The word “authority” is a strong word. It’s filled with meaning. When we hear the word “authority” there’s a certain force about that word. There may be even a certain intimidation about that word. We talk about the authorities and we rightfully have a sense of respect…maybe a sense of awe, maybe a sense of fear. The word “authority” denotes permission. It denotes privilege. It denotes power. It denotes rule, control, influence. When someone has authority, that means they’re on top of other people. They have responsibility beyond the norm. They are able to determine things, to decide things, to give judgments, to wield certain rights and privileges.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” – Matthew 28:18
Jesus’ claim that everyone who listens and learns from God will come to Him is both a comfort and a challenge. It is comforting because it says no one who is really open to God will be left out. But it is also a challenge because it is another one of Jesus’ claims to unique, supreme authority. God has indeed not left Himself without a witness. General revelation has made something of the truth about Himself known, and certainly the Scriptures have done so more clearly. But all such knowledge of God is partial and finds its fulfillment and point of reference in Jesus. All revelation before or outside of Jesus leads one to come to Him. When a Jew or Muslim or Buddhist or other religious person who has really learned from God sees Jesus in truth (not as He is too often revealed by Christians’ poor witness) they will recognize in Him the fullness of what they have already learned.
Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. – Matthew 24:35
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law. Matthew 7:28-29