My work history includes a short stint as a meter reader for a utility company. It was my job to read and record the data on customers’ meters—which were invariably located in residential backyards. Besides close calls with many surprised (and threatened!) dogs, I also remember feeling a bit hesitant about walking around all day trespassing on private property. But the fact of the matter was that I was authorized to do so. The utility company gave me the authority to read its meters, regardless of where they were located, and its customers generally accepted my authority to do so. The dogs, however, did not.
March 26At the heart of this amazing account in Luke 5 is the astonishing authority Jesus demonstrated. In one integral moment, Jesus turned a Kingdom double play by healing both the spirit (forgiveness) and the body (paralysis). Those gathered were in awe. Who had authorized this man, Jesus, to act in such a powerful way?
In verse 24, Jesus made clear that he wanted everyone to know from where His authority came. In describing Himself as the Son of Man, Jesus revealed His connection to a very powerful Father. In fact, this Father Jesus knows so well and whose identity Jesus shares, happens to be the Creator-King of the world. The Father sent His Son to represent His Kingdom on earth; authorizing Jesus to act on His behalf and with His power.
And so it is with us.
We, the Church, are God’s representatives on earth, authorized to act on His behalf to activate healing in broken bodies, souls, and systems in the name of Jesus. We are authorized to trespass into anti-kingdom territory and, in the authority of Christ, demonstrate and declare His victory over the power of sin and death. We must boldly enter the broken places of our world without hesitation. We are authorized to be here and do what needs to be done.
In this season of Lent, consider any hesitancy you may have to boldly represent Christ. Perhaps you’ve entered into some territory characterized by brokenness or suffering, such as a difficult relationship or an issue of injustice. What hesitancy may you need to give up in order to accept the authority Christ has already given you?