What gives Jesus the right to speak and act on his Father’s behalf in forgiving sin, pronouncing judgment and promising eternal life to those who believe in him?
Jesus is the Son of our Heavenly Father, God. God is God. God gives His son authority. That is the way in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus’ authority underlines his divine status
So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.“ | John 8:28 (NASB)
Jesus declares that He is, from the beginning of time, just like God is the great “I am”.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” | John 8:58 (NASB)
The only way I can get to God is through Jesus. That is it. PERIOD!
- John 14:6 (NASB) — Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.“
- 1 Corinthians 1:24 (NASB) — But to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, the Messiah is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
- Colossians 2:10 (NASB) — In Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.
The authority of Jesus is limited by the Father
This is something I hadn’t thought of. God is God. Jesus recognizes, as the Son of God, that are a few limits on His authority. Not much, but a few. Jesus is comfortable with that. Jesus is the obedient Son. Jesus emptied Himself of all pride and gladly humbled Himself.
- Mark 10:40 (NASB) — “But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
- Matthew 24:36 (NASB) — “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
- Philippians 2:6–8 (NASB) —Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.