Jesus’ Authority

How do we know that Jesus has the authority to forgive us our faults and infractions? Many consider Jesus to be a great teacher and prophet, but some of us go further and declare him to be the holy son of God and therefore divine. Why is there this difference of opinion? Jesus himself answered the question, when he declared the paralytic’s sins to be forgiven. The theologians of Jesus’ day were appalled that Jesus had made this statement, because they correctly knew that only God has that type of authority. Jesus perceived their thoughts, so he addressed them. What was easier for Jesus to do, to declare the paralytic’s sins forgiven or to tell him to arise, take up his mat and walk home? Then Jesus addressed the theologians’ problem. So that they would know that Jesus had divine authority on earth to forgive sins, he told the man to get up, take up his mat and go. When the man did so, it confirmed what Jesus affirmed, that he had such authority.

Jesus never expects us to believe or trust him merely because he says so; he always backs up what he says with action so that we have a solid reason for trusting what he says to us. Ironically, it takes very little faith to trust Jesus, because he has already given to us evidence to act upon what he says. This is why Jesus told us that anyone who has the faith of a mustard seed, a very small seed, would be able to do unheard of things.

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