Thursday, May 3, 2018

Young Men and Women, Consider the Power of Jesus

[I am] glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me
(2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT)

It is a truth of Scripture that whatever Jesus is, He is for us by virtue of our union with Him. His power works through me or dwells in me. He is the “reservoir of divine omnipotence from which we can constantly draw for our ever-recurring needs.”

It is good to know that the Greek word dunamis, or inherent power, is different from exousia, or authority. The writers of the Gospel never used the word dunamis together with our Lord while He was on earth nor in the Bible does Jesus ever exercise His dumanis. There is only one occasion on which both words are used of Him: “What authority (exousia) and power (dunamis) this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!” (Luke 4:36). But these were the words of neither the comment of the Gospel’s writers nor of Jesus Himself, but of the people, the spectators. Elsewhere, only exousia (authority) is used of Him. “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth…” (Matthew 28:18).

Jesus was the Son of God but He completely identified Himself with the human race – us. Therefore, in fulfilling His earthly ministry, He never exercised or draw on His inherent power (although He could!) but exerted only the authority delegated from His Father.

There is much comfort and encouragement for us redeemed-sinners in this fact. When we read of Jesus’ miraculous works of power, it seems like it does not help us much. We say, “Yes, that is wonderful but He was the Son of God. I am just a weak and sinful man. Christ had powers and resources that are not available to me. He was sinless and I am sinful.” But that is just where we are wrong.  Although Jesus possessed limitless inherent power, He voluntarily refrained from using it (He can but He won’t). In order that Jesus might be made “in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:17), He renounced that privilege and restrict Himself to exercise only the authority His Father had delegated to Him. Jesus claimed: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself” (John 5:19).

His miracles were not performed by innate power, but in dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s dunamis. In the same way, the miracles done by the apostles were done by the authority He delegated to them. So, instead of being discouraged by the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, we can be encouraged that He chose to be continually dependent on His Father for power to do His will. We can do the same!


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