Jesus Christ has ALL Authority in religious matters today. From the very first sin of man in the Garden of Eden, God had promised to send a deliverer, a messiah to bring about the complete reconciliation of man to God. Jesus of Nazareth was that promised Messiah. The Hebrew word, Messiah means, “anointed one.” This Hebrew word is found 39 times in the Old Testament. Most often it is translated as “anointed” in a general sense, however, it is twice translated as “Messiah” in Daniel 9:25-26 and applied directly in prophecy to the coming Savior. In the New Testament, the same concept is from the Greek word “christos” translated as “Christ.”
Jesus came in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies pertaining to the coming “Messiah”. The time of his arrival was prophesied in Daniel 7:25-26. He was previewed as the Messiah by the prophets. (Psalm 2:1-12). John the Immerser, who was the last of the prophets, affirmed that Jesus was the Messiah. (John 1:29. His Father in Heaven affirmed that Jesus is the Messiah. (Mark 1:9-11). Jesus affirmed that He was the promised Messiah. (John 4:25-26; Mark 14:61-62). His disciples became convinced that He was the Messiah because of His miracles and teachings. (Matthew 16:13-17). Even some who witnessed His crucifixion came to believe that He was the Messiah. (Matthew 27:54).
All men must accept the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. As the Anointed of the Lord God, Jesus has ALL Authority! God has delegated His authority to Christ in all things. Therefore, we must recognize the truth that the authority that Jesus has is God-ordained; and from that fact make the necessary applications. Virtually all the realm of “Christendom” accepts the fact that Jesus has all authority in religion. Verbal agreement to this fact is one thing, but proper application of this fact is another thing all together.
What does the fact that Jesus has all authority imply? The word “All” used as it is in this statement as an adjective can carry the meaning of (1) the whole mount or quantity of; (2) the whole number or sum of ; (3) any whatever. The fact that Jesus has ALL authority, implicitly dictates that there is NO authority in religion that is not His! All authority is entirely consumed by Him, leaving none for anybody else! To whom else shall we turn, if to Christ? (John 6:67-69).
In Matthew Chapters 5-7, Jesus preached His famous, “Sermon on the Mount.” This glorious sermon contains some of the greatest teachings ever presented unto man. As the sermon came to a close, the people were astonished at the way He presented Himself in His teaching. “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes…” (Matthew 7:28-29). “Not only were they emotionally stirred by the message that Christ had presented them, they were impressed by the authoritative way in which He taught.”
As His teaching suggested, Jesus was the authorized prophet of God alluded to by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. Peter clearly stated that Jesus was this prophet of whom Moses spoke, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:22-23). “For Moses truly said” – in other words, Moses, long ago, prophesied concerning this man called Jesus saying that He would be a prophet; one raised up by God to be His spokesman unto men. This phrase “raised up” has specific reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. When God raised up that prophet “Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you…” In other words, no longer are we to listen to Moses; for, when God raises up the prophet Christ, we are to hear Him in all things whatsoever He says unto us. Moses, himself, recognized and prophesied concerning the supremacy and superiority of Christ. Truly, Christ has all authority in matters religious – a position given Him by His Father in heaven.
It should be further emphasized, that not only was Jesus the sole authorized prophet while He was here in the flesh – He is God’s only authorized spokesman for this age. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…” (Hebrews 1:1-2). God now speaks to us thru His Son. The phrase, “these last days”, refers to the Christian age. He may have spoken thru Moses and Elijah in times past, but today He speaks unto man by His Son – a Son who has been made heir of all things. Today we must hear Christ in all matters religious!
As the only authorized prophet of God today, Jesus is the head over all things to the church. “And [God] hath put all things under his [Christ’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all…” (Ephesians 1:22-23). “And hath put all things under his feet…” This language here is reminiscent of that used when a ruler had won a great military victory over an enemy and would literally place his foot upon his surrendered enemy as a sign of his having dominion over his defeated foe. Christ has won a great victory over sin and death. The redeeming power His blood has defeated the power of the devil over death. “And gave him to be the head over all things to the church which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all…” Just as the head exercises authority over the body, Christ exercises his authority over the church, which is His body. The church is the body of Christ. Both church and body are singular. (Ephesians 4:4-6). There is one head over one body therefore there is one Christ over one church. Jesus Christ has all authority over His one church and that church is the one we read about in the pages of the New Testament. Jesus alone is the head of the church.
Jesus has preeminence in all matters of authority. “He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence…“ (Colossians 1:18). Webster’s Dictionary defines preeminent this way: “having paramount rank, dignity, or importance.” Simply put, it means supremacy or superiority. The teaching and doctrine of Christ is “superior to,” or “reigns supreme over” ALL other sources of authority. “When we speak of Jesus as our Lord, we are saying in essence, ‘Master, Ruler, Chief’ – the one who in all things has the preeminence. Yes, Jesus has been given supreme authority in matters religious.”
Finally, let us note what Jesus said to the apostles just before He ascended back into heaven, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth…” (Matthew 28:18). The word translated as “power” is from the Greek word “exousia” which in other places in the New Testament is translated “authority.” (E.G. John 5:27 “And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man…”)In speaking on the subject of His authority, Jesus said “I have it ALL – I have ALL in Heaven and I have ALL on earth.” The extent of His authority, therefore, is ALL – it is Complete, Full, Total, Lacking Nothing.
To our Lord is all authority now committed, that He should be Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator, Intercessor and Savior of His people, and Judge over all created things. “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:23. His authority remains still on earth – it has not dissipated. His authority is just as great now as it was when He ascended to Heaven.