When we look at the trial of Jesus, we see that He was contending with supernatural forces, with demons. These demons were in control of the minds of the men that were all around Him. The demons had induced these men to do the most insulting things imaginable to Him. One of the things mentioned in the Bible is that they spit in His face. (Matthew 26:67.) “Jesus stood meek and humble before the infuriated multitude, while they offered Him the vilest abuse. They spit in His face—that face from which they will one day desire to hide.” Early Writings, 170.
They tempted Him to lose patience, to become irritated, but He was too big for that. I want to tell you, friend, if you and I get to know Him, we will be too big for that, too.
People become upset over such insignificant things. People get upset when they think they have not been treated with enough deference and respect. Have you ever seen that happen? Composers of country music often depict this theme in the music they write. You have perhaps heard one of these songs on the radio. It is what they call the “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong” song. But when you read the story of Jesus from beginning to end, you find that He was always calm and self-possessed. He was bigger than all of that. Are you bigger than that? You will be, if you get to know Him.
Let us look at one other aspect of Jesus’ life and ask ourselves, “Do I know Him?” This is an exciting and fascinating subject to study. Jesus was a person who had personal magnetism. You know what I am talking about. People were powerfully attracted to Him, because He had a love in His heart for people. You see, Jesus loved every human being. He loved the worst sinners—the lepers, the people who were outcasts from society, the adulterers, and the tax collectors. There are numerous stories in the gospel in reference to these people, the scum of society. Jesus showed them love.
No matter what mistakes you have made, no matter how many sins you have committed, He still loves you. Because He loves human beings so much, He has a personal magnetism beyond compare. If you and I get to know Him, we will have a personal magnetism, too, and as a result, people with whom we associate will want the religion we have. If people do not want the religion we have, there is something the matter with our religion. Something is wrong with our religion, because we do not really know Him.
Let us look at an example, which illustrates the personal magnetism Jesus possessed that was a result of the love He had for every human being. He passed by no human being as worthless. Matthew knew about this magnetism, and he recorded his own personal experience with Jesus in the gospel he wrote. Matthew 9:9 says, “Then as Jesus passed on from there [Caper-naum], He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ And he arose and followed Him.” The more you study this verse, the more you will understand from it. It does not say that Jesus stopped; He was passing by. He was walking by the tax booth, and as He walked by, He gave the invitation, “Follow Me,” and Matthew got up and followed Him.
We cannot study this text without the realization that Jesus had personal magnetism; He had drawing power. Matthew was a man who had a lucrative job, but as Jesus passed him, he felt drawn to Him and did not hesitate to follow Him. If you need a leader in your life who will give you personal magnetism and make you an attractive human being, Jesus is the One you need.
Man of Authority
A similar example to Matthew’s experience is given in Matthew 8. In verses 5 to 13, the story is told of a person who understood this principle of magnetism. A centurion came to Jesus because his servant was “paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” Jesus said that He would come and heal the servant, but the centurion replied, “No, Lord, you do not need to come.” The centurion recognized that Jesus had authority, and he said, “You do not need to come down to my house because I am a man under authority. And I say to this person, ‘Go here,’ and they do it, and to that person, ‘Go there,’ and they do it; and I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ ” This centurion realized that Jesus had much more authority than he had. He said, “You do not need to come down to my house. All you need to do is speak, and if you will speak the word, my servant will be healed.”
This man had never before met Jesus. If you read the story as recorded in Luke 7:1–17, you will see there that some of the Jews came to Jesus and pleaded, “Oh, Lord, please help us. Please help this man, be-cause he has been good to us. He has given us a lot of money for the church.” But when the man actually came into Jesus’ presence, he recognized immediately in Whose presence he was. The centurion told Jesus, “You do not need to come down to my house. Even though you volunteered to, you do not need to . . . . All you need to do is speak the word and it will happen.” This man understood that authority is dependent on faith. He also understood that faith is dependent on authority. Now you think that through. Authority is dependent on faith, and faith is dependent on authority. This man knew that he needed to express faith.
“When Jesus heard [it], He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, [so] let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.” Matthew 8:10–13.
Authority Depends on Faith
Authority depends on faith, and faith depends on authority. The Greek word for authority is exousia. At times, the King James Bible translates it power, but the most literal translation is authority. How much authority does Jesus have? How much power does He have? Well, friend, that is a question that I cannot answer. The way He described it to His disciples was, “Everything in heaven and earth is mine. I have all authority. I have all power.” (Matthew 28:18.)
