Jurisdiction and a Green Letter Bible

By February 14, 2015Christianity

The actual words of Christ have power. Jesus disciples have always valued and esteemed the teaching of Christ in the New Testament. Louis Klopsch in 1899 printed the first red-letter New Testament. The vision was to accent the words of Christ in red (based on Luke 22:20). Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, and Tony Compollo were instrumental in a non-denominational movement, referred to as “Red Letter Christians,” emphasizing the social gospel through the teachings of Christ.

The actual works of Christ also have power. I have often thought of what it would be like to publish a Bible where the works of Christ are in green, symbolic of life (based on John 10:10). Not only what Jesus said, but also what Jesus did, define the life of Christ. In Matthew chapter nine we observe the actions of Jesus,

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. [1]

This is important because the actions of Jesus speak of the territory of his authority and power. The New Testament word often used for authority and power is exousia, meaning the rightful power to act or possess. A modern word that best expresses this meaning is jurisdiction, or the territory or sphere of activity over which the legal authority of a court or other institution extends. Jesus had jurisdiction, legally given authority from God, over the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Jesus had exousia over diseases, sickness, and the demonic realm (see verses 32-34).

It is interesting that within the same context Jesus delegates his authority and power to the disciples,

And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. [2]

Jesus entrusted authority to his men. Jesus empowered his disciples to do what he had been doing. The word used for power is this same word, exousia. The jurisdiction of Christ over the realm of proclamation, the demonic, over disease, and sickness, was released into the hands of the disciples. Like vice-regents over a territory or commissioners over a county, Jesus gave jurisdiction for the enforcement of the Kingdom of God to his disciples.

In Jesus’ last words to his disciples he spoke of his jurisdiction yet once again,

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… [3]

Not only does the Jesus disciple have exousia over the territory of the demonic and human health, but also it extends to the making of new disciples. Jesus gave all believers the jurisdiction to go out and make disciples. He made this his strategic plan for worldwide dominion. Jesus gave us his plan but also his power. We have been given jurisdiction from God, almighty God, to make disciples.

If you are a Jesus disciple you have the right, authority, and the delegated power of Christ to push back darkness through sharing your faith, taking on demons, healing the sick, and building disciples. You have Christ living within you and you have his authority to act. Walk in that authority today.

On the Road,
Steve

[1] The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 9:35). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 10:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 28:18–19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.