Authority Over All Flesh
August 11, 2022
. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him (John 17:2).
This prayer of Jesus is fraught with highly controversial, yet solid biblical theology. This verse is a prime example. First, authority over all flesh (humanity and creation) has been given to Jesus Christ by the Father.
Because of His perfect obedience to the will of the Father that led Him to live a perfectly sinless life and to give that life as a willing sacrifice on the cross, Jesus Christ has been highly exalted . . . and given . . . the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). Furthermore, the Apostle Paul tells us (1 Corinthians 15:21-26) For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
From the time of His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:6-9) until the time of the Great White Throne judgment at the end of all time (Revelation 20:11-15), Jesus Christ is the Lord and King over all creation. What about the Father? Where is He? What is He doing during this time? Scripture does not say, but we know He is in heaven, on His throne, and has given all power and authority to Jesus Christ to rule over all of the current creation until it is destroyed, and a new, holy and righteous universe is created (Revelation 21 - 22).
Prior to His ascension, Jesus demonstrated divine authority throughout His ministry. He had divine authority: • in what He taught and the way He taught (Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22; Luke 4:32), • in the miracles He performed: • healing the sick and handicapped (Mark 5:38-43; Luke 4:39; 9:1; John 11:43), • casting out demons (Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:15; Luke 4:36), • feeding the hungry by multiplying food (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-38), • walking on water (Matthew 14:22-32), • calming the storm tossed sea (Mark 4:35-41), and • raising the dead to life again (John 11:1-44; Luke 8:49-56). Jesus demonstrated divine authority by forgiving sins and giving salvation (Matthew 9:6,8; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24), cleansing the Temple (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; John 2:14-16, and giving His life as a sacrifice for sin (John 10:17-18).
Now Jesus reigns in heaven as King of Kings and Lord of Lords by the authority of God the Father, and He gives eternal life to those whom He chooses. More on that tomorrow. Amen.