And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. (Luke 4:20 NASB)
The first half of this verse gives us an interesting word picture. Jesus, finished reading, rolled the scroll back up, handed it to the synagogue attendant, and sat down. In this instance, He took a very specific seat. The "Moses seat" was a stone seat (or chair) mentioned in
Exodus 18:13. When Moses judged the people and mediated their arguments, he sat. While he sat, he explained the law to them. This became the traditional position to assume when teaching or explaining scripture. Sitting in the Moses seat was a position of authority and understanding.
When Jesus sat in the Moses seat, he was taking the position of authority and understanding that were rightfully His. Later in Luke, we find that Jesus will be seated at the right hand of the Father in eternity. That stone chair must have been a bittersweet place for Him, as it served as a symbol of the seat of authority He had vacated to redeem us. When the people listened to Him, they were implicitly acknowledging His authority.
Authority is a word that indicates rightful power or control over a situation, as well as the right to demand obedience to a set of rules or laws. Once authority is acknowledged, acquiescence to that authority should also follow. For the believer, there is no doubt that Jesus has the authority of God in our lives. The question becomes, then, how thoroughly do we submit to His authority? How completely do we obey the commands of Christ? How closely do we follow Him?
Today, spend a few minutes examining your own life and the extent to which you are submitting to Jesus. How closely does your life model His?
As we pray for our children and loved ones, ask God to open their eyes to the authority of Christ and to bring them to a point of willing obedience to His control in their lives.