In John Piper’s 1998 sermon on the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Piper gives a representative list of all the things that Jesus has “authority over.” Its a powerful reminder that today Jesus upholds the universe with the power of his word (Heb. 1:3; cf. Col. 1:16-17) and that one day every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11).
So consider: Jesus has…
AUTHORITY OVER Satan and all demons, over all angels -good and evil – over the natural universe, natural objects and laws and forces: stars, galaxies, planets, meteorites;
AUTHORITY OVER all weather systems: winds, rains, lightning, thunder, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, typhoons, cyclones;
AUTHORITY OVER all their effects: tidal waves, floods, fires;
AUTHORITY OVER all molecular and atomic reality: atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, undiscovered subatomic particles, quantum physics, genetic structures, DNA, chromosomes;
AUTHORITY OVER all plants and animals great and small: whales and redwoods, giant squid and giant oaks, all fish, all wild beasts, all invisible animals and plants: bacteria, viruses, parasites, germs;
AUTHORITY OVER all the parts and functions of the human body: every beat of the heart, every breath of the diaphragm, every electrical jump across a million synapses in our brains;
AUTHORITY OVER all nations and governments: congresses and legislatures and presidents and kings and premiers and courts;
AUTHORITY OVER all armies and weapons and bombs and terrorists; authority over all industry and business and finance and currency;
AUTHORITY OVER all entertainment and amusement and leisure and media; over all education and research and science and discovery;
AUTHORITY OVER all crime and violence; over all families and neighborhoods; and over the church, and over every soul and every moment of every life that has been or ever will be lived.
When we face cancer or consequences for sharing the gospel, Jesus’ absolute authority marshalls confidence and assuages fear. When we consider missions, it beckons us to move forward past armed guards, because there is no such thing as a ‘closed’ country to the Christian commissioned by the King with absolute authority. LORD Jesus, may we be so bold.
Listen to the whole sermon: The Lofty Claim, The Last Command, The Loving Comfort.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss