Jesus – My Mentor, Leader, Role Model and Hero
The Bible is, if you’ve noticed, a book of action. It’s extremely hard to read the bible and remain inactive. It does not just tell us that we are to do something, but asks us to get up and DO IT!
This is especially true of the gospels. Yes, and it was certainly true of the master. Here he was at 30 years of age, and he explodes into the Jewish religious scene. The papers of the time did not just carry the story of another religious leader who was teaching some new form of theology. Yes, Jesus did come to preach the ‘KINGDOM OF GOD’. And yes, although it was new and out of the ordinary for the Jewish people, what REALLY created ‘hot news’ in the morning dailies in Israel were -“The Blind See- Mr. Bartimeus is healed!”
“She’s Alive- Daughter of Synagogue leader the respectable Jairus’ daughter has been raised from the dead!”
“Demoniac Healed- Anthony of Gadarenes is delivered of devils!”
Television crews were out in full force wherever Jesus went. They were out to catch every moment, every miracle, every healing! Jesus was a Man of Action. He was not afraid. Nothing would (or could) dare to stand in his way. Not even the religious heads of Judaism. Those who controlled the goings on in the whole nation, the people whose every word was listened to with eager interest and reverend obedience, even they could not stand against the ‘work’ of Jesus.
He declared openly, you “generation of vipers”, “you are like your father, the devil”. No mortal had for centuries dared to oppose the religious hierarchy. Some from fear of divine judgment, others who couldn’t care less about them. But here was one who taught with great boldness. His language was common, yet his words were piercing. His demeanor casual, yet his presence commanded respect. His teachings were simple, yet their effect was a revolution.
Day after day, more and more of the Jewish folk were becoming followers of this ‘heretic’- as the council of priests would call him! After all how dare this Galilean, the son of a carpenter, whose family was among the common folk, state that he was the “Son of God”- thereby making himself equal to the Almighty. Blasphemy! they cried, all to none effect as after every passing moment the crowds around him increased in number, they followed him not just in the cities, they went to him even into the deserts.
But what was this about this man that made him such a ‘magnet’ of attraction in Israel, and that too over a relatively short period of time (His whole public ministry lasted only around 3 years, his popularity having grown long before the end of it!). A simple man, with not much wealth, hardly any acknowledgements of the well known rabbis (at least not openly), from a humble family, rooting from an insignificant city. And yet, he was turning his world upside down! (Or should I say right side up!)
The answer to this puzzle is really simple and yet so profound. And it will do every Christian good to pay close attention to this. The people when they first heard Jesus instantly recognized one distinguishing trademark about his teaching, and it was this, Mark 1:22 says, ‘And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.’ YES! That’s what Jesus apart from the rest.
Although there was nothing in his person, family or status that could have contributed to his popularity and instant fame all throughout the nation, there WAS one distinguishing factor in this man, that made him seem ‘ten feet tall’- it was AUTHORITY! The dictionary definition for this word is ‘ the power to exact laws’. Jesus then, did not speak mere words. He had the power to back his statements.
He didn’t just speak of healing, he performed it. He didn’t just dislike the devil, he cast him out. He didn’t simply sympathize with the hungry, he fed them! He was willing to do, he was ready to act. His words were heard and repeated, not because of their excellence in language, but for their effectiveness in function! Remember Christian, mere words will be trashed by this world, but true authority will liberate the bound. How could Jesus do all this? He stated it himself, ”the works which the father hath given me to finish, the same which I do….’’ (John 5:36) Jesus was given authority by his father. In John 5:27 he said, “And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.”
And it is this Jesus who has transferred this authority to us! Yes, dear Christian, if you are a born again child of God, you have received this authority from Jesus! In Luke 9:11 Jesus gave this authority to his disciples, “and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.” Furthermore in Mark 16:16-18 Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Do you believe? Then, ‘you have’ authority! When you preach the gospel it is not mere words. But there is ALMIGHTY power ready and available to back the ‘truth’ that you preach! Yes! I’m talking about you! As you read this, I pray that the Holy Spirit for God, the Spirit who was with Christ Jesus, would reveal the light of this word to you. That you’re spirit maybe empowered with renewed boldness and power and that you may become a powerful instrument in the hand of God. Remember saint, “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (I Corinthians 4:20)