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By what Power and Right?

Then the Jews asked Him, “What can You do to show us You have the right and the power to do these things? (John 2:18)  I dunno about you, but if someone changed water into wine right in front of my eyes, and not even the cheap stuff, but the top of the line wine, I might not be asking this type of question! I think the Jewish leaders were intimidated and riddled with all manner of confusing 'impressions' about Christ. They didn't recognize him as the Messiah - the Redeemer. They didn't trust his works as those of a man godly in every manner, but rather considered his works as potentially from the one who ruled the pits of hell. They demanded the proof that Jesus had both the right and the power to do great miracles in their midst. Trust me on this, my friends, if Jesus were standing right in the middle of some crowds today, doing some form of miracle, there would be equally as much skepticism!

Some will believe almost immediately, even without the tremendous miracles, because their hearts are open to receiving the love and hope Christ provides. Others will want to see a few more examples of Jesus' power in order to make a firm commitment that he must be someone pretty special, but they will not entirely understand just how special he is. There will be a great multitude that will say Jesus is some form of 'con artist' - here to take people for their money or rope them into some form of indentured servitude, robbing them of all sense of independence as they 'drink the kool-aid', so to speak. Believe it or not, there will be others who wouldn't even turn their head to consider him at all. Why is there such a mixed impression of Jesus in this world? I think it is probably because we all come to believe or trust in varying ways. Is that wrong? Only if you never get to the place of believing or trusting!

What gives Jesus the RIGHT to ask for our lives? To ask for our heart? To ask for our trust? To answer these questions, one must first answer the question: "Who do you say Christ is?" This was something the Jewish leaders struggled with a lot while Christ walked this earth all those years ago. He could have been a great prophet, come to direct their way a little. He could have been some man playing tricks to get the crowds incited against some set of 'religious belief system' of the time. He perhaps was a man inhabited by some spirit from the dark underworld. The possibilities were endless when you stop to think about it. The leaders of the day had a hard time accepting him as God with a Bod - that's for sure! The RIGHT to ask for our lives and complete trust, yielding hearts and minds to his transforming power really is answered in that one statement. He was and is God with a Bod! Period.

What gives Jesus the POWER to do things way beyond our imagining? Things outside of our ability - things we almost find hard to believe ever could or would happen. His POWER is linked to his RIGHT as the Son of the Living God. He is God, the Creator of the universe - so all power is inherent in him. His POWER is what sets minds right, makes hard hearts pliable and yielded. His POWER does things harder than turning water into wine - because turning a hardened, calloused, stubborn heart into a pliable, worshipful, and yielded heart is way harder! If you have even one iota of stubbornness within you, you know just how hard it can be to 'convince' that stubborn place to yield, much less 'change' that stubborn part of you! His position is that of being at the right hand of the Heavenly Father - his power is the result of who he is - the only Son of God. His right stems from WHO he is.

Answer the WHO question first. Then you will come to understand the authority of all that Jesus does in your life. Really, the leaders were asking by what authority Jesus was acting. It wasn't theirs, and they believed themselves to be the ultimate authority of their world. Sound like anyone else you know? I thought I could function as the ultimate authority of my worlds, but let me assure you - nothing changed quite like it did once I allowed a change of authority in my life. If we want to understand the POWER of God, we first understand he has all RIGHT to act as he does within our lives. We accept him for WHO he is and then we begin to see him reveal himself in ways never before seen! Just sayin!

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