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The King's Authority

Kingdom Come pt 1: The King and His Kingdom  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The authority of the King is used for life.

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Introduction

We’ll be laying out this passage according to the thought of Matthew and seeing his intended purpose for the chapter rather than unpacking any one story fully.
ILLUST - Ever felt powerless ? When working on a truck, it took off out the door and I had to chase it - it was completely out of control and I was powerless to direct or stop it.
How did being powerless make you feel? Anxious? Fearful?
These are not the qualities of the Kingdom of God. And they are not because of the King.
Matthew 7:28–29 ESV
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
Matthew describes in recounting these events that Jesus has authority over three areas of our lives - and the demonstration of Jesus’ authority in these areas leads to one conclusion about his authority in our lives.
These three areas cover everything in our lives.
These three areas are the places from which our anxieties grow.
The authority that King Jesus has is used for life.
Matthew begins to paint a picture of this by highlighting three stories where Jesus uses his authority over sickness and disease. This is especially shocking when we see that the people that Jesus heals are on the outskirts of Jewish life - A leper, a Gentile servant, and a woman.

Jesus has authority over sickness and disease. (8:1-17)

(The leper, the servant, and the woman)
Leper (1-4)
Matthew 8:1–2 ESV
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
Matt 8:
Sickness
Sickness
- leprosy (if actual leprosy) was unhealable - a death sentence - no one had authority, knowledge, or ability to heal it.
I love what happens next:
Matthew 8:3 ESV
And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
The Touch
The Law of Moses stated that to come in contact with someone with leprosy made that person unclean.
Jesus could have spoken the healing for the leper; instead, he touched him. He broke social taboos.
“By touching an unclean leper, Jesus would become ceremonially defiled himself. But at Jesus’ touch nothing remains defiled.”
— D. A. Carson
To touch the untouchable and make clean the unclean is the perfect display of the love of God.
The person of Jesus, the King himself, has the authority to heal and make clean.
The Benefit of Healing
Matthew 8:4–5 ESV
And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him,
Matt 8:
Jesus wanted the now clean leper to go to the priest - according to the Law he was the one who could declare the leper clean and allow him to come into the community life.
Imagine their reaction - this had never happened before.
Imagine their reaction - this had never happened before.
Servant (5-13)
Healing is based on Jesus’ will not mine.
Next, we see that the authority and power of the King is not only for a select few, for a certain race, social status, or group of people.
Matthew 8:5–6 ESV
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.”
Matt 8
- A centurion - a man with authority from one of the world’s greatest powers comes to Jesus when he recognizes he has no more authority over nature than the lowliest slave.
Matthew 8:7–9 ESV
And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
The authority of the King is found not only in who he is but what he says.
If Jesus could heal someone at a distance simply by saying the word, imagine what the power of the word of Jesus could do in your life.
Belief in the Jesus’ words is essential to the faith which allows some into the Kingdom and the lack of trust in Jesus’ words is what keeps people out.
Matthew 8:11–12 ESV
I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Matt 8:11
There are some here today that need Jesus to speak into their life. What are the things in your life which you need Jesus to speak into?
Peter’s Mother-in-law
Matthew 8:14–16 ESV
And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.
Physical healing was part of Jesus’ ministry while he was here on earth, but it wasn’t the whole reason -
I honestly struggle with the word “many” in this passage. Jesus healed all who were sick and came to him that evening, but he didn’t heal all the sick in the world - why not?
Matt 8:1
Matthew points out these healings revealed that the Kingdom of God had broken into and begun a rebellion against the kingdom of this dark world, but the King came to do something far greater than simply heal physical sickness and disease. He came not only to give us physical life but spiritual life as well.
Beyond the fact that Jesus can and does heal (Sickness and disease is not his plan), these stories tell us three things:
This tells me three things:
Jesus can and does heal.
Healing is based on Jesus’ will not mine. (The leper rightly understood his healing was based on whether Jesus would, not if he could.
Jesus doesn’t limit his healing (physically or spiritually) based on where we come from or what we have done - It’s based on what he can do not what we have done.
When Jesus heals it points to the cross.
Matthew links the physical healings of Jesus with the promise of spiritual healing of the Messiah in .
Matthew 8:17 ESV
This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
Isaiah 53:4–5 ESV
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:4–6 ESV
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The King takes that which separates us from the Kingdom (sin) and by his authority absorbs it himself, in order that we can be healed.
Jesus heals and it leads to discipleship (healing leads to discipleship) - sometimes physically - always spiritually ()
Jesus is worth following even if he doesn’t heal now.

