The Voice in Speech and Song


Chapter 16—Power, Authority, and Earnestness

Positive Authority—The practical truths He uttered had a convincing power, and arrested the attention of the people. Multitudes lingered at His side, marveling at His wisdom. His manner corresponded with the great truths He proclaimed. There was no apology, no hesitancy, not the shadow of a doubt or uncertainty that it might be other than He declared. He spoke of the earthly and the heavenly, of the human and the divine, with positive authority; and the people “were astonished at His doctrine; for His word was with power.”—The Review and Herald, July 6, 1911. VSS 89.1

Authority Exclusively His Own—Christ taught with authority. The Sermon on the Mount is a wonderful production, yet so simple that a child can study it without being misled. The mount of beatitudes is an emblem of the high elevation on which Christ ever stood. He spoke with an authority which was exclusively His own.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 407. VSS 89.2

Kingly Authority Over Temple Priests—Christ spoke with the authority of a king, and in His appearance, and in the tones of His voice, there was that which they had no power to resist. At the word of command they realized, as they had never realized before, their true position as hypocrites and robbers.—The Desire of Ages, 162. VSS 89.3

Irresistible Force—With clearness and power He spoke the words that were to come down to our time as a treasure of goodness. What precious words they were, and how full of encouragement. From His divine lips there fell with fullness and abundant assurance the benedictions that showed Him to be the fountain of all goodness, and that it was His prerogative to bless and impress the minds of all present.... VSS 90.1

There were occasions when Christ spoke with an authority that sent His words home with irresistible force, with an overwhelming sense of the greatness of the Speaker, and the human agencies shrunk into nothingness in comparison with the One before them. They were deeply moved; their minds were impressed that He was repeating the command from the most excellent glory. As He summoned the world to listen, they were spellbound and entranced, and conviction came to their minds. Every word made for itself a place, and the hearers believed and received the words that they had no power to resist. Every word He uttered seemed to the hearers as the life of God.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 5:1084, 1085. VSS 90.2

Power Like a Mighty Tempest—Christ spoke with a power that swayed the people like a mighty tempest: “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” His voice sounded like a trumpet through the temple. The displeasure of His countenance seemed like consuming fire. With authority He commanded, “Take these things hence.” John 2:16.—The Desire of Ages, 591. VSS 90.3

An Example for Father, a Pattern for Children—Jesus was the pattern for children, and He was also the father's example. He spoke as one having authority, and His word was with power; yet in all His intercourse with rude and violent men He did not use one unkind or discourteous expression.—The Desire of Ages, 515. VSS 91.1

Invitations Full of Compassion—There was marked authority in His requirements and promises, and His invitations were full of compassion and entreaty. How tenderly He said to the toiling people, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ... With what power and compassion Jesus cried, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.”—The Review and Herald, February 21, 1893. VSS 91.2

No Hesitation nor Uncertainty—He spoke as one having authority, and not as the scribes, in a hesitating, uncertain manner. With calmness and power He proclaimed the living principles of truth, making them more forcible by His manner of presenting them.—The Review and Herald, August 20, 1903. VSS 91.3

No Shadow of Doubt—Christ came to unveil divine truth to the world. He taught as one having authority. He spake as never man spoke. There was no hesitancy in His manner, not the shadow of a doubt in His utterances. He spake as one who understood every part of His subject.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, 236, 237. VSS 92.1

Christ's Personal Knowledge—Christ spoke with authority. Every truth essential for the people to know He proclaimed with the unfaltering assurance of certain knowledge. He uttered nothing fanciful or sentimental. He presented no sophistries, no human opinions. No idle tales, no false theories clothed in beautiful language, came from His lips. The statements that He made were truths established by personal knowledge. He foresaw the delusive doctrines that would fill the world, but He did not unfold them. In His teachings He dwelt upon the unchangeable principles of God's Word. He magnified the simple, practical truths that the common people could understand and bring into the daily experience.—Testimonies for the Church 8:201. VSS 92.2

Zeal and Certainty—When Jesus spoke, it was not with hesitating uncertainty, with repetition of words and familiar figures. The truth came from His lips clothed in new and interesting representations that gave it the freshness of a new revelation. VSS 92.3

His voice was never pitched to an unnatural key, and His words came with an earnestness and assurance appropriate to their importance and the momentous consequences involved in their reception or rejection. When His doctrines were opposed, He defended them with so great zeal and certainty as to impress His hearers that He would die, if need be, to sustain the authority of His teachings.... When He taught, His words came with authority; for He spoke with positive knowledge of the truth.—The Review and Herald, January 7, 1890. VSS 92.4

Truth With Freshness of a New Revelation—Truth never languished on His lips, never suffered in His hands for want of perfect obedience to its requirements. “To this end was I born,” Christ declared, “and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” And the mighty principles of truth fell from His lips with the freshness of a new revelation. The truth was spoken by Him with an earnestness proportionate to its infinite importance and to the momentous results depending on its success.—The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 5:1148. VSS 93.1

Earnestness and Power—The words of Christ, though calmly spoken, were uttered with an earnestness and power that stirred the hearts of the people. They listened for a repetition of the lifeless traditions and exactions of the rabbis, but in vain. VSS 93.2

They “were astonished at His teaching: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” Matthew 7:28, 29, R.V.—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 46, 47. VSS 93.3

Encouragement in Love and Tenderness—They heard Him in love and tenderness speak encouragingly to the weak and afflicted. They also heard Him, in a voice of authority, rebuke the power of Satan and bid his captives go free. They listened to the words of wisdom that fell from His lips, and they were captivated; they could not lay hands on Him.—Early Writings, 160. VSS 93.4