The authority of Jesus


Matthew 7:28–29

The Authority of Jesus

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 7:28–29

Detail of a stained glass window of an icon depicting Christ the King.

This passage mentions Jesus teaching the crowds, yet at the start of the Sermon on the Mount, it says Jesus was teaching his disciples. Is this a mistake?

No, because we are no longer in the Sermon on the Mount, but in the next narrative section of the Gospel. The transition is in verse 7:28. All the transitions have things such as “when Jesus finished these sayings” or similar. Despite mentioning teaching the crowds this early in the gospel, Matthew does not get on to that until Chapter 13. Here is how the gospel is arranged.

Narrative Teaching Transition
1—4 5—7 7:28
7:29—9:34 9:35-10:42 11:1
11:2—12: 50 13:1—52 13:53
13:53—17:27 18:1—35. 19:1
19:1—22:46 23:1—25:46 26:1
26:1—28:20 (The Passion)

The authority of Jesus is the authority of a King, THE king. What his kingship means is tackled in detail in the narrative of chapters 8 and 9, which I am looking at during Advent.

Jesus’ authority was not like that of the scribes in that it was direct from God, but it also differed in that he used his own authority, not quoting other rabbis as the scribes did.

Jesus’ authority was also shown in what he did. That is coming up in the next few blogs.

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