Jesus has authority over nature. (8:23-27)

(One terrible storm)
The storm
Matthew 8:23–24 ESV
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
I can generally sleep like the dead, (ILLUST - I can fall asleep while talking to Christine - borderline narcolepsy), but I don’t think I could sleep in a storm in a soggy, sinking boat.
The presence of power
:23-24
Jesus could sleep not only because he knew the limit of the storm - he was the limit!
Matthew 8:25 ESV
And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”
Matt8:25
The presence of power
Jesus could sleep not only because he knew the limit of the storm - he was the limit!
The peace
Matthew 8:26–27 ESV
And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Matt 8:26-
Fear creeps in when faith recedes. Which means the inverse is also true - fear recedes when faith is brought in. 
- HOW? 
**notice how the peace was expected to be present even in the midst of the storm.
Matthew 8:27 ESV
And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
“What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” 
- He is the King of Creation
— (The presence of Jesus leads to worshipful peace)

Jesus has authority over spiritual forces. (8:28-34)

(Two men and many demons)
When Jesus reaches the other side, he is faced with another scene that requires and receives his power. 
The Demons
Matthew 8:28 ESV
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.
Matthew 8:28–29 ESV
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
lit- “No one ‘had the power’ to pass that way.”
lit- “No one ‘had the power’ to pass that way.”
- spiritual forces so strong the blocked everyone, but Jesus.
- spiritual forces so strong the blocked everyone, but Jesus.
The demons recognized Jesus and, as he is King, they knew his authority and power.
No one on earth could bring freedom to these men, but Jesus .
The Pigs
Matthew 8:30–32 ESV
Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.
Matt 8:30
Satan wants you in bondage in order to destroy you . Jesus wants to free you.
Not everyone will respond well to the option of freedom:
Matthew 8:33–34 ESV
The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
Matt
Jesus the King brings freedom
Perhaps counterintuitive that a new ruling force in your life actually brings more freedom than you might have right now, but this story is an example.

Jesus has authority over your life. (8:18-22)

(Two obstacles, one choice)
This brings us to Matthew’s main point in chapter eight. Sandwiched between stories of the authority and power of King Jesus is a story of how two men (and in a sense how all of us might) respond to King.
The Scribe and the son
Both men express a desire to follow Jesus; however, both men display obstacles that impede them from following Jesus.
Matthew 8:18–19 ESV
Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Matthew 8:21 ESV
Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
Even though this is not chronological order, presumably these two men had seen Jesus doing miracles They wanted to “follow” Jesus  
Two men come and claim a desire to become a disciple. However, they want to follow Jesus while clinging to comfort and convenience.
Scribe - Comfort
Son - Convenience
Scribe
**Some people are ready to follow Jesus the Teacher but not follow Jesus the King. 
“Teacher”
The religious want Jesus “the moral rule-giver”
The true follower of Christ understand they need Jesus “the life-giver”
Jesus describes what it will cost to follow him fully. It will require the release of security in all earthly things , and to have as much faith in God’s provisions as Jesus had in his Father’s.
Matt 8:18-19
Disciple / Son
“First let me go first go and bury my father.”
The man’s request seems reasonable enough.
Two possible scenarios:
The man’s father has already died and he is wanting to do what the Law required in caring for the death of a family member.
The man’s father had not yet died and he was saying as soon as he was free from his upcoming obligations he would begin to follow Jesus.
Either way, on the face Jesus’ words seem harsh.
However, the harshness of Jesus’ words can only make sense or be abated if the cost of not following Jesus was greater than “dishonoring” your father.   The cost of the mission is too great - The spiritually dead can bury the physically dead not because caring for the physically dead is so insignificant, but because the mission to the spiritually dead is so urgent.  
The eternal significance of the mission was more important than the temporary significance of the duty.
In light of Jesus’ words I have to wonder how many lesser things we place before the mission that Jesus is calling us to in discipleship.
Even though this is not chronological order, presumably these two men had seen Jesus doing miracles They wanted to “follow” Jesus  
Scribe - Comfort
Son - Convenience
ILLUST - you can’t learn to dive without getting wet! - teaching kids to dive - they have no problem with expressing their interest, putting on a swim suit, climbing the ladder, walking to the end. (They’ve done these or similar before) The issue comes when they need to leave the comfort and safety of what they knew and release themselves into the unknown.  I may have had some perceived authority, but until they know the power (of gravity) is safe, there is fear and hesitation.
We are not told what happened to these two men, which decision they made, perhaps because often, the same is true for us - the greatest obstacle to following Jesus fully is our own comfort and convenience.
Even though this is not chronological order, presumably these two men had seen Jesus doing miracles They wanted to “follow” Jesus
Two men come and claim a desire to become a disciple. However, they want to follow Jesus while clinging to comfort and convenience.
Comfort - Scribe
Convenience - son
Teacher, I will follow you wherever you g
the harshness of Jesus words can only make sense or be abated if the cost of not following Jesus was greater than dishonoring your father. The cost of the mission is too great - The spiritually dead can bury the physically dead not because caring for the physically dead is so insignificant, but because the mission to the spiritually dead is so urgent.
The true follower of Christ understand they need Jesus “the life-giver”
Following Jesus is costly - and it starts now. 
We follow Jesus not simply because of his ability - but because of his authority
Two men come and claim a desire to become a disciple. However, they want to follow Jesus while clinging to comfort and convenience.
Comfort - Scribe
Convenience - son

Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go

**Some people are ready to follow Jesus the Teacher but not follow Jesus the King.
The religious want Jesus “the moral rule-giver”
The true follower of Christ understand they need Jesus “the life-giver”

Conclusion

The authority of Jesus demands your life. The power of Jesus brings you life. 
- Like the leper - Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not worthy (including yourself) of Jesus.
- Like the Centurion - Don’t think you can fix life by your own power. 
- Like the demon-possessed men - Recognize there is power and freedom in the words of Jesus.
- Like the disciples, recognize the peace that is possible with a faith focused on the presence of Jesus with you.
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