We do not know Him, and that is why, friend, we experience so little of the power of God in our lives. We do not have faith in His authority and power. If we knew Him, we would know He has the authority and power to do everything; when He speaks, it happens.
Jesus demonstrated this over and over again when He was here. All it took was a word, a look, a touch, because He had authority; He had power. He had magnetic power to draw people to Himself.
Just before He was crucified, He said to the people, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself.” John 12:32. Do you know Him? If you know Him, you will have faith and confidence in Him, because you will know that He has all authority and all power.
There are people—friends in our own church family and in other places—who have been going through some terrible, terrible trials for which there is no human cure. Sometimes people wonder, “If you are serving an omnipotent God who has all power, why do you get into this kind of trouble?” This I cannot fully answer, but I will tell you one of the reasons. One of the reasons we find ourselves in such terrible troubles is so we will learn how incapable we are to know what is best for our lives, and we will realize that we need help from a higher power. God allows us to get into trouble where there is no human solution.
“The apostle Paul says, ‘When I am weak, then am I strong.’ 11 Corinthians 12:10. When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent.” The Desire of Ages, 493. “Christ is our only hope. We may look to Him, for He is our Saviour. We may take Him at His word, and make Him our dependence. He knows just the help we need, and we can safely put our trust in Him. If we depend on merely human wisdom to guide us, we shall find ourselves on the losing side. But we may come direct to the Lord Jesus.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 486.
Pastors come into contact with such issues in the lives of those to whom they minister—there is no physician who can help a certain problem; there is no financial counselor who can help—then you need the Lord. Jesus has drawing power, and He has all authority to exercise it in your behalf. He has all authority. He has all power.
“The eternal Father is waiting for us to take our eyes off finite man, and place our dependence on him. Then look not to man for your light and strength. Put not your trust in the arm of flesh. All your love and praise and exaltation are to be given to him who loved you and gave himself for you. Strive to be one with Christ as he was one with the Father; but in no case exalt man, not even the ablest speaker that ever lived. Lift up Jesus. Talk of him, extol his name, and by so doing your own hearts will be warmed and encouraged and strengthened. As the believer studies the word and beholds Christ, he will become more and more like Christ. Searching the Scriptures, he will learn of Christ, whom to know aright is life eternal.” Review and Herald, October 16, 1900.
As You Have Believed
Maybe you are not receiving much of Jesus’ power and authority. Did you notice what Jesus said to the centurion? “According as you have believed . . . .” Matthew 8:13. You see, if we do not know Him, if we do not have confidence in Him, or if we do not have faith in Him, He cannot do much for us. That is something Jesus taught over and over again. When the blind people came to Him, Jesus would say, “Do you believe I can restore your sight?” They would respond, “Yes,” and He would say, “Well, according to your belief, let it be.” If they believed, what happened? They received sight. What if they did not believe?
An example of such unbelief is given in the Bible in Matthew 13:53–58. It is an experience that Jesus had in His hometown of Nazareth. “They were offended at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country and in his own house.’ And he did not do many works there because of their unbelief.” Verses 57, 58. How terrible! There were sick people in that town and people who needed help of all kinds, which they could have had, had they only believed.
“Some doubted. So it will always be. There are those who find it hard to exercise faith, and they place themselves on the doubting side. These lose much because of their unbelief.” The Desire of Ages, 819.
Oh, friend, think it through in your own mind. Is that your situation? Do you realize there is Someone who is all-powerful that wants to help you? He is attractive; He has personal magnetism; He has drawing power; but He cannot do much for you if you will not believe. That is one of the things that Jesus taught over and over again—I cannot do very much for you unless you will put your faith and trust in Me.
“Have you an unwavering trust in God? Lacking self-confidence, do you put your faith in him, rejoicing that you are privileged to be his child, even to suffer for his dear sake? Rejoicing in Christ as your Saviour, pitiful, compassionate, and touched with the feeling of your infirmities, love and joy will be revealed in your daily life. If you love Him who died to redeem mankind, you will love those for whom he died. A restful peace and happiness will fill your heart to overflowing when you believe that Jesus carries you and all your burdens.” Review and Herald, November 16, 1886.
Master of all Situations
I want you to ask yourself again, “Do I know Him? Am I going to become better acquainted with Him?” Jesus was the Master of every situation. Did you know that if you choose to put your trust in Him, you will never become the victim of circumstances? This is because He is still the Master of every situation.
