Understanding Authority: Matthew 28:18
Jesus began the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18 by saying; “… All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” That means He is in charge! He is the highest authority. Everything and everyone ultimately has to answer to Him.
His next two words were “Go therefore…” Observation: The power to “go” is rooted in His authority. We could also say; “Power is measured by the authority of the sending agency.”
Before moving forward and talking about power, let’s look back at the way Jesus called, equipped and sent His original disciples. According to Matthew 7:28-29, His early audience was impressed by the authority of His teaching. His Word had authority!
Then as you continue reading through Mathew 8 and 9, we discover that every healing, miracle and demonic deliverance focused on His authority. He was working out from the authority of His office as the Son of God. What He commanded happened because He had the authority to issue the command.
The story of healing the centurions servant is especially insightful because the centurion connected healing with authority. (See Matthew 8:5-13) Jesus marvel at his great faith. In other words, faith is based on understanding the authority connected to the true identity of Jesus Christ.
So, how did the early disciples operate and do miracles? Look at Mathew 10:1; “And Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” Notice that He did not give them power, He gave them His authority. Everything they did was based on the authority of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and His Word.
It wasn’t until Acts 1:8 that power came into the equation. The power was going to accompany the ministry of the Holy Spirit. However, the biblical pattern all through the book of Acts was that power was also based on the authority of Jesus Christ. Power was the extension of His office. Power is always based on authority.
Look at Peter and John in Acts 3:6 healing the lame beggar. Did they do it by power or by authority? “6) But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”” The healing was based on the name and authority of Jesus Christ!
In fact, the next two chapters records the story of how Peter and John used the healing to proclaim Jesus Christ and His position and authority to the Sanhedrin. (See Acts 4:7-12) Peter and John pointed to authority behind the Name of Jesus Christ.
Let me emphasize again that power always grows out of authority. Power cannot be greater than the authority it represents. So how much authority does Jesus have right now as the Son of God? Well, as He said in Matthew 28:18, “all authority” in heaven and on earth has been handed over to Him
If we take one step further, we can say that all authority is vested in every office Jesus holds. For example; He is Savior, Provider, Deliverer, Protector, Healer, Light, Life and Shepherd. (This is a partial list) In each office He has “all authority” to fulfill that role.
This is going to take some time for you to process, but God wants us to increase our faith in Jesus related to each of these roles. He often said, “let it be done to you as you believe.” (See Matthew 9:28-30). I know this is a review, but it is of paramount importance. Power is the extension of authority. Start standing in His authority.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global