I remember once as a teacher in high school I happened to be walking down one of the school hallways a few minutes after the bell to begin classes had rung and I saw a teacher standing just outside his classroom door.  As I came closer, I noticed that he looked a bit distraught and then he said to me, “Father, I’m pretty much at the end of my line. I can’t do anything with this boy. He doesn’t listen to a word I say.”  As I was listening to him, I saw just inside the door that there was a young man, a sophomore, standing on a chair entertaining the rest of the class.  I did not know him that well as he was not in any of my classes, but I did know his name. I stepped inside the room, snapped my fingers, pointed in a downward direction and in what I thought was a rather gentle voice, said “Yo Phillip, sit down.”  I spoke briefly to him and to the class about proper classroom decorum.  As I was about to leave the teacher thanked me profusely for my help and said he didn’t know what he would have done if I had not passed by.  As I left I found myself wondering why Phillip and his classmates listened so readily to me and would not give their teacher the time of day. I also remembered how during my first year of teaching it was very difficult for me to maintain discipline in my classroom, but that, beginning with my second year, I had very few discipline problems.  It really was all about authority. The teacher I helped that day, did not have it. I did not have it my first year.  But I did, at least to an extent, develop some authority as I went along.  All of this helps me to recognize the authority of Jesus.  What gave Him His authority?  I think it has to do with the a couple realities: who He was, what He said, why He was saying it, and who He said it for.  Jesus, in one of my favorite quotes says, “All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete.”  I think that He answers pretty much all those questions with that statement.  Jesus is the Messiah who speaks the truth that is easily recognized, and spoken for the benefit of His listeners for whom He cares deeply.  One of the things I learned about my students is that, whether they knew it or not, they wanted their teachers to have authority.  When they recognized authority in their teachers they felt safer.  The same is true with us and Jesus. His authority allows us to have peace. It truly is a beautiful thing.

AuthorCathy Remick