Jesus’ authority 1:20b-3
Ephesus was a centre for the worship of Artemis considered to be the Queen of heaven. The Ephesians were surrounded by competing deities. High in their consciousness was an awareness of spiritual evil forces. Jesus himself demonstrated his authority over them during his ministry. An awareness of the impact of spiritual evil forces is found throughout the New Testament. James writes, ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ James 4.7 Peter says, ‘Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8Paul later in Ephesians warns, ‘Give no opportunity to the devil.’ v 4:27 The activity of spiritual evil forces does not negate personal responsibility for one’s behaviour. James explains, ‘But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.’ James 1:14 The Ephesians then needed to be reminded that Christ is high above all other authorities whatever those opposing him may call upon, whether they were Greek or Roman gods, magicians, state authorities or even mob rule. We might add the media, rich companies, political lobby groups, religious extremists. God the Father has given him (Christ) supreme authority, ‘Far above rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.’ v21 Additionally God has connected the church so intimately to Christ that the church is described as the body of Christ. We the church are then beneficiaries of Christ’s rule in heavenly places. Do we recognise our role as part of the body of Christ to oppose evil through prayer and the gospel for the good of others?
At The Name of Jesus – Amber Trent | Christ For The Nations Worship