“But when he [Peter] saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:30-31
A lack of faith in something leads to fear and doubt in that same thing. The disciples had another time with Jesus in a boat when they were fearful. Mark records in chapter four of his gospel that Jesus rested while their boat was tossed about in a raging sea. The disciples woke Jesus and asked if he did not care that they were perishing in the storm. With his words, Jesus calmed the storm and then rebuked his disciples for their lack of faith. “He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:40-41).
In this situation, the disciples were fearful of nature because they lacked faith in Jesus’ authority above all things, including creation. In this instance, the disciples were able to see and marvel at Jesus’ authority over creation.
Jesus’ authority was never more fully expressed than in that of his resurrection. He showed his authority over even death! Then, before he ascended to heaven, he told his disciples, some of whom still doubted, to trust his authority over all things, to go and make disciples, and to believe into the promise that he is with them always. “And when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20). So Jesus expressed his authority, gave them a command, and issued a promise. So many times I am fearful to live out Jesus’ command of going and making disciples because I forget the other two parts of the equation – that Jesus has already demonstrated his authority over all things, and he also promises to be with me as I live out the great commission he has given me. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1).
So we have seen the authority of Jesus in a general command, but what about the authority he has and the faith we should have in him in a specific calling (e.g. our call to move to NYC)? To be continued in “The Authority of Jesus Part 2.”