The Voice of Absolute Authority - The Warrior's Journey®

The Voice of Absolute Authority

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say ‘Rise and walk’?” (Matthew 9:5)

Jesus’ question was not meant to trigger a theological discussion over which miracle is harder to perform, forgiving sins or healing the lame. Jesus’ point is this: Both of these miracles are equally impossible for man. Yet the word of Jesus has never failed to perform the impossible before. So why should His authoritative word fail to do the impossible now? If Jesus says, “Your sins are forgiven,” they are certainly forgiven.

You see, from the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, until this miracle, Matthew has been building a case for the absolute authority of Jesus’ word. Fourteen times in Matthew 5-7, Jesus repeats the phrase, “You have heard it said … But I say to you.” This was completely different from the way the rabbis of that day taught. Rabbis would cite endless quotes from sages past to validate their opinions. But Jesus’ commands need no validation. For His is the same voice that thundered at Mount Sinai. And the crowds immediately recognized that, “He spoke as one having authority and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).

Then look at the miracles Matthew records immediately after the Sermon on the Mount. When the Roman centurion comes to Jesus on behalf of his dying servant, do you remember what he said? “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. But only give the command and my servant shall be healed” (Matthew 8:8-9). This commander understood the absolute authority of Jesus’ word and he knew sickness must obey it. Jesus gave the command and the servant was healed.

Immediately after, Matthew tells us many came to Jesus’ door who were diseased and demon-possessed. The Scripture says, “He cast out the (evil) spirits with a word (command) and healed all who were ill” (Matthew 8:16). Immediately after this, Jesus and the disciples depart in a boat across the Sea of Galilee. A storm broke upon them and the wind stirred up huge waves that threated to capsize the boat. Again, with only a command, Jesus orders the storm to be still – and so the wind and sea obeyed (Matthew 8:23-27). Immediately after Jesus and the disciples cross the lake, two violent demoniacs came charging down the hill toward Jesus. And again, with only a command, Jesus sent the army of demons out of the two men and into a herd of swine (Matthew 8:28-32). Nothing can resist the authoritative voice of Jesus. Sickness, demons, and even creation must obey to His command.


If nothing could resist the word of Jesus, why then should we ever doubt His promises to forgive, save us, and keep us?

If Jesus’ word has such authority, why then would we ever fail to obey it?

The very word Jesus spoke will be our judge (John 12:48). Let us obey.

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