28Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
1When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The word “authority,” broken down to its root, means something like “from a substance” or “from something real.” Jesus’ authority is something from God; it reveals his closeness to God and the source of his wisdom and power. The healing shows this. How can “choose” to heal our illnesses? According to Matthew, it’s Jesus, a sign of God’s power vested in the Messiah. Of course the scribes don’t have this authority. The theologian Karl Barth put it: “God is God and we are not.” The story isn’t about us; it’s about Jesus. It’s why we have any hope at all.
Loving God, renew your hope within us, to see what you would have us see, and know what you would have us know, in the revelation that Jesus is Lord. Help us in sharing good news, and celebrating your gifts, through Christ’s own life. We pray in his name. Amen.
Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319 [retrieved May 18, 2020]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_King_of_Kings_(Greece,_c._1600).jpg.