingdom is upside down from what we normally think. We tend to do things our own way and do everything we can to hold onto our life. But Jesus says that if we want to find our life, we will lose it. That's backwards. I think what Jesus is saying is that if we live our life with ourselves at the steering wheel, we die. But if we die to ourselves and let Jesus take control, we will live. Submitting to the authority of Jesus in all things in our life is the only way we find ultimate fulfillment of freedom int his life.
And so the question remains: Is Jesus Your Authority?
If you want to listen to the sermon or read my notes, you can find them HERE (audio usually posted by Tuesday night).