Today in the Sunday school class that Jody and I teach at a local church, we continued a discussion of authority and power. The discussion centered around the scene in Matthew 10:1 where Jesus conferred authority on His disciples and then dispatched them to various villages and towns where He planned to visit Himself.
The question centered around what it looked like for Jesus to give these men authority? Was it a pep-talk, like a coach in the locker room at half time? Did He lay hands on them? Was there a supernatural infusion of some sort? Or did Jesus merely send them out with the assurance they could do what He was asking of them?
Also, we talked about what would have happened if the disciples had not exercised the authority they had been given. The answer was probably, nothing. If they hadn’t acted on what Jesus had instructed, God’s power would not have been released.
That revealed an important connection between authority and power: obedience. Without obedience — the willingness to act on the authority of God — the disciples could not have walked in power.
The same holds true for us. We are to discover the authority Jesus has conferred upon us and then determine to be obedient in that authority. Only then can we expect to see the power of God.