A Prayer of Jesus I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
The Authority of Jesus
Jesus carefully defined his authority by designating the Father as the source of his words. The following words from the Fourth Gospel are unequivocal.I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me (John 12:49,50).In the light of these utterances, Jesus surely considered himself as the one prophesied when God said to Moses:
. . . he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him (John 8:26),
. . . I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me (John 8:28).
The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works (John 14:10).
. . . I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee . . . (John 17:8).
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him (Deuteronomy 18:18).Therefore we find Jesus saying:If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me (John 5:46).The Father himself bore witness to the status of Jesus and the authority of Jesus to speak for him when he spoke from the cloud to the three frightened disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him (Luke 9:35)! The primary point of the Transfiguration was to emphasize the unique status of Jesus as a "Son" and the imperative of hearing his words, whereas Moses and Elijah, who disappeared from the scene before the disciples heard the voice of the Father, were only servants. Yet the Father testified of Moses:If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision, I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, Moses (Numbers 12:6-8)?How much greater majesty must belong to the Son, to whom the Father spoke in heaven, than to a mere servant, to whom the Father spoke on earth?
These texts clearly define the Father as the source and therefore as the authority behind the utterances of Jesus. Since it is Jesus who defined his authority, we are faced here with logical options, as follows:
(1) Jesus attributed his words to the Father, and he spoke truly.
(2) Jesus attributed his words to the Father, but he did not speak truly. He lied or was mistaken.
(3) Jesus did not attribute his words to the Father. The above texts are redactions inserted by others.
You who are our guests on this site will make your own choice from these options. I am here to be his witness to you that I chose No. (1) more than fifty years ago and have never had cause to change my mind, although I am free to do so. What I have learned of him and from him is so simple yet so profound, so contrary to human notions and yet so conformed to human need, so informing of the things of eternity, yet so affirming of the things of time that I am convinced no mere man could have conceived them. God the Father is the source and authority behind the words of Jesus of Nazareth.
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