In Matthew 8, we read that Jesus had been preaching and teaching all day. In verses 23 to 27, we see that He was very tired, and when He got into a boat, He went to sleep. While He was asleep, the devil tried to drown everyone in the boat. Great tempests came up on the sea. (The Bible is very clear that the devil is the prince of the power of the air. [See Ephesians 2:2.] He can stir up tempests, tornadoes, and a multitude of other things. It would be good to remember this the next time a tornado is called an “act of God.” That is a lie.) At about one or two o’clock in the morning, the boat was about to sink, and Jesus was asleep. What were the disciples to do?
Maybe you have not had such an experience; my wife and I have had this experience a number of times. What do you do when the phone rings at two o’clock in the morning? Are you ready to solve any problem that comes along at that time of the night? Jesus was, even though He was exhausted. The disciples awakened Him, and they said, “We are about to perish!” Jesus asked them, “Why are you fearful? You do not have enough faith; that is your problem.” He was not fearful. He was the Master of the situation, not because He was the Master of earth and sea and sky. Oh no! He had laid that power down. He was the Master of the situation because He was trusting in the Father’s might. He did not need to worry.
My dear friend, when you have chosen to commit your life to Him and you realize that He is the Master of every situation, you will not have to worry either.
“Trust yourself in the hands of Jesus. Do not worry. Do not think God has forgotten to be gracious. Jesus lives and will not leave you. May the Lord be your staff, your support, your front guard, your rearward.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 248.
What Will I Do If . . .
Someone may say, “What am I going to do? I may lose my job, and then I will not be able to buy any food or clothing nor be able to pay my rent. What am I going to do? I might succumb to some serious disease like all these other people I see getting sick. Then I will not be able to earn a living; I will not be able to do anything. What will I do?” Some people pass their whole life worrying, “What will I do if this happens? What will I do if that happens?” Do you know what Jesus said concerning this? He told us not to be anxious about what might happen. You can read about that in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).
Why? Why not be anxious? Because your heavenly Father knows what you need; He knows how to take care of you. This does not mean you will not have to work. The Bible says that in this world we all must earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. (Genesis 3:19.) If you are following the Lord, you need not worry concerning the food you eat or the clothes you wear; your necessities will be taken care of. Jesus said, “You do not need to worry about that. If you make God first in your life and seek His righteousness and the kingdom of heaven, He will add the things to you that you need.” (Matthew 6:33, 34.) He is still the Master of all situations.
“Christ is our example. . . . He turned to His Father in these hours of distress. He came to earth that He might provide a way whereby we could find grace and strength to help in every time of need, by following His example in frequent, earnest prayer.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 509.
“You are as a child who is not yet placed in control of his inheritance. God does not entrust to you your precious possession, lest Satan by his wily arts should beguile you, as he did the first pair in Eden. Christ holds it for you, safe beyond the spoiler’s reach. Like the child, you shall receive day by day what is required for the day’s need. Every day you are to pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ [Matthew 6:11.] Be not dismayed if you have not sufficient for tomorrow. You have the assurance of His promise, ‘So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.’ [Psalm 37:3.]” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 110, 111.
Confidence in our Redeemer
So many times when people came to Jesus, trying to trick Him, they thought they had Him in a jam out of which He could not get. They thought they would either be able to destroy His influence or bring about His arrest by the Romans. It is very interesting to read the stories written in Matthew 21 and 22, in John 8, and in so many other scriptures. Jesus showed with ease, every time, that He was the Master of the situation.
If you are in a terrible situation for which there is no possible human solution, do you realize that He could be the Master of the situation in your life, too? He will be, if you commit your life to Him.
Ellen White wrote: “Let us have more confidence in our Redeemer. Turn not from the waters of Lebanon to seek refreshment at broken cisterns, which can hold no water. Have faith in God. Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible, but certain. Though multitudes are pressing on in the wrong way, though the outlook be ever so discouraging, yet we may have full assurance in our Leader; for ‘I am God,’ he declares, ‘and there is none else.’ [Isaiah 45:22.] He is infinite in power, and able to save all who come to him. There is no other in whom we can safely trust.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1910.
Oh, friend, whoever you are, you need to know Him. If you choose to come to Him, to commit your life to Him, no matter how terrible of a sinner you are, no matter how weak you are, no matter how troubled you are, no matter how complicated your situation, He will be Master of the situation, and He will save you. Do you know Him? If you know Him, He will grant you eternal life, because He has all power and grace. He loves you, friend. He wants to save you.
[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]
Pastor Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life Ministry and pastor of the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.