Speaking with Authority

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  (Eze 3:17)

Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.  (Eze 4:4)

He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head.….The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.  (Lev 16:21-22)

Ezekiel was to take personal responsibility for the Israelites.  He was the go-between between God and the people.  It was his duty to tell them God’s words.  It was his duty to bear their sins, like a scapegoat.

Unless you repent, you too will all perish.  (Luke 13:3)

Why do people stay in their way of life, knowing it is displeasing to God? Why did the Isrealites not repent when all the prophets preached to them?  They liked their life too much to change.  They didn’t really believe  in the wrath of God.  It’s like heart disease.  People know eating a lot will lead to obesity and health problems, but that is in the future.  They live in today.  They know not flossing or having dentist visits will lead to dental work and gum problems, but they still do what they want today.

Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.  (Luke 4:31-32)

Authority – conferred power; delegated empowerment.  Jesus didn’t just teach something that sounded like another opinion or philosophy.  He spoke like the words were coming from God.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 4:10-11)

I need to take responsibility on myself for others.  I am a holy priest.  Also, my message needs to reflect the true character of God more.  His judgement is to be feared.  People are very stubborn in their behavior, and sometimes only a fearsome message will shake them up and help them to change.  Remember that sometimes the word may be used to rebuke, not just correct.

God has all power, and he empowered Jesus. Jesus in turn delegates us to go and make disciples — people who will obey everything.  We need to speak as if we are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  (II Cor 5:20)  People are stubbornly going their own way.  It is their choice to do so, but God wants them to make an informed choice.

And this is the consequence if they do not repent and be reconciled with God:  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  (Hebrews 10:26-31)

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