Authority is power. Those who have the authority to sign for packages or people’s paychecks have power. Those teachers who are ‘the authority’ on the subject have the power of influence on their students and those who are looking to them for direction or understanding in that subject matter. We grant politicians authority by giving them power to rule over that area of government. Preachers are given authority by just stepping behind the pulpit every Sunday.
Test your authority this Sunday. During your sermon ask your congregation to stand, raise their hands over their heads and keep them there. Go on with your sermon for a little while and see how many still keep their hands up.
Then tell them this: “Authority is allowing someone to have power over your life. We give Oprah authority by listening to her advice on tons of topics. We gave Tim Russert authority because of his wealth of knowledge and expertise in politics. We give lots of people authority over our lives but we need to make sure where that authority comes from, or else you will find yourself standing there with your hands over your head just because someone asked you too.”
Jesus authority was like nothing the people in the temple had ever seen. His authority came from his Father, our Father, our God. Christ authority was oozing out of him as he taught and then certified when he called the demon out. The joy of being a follower of Christ is we can claim that authority as well, but we need to use it properly or that authority gets tainted and lost. All we have to do is raise our arms up to heaven and ask for the strength and power (the authority needed) to survive life, and it is granted, because the one who has that authority promises to be with us always.