The Preamble: Matthew 28:18
“18) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18
This stands as one of the most important claims made by Jesus in the whole Bible. He said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” By this statement He was claiming to be God. No authority in heaven or on earth is higher than Jesus Christ. This is an absolutely profound claim. Why?
Everything comes down to the issue of authority. When Peter and John were brought before the rulers and elders for healing the beggar and preaching the gospel, the question posed to them was; “By what power, or in what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7) Their authority was being questioned. They quickly pointed to the resurrected Christ. (See Acts 4:8-10) The balance of the chapter is even more profound on the subject of authority.
They recognized the authority of Jesus Christ was higher than angels, demons, human government, religious leaders and even sickness, disease and physical impairments. They claimed His authority was the bases for both healing and preaching the gospel.
You need to settle the issue of authority or you will forever be timid and wavering. The classic response of Peter and John to the threats and command of the religious leader to teach no more in the name of Jesus Christ brings this issue into focus; “19) But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20) for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”” (Acts 4:19-20) They were standing and ministering squarely in the authority Jesus Christ bestowed on them in Matthew 28:18. They did not weaver.
As Messiah, Jesus is the highest spiritual authority. As King of kings, Jesus is the highest political authority. As Savior, Jesus is the only means of Salvation. As the Great Physician, Jesus is the highest medical authority. As Creator, Jesus has dominion over the entire physical universe. As Truth, Jesus is the measure of philosophy. The list goes on and on!
In Matthew 8:5-13, the centurion made the issue of authority the basis of coming to Jesus with the request of healing for his paralyzed servant. Jesus marveled at his insight into His identity. He summarized his view of authority as “great faith.” (Vs 10)
In Philippians 2:9-11, Paul made the same observation into the transcending authority of the name of Jesus Christ. He said; “9) For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11) and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Notice, Jesus Christ is the highest authority in heaven, on earth and under the earth.
I trust this subject is starting to resonate with you. You will never attempt for God or accomplish anything of lasting value greater than your view of Jesus Christ. This subject of Jesus Christ being the highest authority is the basis of faith, confidence, boldness, missions, power, personal freedom, personal priorities, healthy relationships, prayer, intercession, healing and miracles.
How pathetic if your focus is on self and your own limited gifts and abilities. This amounts to self authority. How tragic if your focus is on human programs and strategic planning. This amounts to policy authority. How hopeless if your focus is on systems of organization or human government. This amounts to structure authority. These all play a small role in success, but our primary fuel must be a relentless focus on Jesus Christ, His authority and the promise of the Holy Spirit. This translates to Divine authority!
The Great Commission is far too important to entrust to mere human agency and ability. A Divine calling needs Divine provision. That provision rests squarely in the preamble to the Great Commission as delivered by Jesus Himself here in Matthew 28:18. On these words the believer must stand.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
The Preamble: Matthew 28:18