Authority

Authority

Scripture selection: Luke 4:36-37

(With this study, we continue our walk through the scriptures picking up at the Gospel of Luke after Jesus has begun his public ministry.)

“All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching?  With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”  And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.

Jesus was different.  He wasn’t like the other teachers roaming the countryside or teaching in the public gathering places.  He was, as far as they knew, Joseph’s son, from little old Nazareth.  Who could possibly come out of such a place and offer much of anything worthwhile?  Or so they thought.

Then they heard and saw what he was doing.

  • Casting out demons
  • Healing disease
  • Gathering a following
  • Cleansing people of their defilement
  • Bringing life and hope

And teaching, always teaching.

Two thousand years later, people are still saying the same thing.  “What is this teaching?”

Or, even more directly, “Who is this one named Jesus the Christ?”

It is still the most important question of all.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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