"WHAT MIGHTY POWER"
"And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God…" (Lk. 9.43)
INTRO.: A hymn which talks about the mighty power of God which was manifest through Jesus Christ is "What Mighty Power." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Tillit Sidney Teddlie (1885-1987). A well-known hymn writer and hymnbook publisher among churches of Christ, as well as a gospel preacher, Teddlie authored such beloved songs as "Heaven Holds All To Me," "Worthy Art Thou," and "The Lord’s Supper (When We Meet In Sweet Communion)." This somewhat lesser known song, "What Mighty Power," is dated 1944. The copyright was later owned by Frank Riggs. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared in the 1959 Majestic Hymnal No. 2 edited by Reuel Lemmons; the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater; and the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 edited by Teddlie. To my knowledge, today it is found only in the 1999 Into Our Hands edited by Leland R. Fleming.
The song makes application of several incidents in the life of Jesus Christ.
I. Stanza 1 talks about Galilee
"What mighty power the soul could feel,
What wondrous touch the lame to heal,
The deaf could hear, the blind could see,
When Jesus walked through Galilee!"
A. The power of God was manifest in Jesus Christ in healing the lame and other sick: Matt. 15.29-31
B. As a result of this power, designed to show that Jesus came from God, the deaf could hear and the blind could see: Matt. 11.1-5
C. Thus, Jesus demonstrated the power of God when He walked through Galilee: Matt. 4.23-25
II. Stanza 2 talks about Bethany
"What tender love the world could see,
What matchless words of sympathy,
What wondrous grace, so full and free,
When Jesus wept at Bethany!"
A. Jesus certainly had tender love and great sympathy while He was on earth for those who were suffering: Matt. 9.36
B. This love and sympathy were indicative of the grace, so full and free, that He came to bring mankind: 2 Cor. 8.9
C. His grace was especially demonstrated when He wept at Bethany before the tomb of Lazarus: Jn. 11.17-35
III. Stanza 3 talks about Calvary
"What tears, what grief, what misery,
What suffering, yes, what agony,
What price was paid to set me free,
When Jesus died on Calvary!"
A. The earthly life of Jesus culminated in tears, grief, misery, and suffering: 1 Pet. 3.18
B. The purpose of this agony was to pay the price by giving His life as a ransom for many to set us free: Matt. 20.28
C. This purpose was accomplished when He died on Calvary: Lk. 23.33-46
CONCL.: This is a fairly short song, but as we all know, good things can come in small packages. What deep spiritual truths are packed in these few words! This song would be very appropriate to use before the Lord’s supper to help us remember the death of Christ, but it would also be good to sing at other times to remind us of the power that Jesus manifested in His miracles to demonstrate that He is the Son of God, the sympathy that He showed for our human condition as He wept at the grave of Lazarus, and especially the suffering that He experienced on the cross to make our salvation possible. Indeed, in all of these things, we can see "What Mighty Power."