And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
I have been thinking about this passage for a few days now and I am still contemplating verse 18. Jesus said, 'All authority...on earth has been given to me.' What does this mean?
Some have stated 'all authority on earth' means:
Clarke -- '[To] convert sinners; to sanctify, protect, and perfect his Church; to subdue all nations to himself; and, finally, to judge all mankind.'
Henry -- [Having] prevailed with God, by the sacrifice of atonement, he prevails with men, and deals with them as one having authority, by the ministry of reconciliation. He is indeed, in all causes and over all persons, supreme Moderator and Governor. By him kings reign. All souls are his, and to him every heart and knee must bow, and every tongue confess him to be the Lord. This our Lord Jesus tells them, not only to satisfy them of the authority he had to commission them, and to bring them out in the execution of their commission, but to take off the offence of the cross; they had no reason to be ashamed of Christ crucified, when they saw him thus glorified.
Gill -- '...not only to the saints, whose King he is, and who are made willing to serve him; but to all flesh, to kings and princes, who rule and reign by him; and even to all the wicked of the world, who in some shape or another are made to subserve the ends of his mediatorial kingdom and government: and this is not usurped power, but what is given him, and what he has a right to exercise; having finished sin, abolished death, overcome the world, and destroyed the devil; and must reign till all enemies are subject to him...'
So, I guess my question here is: is this just in the 'unseen' world? I don't know if I buy that. Jesus' whole ministry was about bringing heaven (i.e., the realm of God) to earth (the realm of humanity). He instructed us to pray 'Your kingdom come...on earth as it is in heaven'. It seems to me that his whole ministry was concerned with the whole person, with all of creation, not just some platonic dualism where the 'really important part' is in the unseen world.
No. The whole verse seems to counter just that type of thinking. Jesus was given authority 'in heaven' -- so he has spiritual authority. But then he says he was also given authority 'on earth'. This can't mean he was also given spiritual authority 'on earth'. That doesn't make any sense. No. This seems to be saying that Jesus has been given the same type of authority on earth that he has in 'heaven'. So what does this look like? Can you think of some examples where Jesus' authority is manifested 'on earth'?
Peace be with you.