When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Sermon on the Mount concludes with, “He (Jesus) taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” Jesus taught with authority. He taught with credibility. He wasn’t just repeating something He had read. In his commentary on Matthew, R.T. France writes, “In contrast with the careful quoting of authorities by the scribes, Jesus interpreted (and even went beyond) the law on the authority of His own direct perception of the will of God.” He was clearly very much more than a teacher of the law, as the scribes were.
The people listening were astonished at this sermon. Why? Because Jesus spoke with divine authority. Jesus needed no human teacher to add authority to His words, for He spoke as the Son of God. Of this passage, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Two things surprised them: the substance of His teaching, and the manner of it. They had never heard such doctrine before; the precepts He had given them were quite new to their thoughts. But their main astonishment was at His manner: there was a certainty, a power, a weight about it, such as they had never seen in the ordinary professional instructors. He spoke royally: the truth itself was its own argument and demonstration.”
After His resurrection, Jesus will assert His authority as He commissions His disciples to “make disciples of all nations.” In the Great Commission, Jesus would declare that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” Here Jesus is speaking as the resurrected King of kings. The only One who could grant this authority was God the Father.
The Sermon on the Mount is the greatest sermon ever preached. Ultimately it will bring you to the person of Jesus Christ. It will show you how you fail to measure up to its precepts. It will show you that you are weak and guilty. It will make you cry for mercy and bring you to the person of Christ for salvation. When you trust Christ as your Savior and Lord, He will give you His Spirit who will enable you to live out these precepts as you surrender your will and your ways to God.
Questions to Ponder:
Do you truly believe Jesus when He said, “ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me”? If so, what implications does this have regarding how you live your life? What have you learned from the Upside Down series as we have looked at the Sermon on the Mount? How has God revealed Himself to you through this series? What is one action step that you have taken as a result of Jesus’ words?
- Let’s “rend our hearts” and cry out together, “You are Holy, oh God. You are mighty. You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain. Worthy are You, Jesus Christ, the pure and spotless Lamb of God who was, and is, and is to come. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to You, oh Son of God. All glory, honor, and dominion is Yours, now and forevermore.
- Continue to worship the Lord with your own words.
- Pray for your top 3 and our church family’s top 3 – all those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Pray their hearts would be tender. Pray for open minds and for them to receive Jesus as Savior and LORD.
- Pray for the Word of the Lord to overflow in and through all of us, His people. God is building His household in and through all of us. Pray we will love Him and others so well.
- Pray the rich teachings of His Word will continue to take root in all our lives Pray we will live out what He teaches us and allow His word to flow through us.
Abba, Papa, I love you so much. I don’t have the right words to express my love for You. I know I don’t have the right actions to express my love and devotion to You rightly, except to give You my weak “yes” once again afresh each day and to show my love by surrendering to You every moment. So, I ask that today and this coming year You would fill my hunger and Your church’s hunger with Yourself. I ask that we would be ones that daily get alone with You in the secret place to commune and abide in You, to respond to Your on-going invitation of, “Come to Me. Come have breakfast,” like You invited Peter to right before You restored him. Help us to respond with a resounding “yes!” to Your invitation to us.
Lord, I ask that we thirst for You, the Living Water, and as our roots go down deep in You that we would remain planted by streams of living water.
Shepherd our hearts on the straight and narrow path. Lead us by Your Spirit. Keep us steady by Your power. Give us clean hands and a pure heart. Help us to serve others and to do things in the secret place when no one is looking. Servant of all, transform us into servants to bow so low and yet stand so confident in Your amazing love, grace, and mercy.
Give us faith of a mustard seed so we can be extravagant givers, hilarious givers, and that we would invest in Thy kingdom! I ask that we would be ones who unceasingly pray and are in constant fellowship with You, the Lord of our lives, who lives inside of us by Your Holy Spirit. Empower all of us by Your Spirit to repent and turn from our wicked ways and to bless and pray for those who persecute us, to pray for those who have wounded us. I ask that You lead us out of temptation and deliver us from evil. Grant us eyes to see the way out, and infill us with Your power to run the other way.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in our personal lives, relationships, families, community, church, region, and world. Make us burning and shining lamps for You and Your glory. That we will be ambassadors for You, King Jesus, testifying of Your redeeming love and amazing grace and living it out.
Lastly, Lord, I ask that You richly bless each person and family who have been meeting with You doing the daily devotions and prayers during this specific series. Remind them of Your ridiculous, crazy love for each of them. Reveal Your heart toward them. Encourage them. Strengthen their inner man. Draw them even closer to You. Let Your light shine and love overflow from them. Remind them of Your love. I ask in the wonderful and matchless name of Jesus Christ. Amen.