While reading through Luke (and the gospels in general) it does not take us long to begin to see the authority and power of Jesus.
After the desert temptations (Luke 4), Jesus is preaching, healing, and performing miracles that are astonishing the people.
He heals a demon-possessed man. He heals Peter’s mother-in-law. In fact, he heals the multitudes (Luke 40:40-41). They are coming in droves. Jesus shows authority over every disease.
He even heals from a distance, without even speaking any words.
It’s not just the sick that Jesus heals, but sinners, outcasts, and even the dead.
Jesus shows power over disease as well as over life and death itself. Yet, it doesn’t stop there.
Jesus, in Luke 8, demonstrates his power and authority over creation. He calms a raging storm by rebuking the wind and the waves. He speaks to non-animate objects and they listen.
In Luke 9 (which I read today), Jesus does something that he hasn’t done yet in Luke’s account. After sending out the twelve (and giving them power and authority), after feeding the five thousand, after Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ — Jesus predicts his death.
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22)
There’s no comment from the disciples at this point, no doubt they didn’t “get it.”
Luke 9:28-36 records the Transfiguration. Could there be a higher point in the life of Jesus? The disciples (at least the inner circle) must have been soaring at this point.
Then he does it again. In the midst of healing and revealing absolute power and authority, he predicts that he will be killed.
“Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” (Luke 9:44).
This time Luke tells us that the disciples for sure did not understand. The truth was concealed from them (v45) and at this point they were flat out afraid to ask him about it.
It’s amazing to read through the gospels and see over and over the power of Jesus revealed. He has authority beyond our comprehension.
His power and might is stopped by nothing, there is no equal, no match for Jesus.
And yet, the Son of Man is about to be “delivered into the hands of men.”
The authority and power of God had no lapse. Yes, delivered into the hands of men was all a part of the plan. God’s authority was not relinquished, God’s arm was not shortened.
Can we say this is also true in this pilgrim’s journey? Sufferings, hardships, pain, grief, wrongs, etc., appear to us as obstacles that put into question God’s sovereign rule.
Do sufferings mean a lapse in the world operating like it should for those who love God?
Are pain and sickness compatible with God’s authority and power?
Where is the good? Why the wrongs? Where is justice? Why do “bad” things keep happening?
Putting myself in the shoes (or sandals) of the disciples: Hearing that Jesus is going to be delivered over to men, to be killed, would have shocked me.
Jesus healed. Jesus spoke. Jesus raised the dead. Jesus calmed the storms. His power was on display. His authority was unmatched. How could anything “bad” happen to him? Wouldn’t he just speak another word? Wouldn’t he just cast out another demon? Wouldn’t he just calm another storm?
Trials, persecutions, loss, sickness, and even evil and wicked deeds…none of those things happening to God’s people mean God is unable to help, hear, or rescue.
Bad and wrong things may continue to happen, but that never changes the fact of who God is or that truth of his absolute authority over all things.
God works in and through all things to bring about his purpose. Sometimes he will show up just like we think he will. Other times he won’t (but he will be working behind the scenes in a thousand ways).
He is God in either scenario. There will be no lapse in power. His authority will never be downgraded.
Yes, he is for us, but first and foremost, he is for himself and his glory to be put on display. He knows best how to do that, not me.