There are some
people who seem to have a certain charisma that makes them easily listened to and followed. This charisma is misinterpreted
as “authority”, when it should be examined more closely. We seem to place a lot of power and authority upon
these in ruling our lives. Many politicians fall into this position, but others surround us every day. The Bible
says that in the last days there will be many that are “false prophets” that will mislead many. We must
be careful about who we follow and by what “authority” they speak of. Charisma was the greatest tool of
many terrible leaders of history as they established their reign of terror. Therefore, we must be careful in our selection
of who we place our trust in and by what authority they lead and teach. This stands as much for preachers, Biblical
scholars, and learned men of our age. We must be careful where we place our trust!
This subject came
up to Jesus, by none other than the people of authority—the Chief Priest. “By
what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
Matthew 21:23b We must establish here that Jesus’ “authority” was questioned; not His works.
The works stood; for no one could question that they were miracles. The people in power was questioning His authority.
It seems a considerable discrepancy to think that good works would come from evil, but that is what the High Priest was insinuating.
In this, Jesus would not answer them but kept it a mystery, fully realizing they would not accept His “authority”.
Yet, He did declare His “authority” in what we call the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18 Jesus was sure to let us know that His authority came from God and that everything He did was
of the Father.
This raises the question of God’s sovereignty over all things. We must realize God created all things and has
the right to do as He pleases, yet, it was God’s desire that we be included in the greater plan for the universe.
God’s sovereignty is over all, but He has granted to us, through Jesus, an authority based upon our faith. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do
also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
John 14:12 We are granted the ability to reach out to others in the name of God, through that faith in His Son Jesus
Christ. If you would notice this authority is only for “he who believes in Me”!
The Disciples was given this: “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave
them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.” Luke 9:1 If you will take note, Jesus
gave them the authority to deal with others “in His name”. It is important we realize that only through
faith in the sovereignty of God do we have the authority to defeat Satan. It is only through our trust in Jesus and
what He did for us may we find authority.
The real problem with authority is that it may be abused. Many times, in the history of the Church, have people said
they were doing things in God’s name, but all the while it was their own wants and desires. There is no worse
thing we can do than to abuse the authority of God. The Pharisees, Scribes and Priests of Jesus’ day was so good
at this and Jesus called them hypocrites and vipers. It is important that we consider the consequences of our actions
in this area. The greatest example of this abuse of authority is found in what Jesus said about authority over children.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better
for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6 This shows to us how sinister it is to abuse authority over anyone. Therefore, we must
stay close to God’s intentions for our authority over others—especially those in authority in the Church.
Granted this authority, we also are given responsibility for the use of that authority. We must keep a pure heart that
is attuned to God. We must constantly seek His guidance in our daily living. We must realize every action we take,
every judgment we make, reflects upon our ability to exercise God’s authority. Let us not forget, every action
we take reflects our faith in Jesus, and we should have the “mind of Christ” in all our dealings with others.
Sure, we are given authority, but we also are to utilize that authority to the best of our ability to serve Him. We
must do so with “Biblical judgements”, and not self-seeking, self-glorifying judgments. We have changed
from authority to judgment here and need to consider this for a moment.
We are given the right for Biblical judgment only—our authority only comes from Biblical
judgment. All that we do should glorify God and all based upon the Bible. “Judge
not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use,
it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 This verse has been
misinterpreted to mean we are to never judge. This is a wrong assumption, for we are given authority to do so if it
is authority from a Bible based authority. It says “with what judgement you judge, you will be judged”.
When that is the Bible, then the Christian has nothing to fear, as long as he is seeking God in his life. God has given
us authority to stand for Him in this world. God has given us authority to judge Biblical truths in this world.
We should always realize the authority we receive from God is a grave responsibility. We should be careful not to misuse
so great a gift granted to us by so great a sacrifice. It is by Jesus we have authority over this world!