Our Source of Authority

UPON reviewing the chronicled events of the life of Christ Jesus, one is necessarily impressed with the Master's sustained poise and dignity, and his calm control over the situations in which he and disciples might find themselves. One cannot picture a more perfect dignity than that of the Master when, as we told in the first chapter of the Gospel according to Mark, "on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught." We are told that "they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." Moreover, immediately following the teaching, he presented practical proof of the truth which he had spoken, by casting the unclean spirit out of a member of the congregation. Even when the human sense of grief or indignation sought to overcome him; even when, as the Bible tells us, "Jesus wept," or when he made the scourge of small cords and drove the money changers out of the temple, we find no evidence that the Master permitted his mastery of the situation to be in the least impaired.

Since we are commanded to emulate Christ Jesus in all our ways, it is logical to seek the explanation of this authoritative dignity which was his. It was not the result of social training. It was not the outcome of long experience in the ways of the world, nor in the work which he did; for his human life and career were brief. And yet we have records which tell us that he spoke as one "that had authority," and proved this authority in numerous practical demonstrations, commonly referred to as miracles. Even the winds and the waves obeyed him, the so-called laws of physics being submissive to him. Some have interpreted this authority as the expression of a unique and impelling personality; but throughout the records of Jesus' words and acts we find constant repetition of his assertion that he could of himself do nothing; that the works which he did were done of the Father which dwelt in him. He labored to convince his followers that neither his human personality, so called, nor that of any other individual, possessed any inherent power. He taught that only as one expresses the Mind of Christ can one accomplish any good and lasting thing.

Overcoming Temptation
March 24, 1928

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