Authority: Jesus’ authority as God


There are two contending schools of thought to explain the source of the authority of Jesus.

The first is that Jesus exercised his authority as God, the Second Person of the Trinity.

It was natural for Jesus to give commands to nature, demons and humans because he was the Creator and Sustainer of all. No orthodox Christian can deny Jesus identity as the Second Person of the Trinity, so there has to be a sense where this interpretation is true.

Some miracles seem to confirm this position, 28 “And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matt 14:28-33 ESV).

There are however very serious problems with this line of interpretation.

If authority flowed from Jesus simply because he was God, then Jesus’ exercise of authority is not a model for us.

We can at best imitate Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit, but since we are not God, we cannot fully share in his authority.

More importantly, this theory strikes at the heart of Jesus’ personal identity as a human being.


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