Authority, control, influence denote a power or right to direct the actions or thoughts of others. Authority is a power or right, usually because of rank or office, to issue commands and to punish for violations: to have authority over subordinates
Mat 8:5-10 KJV 5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Luk 7:1-10 KJV 1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
When you read the account in Matthew, the Bible says the man Centurion came to Jesus but when you read the same account in Luke, the Bible says he sent the elders of Jews the Sanhedrin to Jesus. There is no contradictions there, this is the way to express the action done by others as done by you. In the parallel place in Matthew, he is represented as coming to Christ himself; but it is a usual form of speech in all nations, to attribute the act to a person which is done not by himself, but by his authority.
The centurion was a man in charge of 100 number of soldiers. He came to Jesus and besought Him to come and heal his servant.
The elders says he was worthy for this thing to be done for him because according to them, he not only loved them but had built them a synagogue even though a Roman gentile. The word “worthy” is “axios” in Greek and it means to deserve, to merit, to be due for something. They felt he should be rewarded for the good he had done.
If human being can think this way how much more about God that see our works thats is done out of love will be rewarded.
Heb 6:10 KJV For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Labour of love are deeds of benevolence when there was no hope of recompense, or when love was the motive in doing it.
It is not the work done out of sense of obligation and duty. Some Christians operates from that point of view but 1Cor 13:3 says if i offered my self to be burnt and i have no love, it profits me nothing. It is the same reason why many pays tithe and has no benefit. The motives behind what we do is greater than what we do.
There are benefits and rewards for the works that we do on this side of eternity, this year may your rewards come speedily in Jesus name.
So Jesus agreed to go with the people sent. While Jesus was on the way he sent message to Him not to bother to come under his roof. He gave two reasons why he did not want Jesus to come under his roof:
That he was not worthy to have Jesus in his house. This makes me to start thinking, i thought the elders of the Jews says he was worthy, how come he says he is not worthy to have Jesus in his house and himself not worthy to meet Jesus?
The word “worthy” here in Greek is “hikanos” and it means to be sufficient, many enough, enough, sufficient in ability, i.e. meet, fit. In order words he considered himself as unfit to have the Holy man in his house. He felt his unworthiness through the consciousness of sin. His conscience judged him as unrighteous.
When he says he was not worthy, it was an expression of humility, when compare with the Son of God, he felt that even though he was a Roman officer he is not on the same equal and rank with this holy man.
If he had come based on the estimation of the elders of the Jews, it would have been term arrogant. He would have come telling Jesus what he had done. See i built a synagogue for them. Many of us would come to the Lord like that saying Lord see what i have done, i am this and that and i do this and that. There are many Christians that base their lives on estimates and approbation of others but the Bible says that they that compare themselves among themselves are not wise.
2Cor 10:12 KJV For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
We may do better than others but when we compare ourselves with Jesus who is God’s standard, our worthiness and values becomes like a filthy rags. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
This is the same expression of great conviction that supposed be upon any sinner when they come to Christ. and truly this is true.
That was our state before we became Christian, we were unfit and unworthy because of garment of sin on us and stained with immoral acts but when we came to Jesus He washed us with His precious blood, made us holy and clean. And yet many Christian still approach God today by saying they are filthy rags and unworthy people. That is a slap on the face of Jesus after what He has done for us. Now in ourselves we are unworthy but in Christ Jesus we are because God has accepted us in the beloved. Eph 1:6. The goodnews is that under the New Covenant, things have changed.
This is how Paul addresses our new status in Christ.
2Cor 3:5-6 KJV 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
The centurion said he was not sufficient but Paul says our sufficiency is in Christ Jesus. I am sufficient now. Praise God.
When the centurion says Jesus cannot come into his house, it was ok because he was not born again. Even the Jews don’t have direct access to God then, how much less a gentile. For us that are born again, it is too late for us to pray Jesus not to come into our house.
When David was saying in Psalm 27 that this this i long for that i may dwell in His house forever and behold His beauty and when he says surely goodness and mercy shall follow him and he shall dwell in the house of God for ever and ever. We don’t have to pray like that because what he wished for has become our reality. We are now the house of God.
Psa 27:4 KJV One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
Psa 23:6 KJV Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
We cannot only have Jesus dwells in our house, we have become His habitation, He dwells in us by His Spirit that He has given us.
1Jn 3:24 KJV And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
1Jn 4:13 KJV Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
The second reason why the centurion did not want Jesus to come into his house was that he said he was a man set under authority. What does that mean?
He was a junior officer but had about 100men under him. And he himself has superior officers like Brigadier general and Generals. But he said he is subjected to people over him and so are the people under his command. When he tells one to come, he will and if he says go, the soldier will not queried it and asked questions but will simply obey and go.
The words “set under” are commonly understood to mean placed in a subordinate position; but this would be more accurately expressed by the perfect participle, “tetagmenov”. The present participle indicates something operating daily, and the centurion is describing not his appointed position so much as his daily course of life. The word “set” originally means arranged, drawn up in order; so that the words might be paraphrased thus : “I am a man whose daily course of life and duty is appointed and arranged by superior authority.”(barne)
“I know how to obey, being myself under authority; and I know how others obey, having soldiers under me. If then I, in my subordinate station of command, am obeyed, how much more thou, who art over all, and whom diseases serve as their Master.”
His argument was that if he who is under authority of others can give commands to the men under him and they obey, how much more will Jesus who is not under any authority being the creator of heaven and earth if He shall speak and command and it will be done irrespective of distance.
So in like manner, he believed that Jesus has the same authority like that over sickness and diseases, so if Jesus will just give a command from where He was standing the sickness has no choice but to go. It is by authority.
Jesus marvelled seriously because this is great understanding of what it means to be under authority. It has nothing to do with size, height or strength. In the army if you are 20years old and you just finished from NDA as Cadet officer, you may weigh 50kg but you have authority over several non commission officers and recruits even though they may be thirty years old and weigh 80kg.
Jesus understood His authority and He uses it. Here is what the Bible recorded concerning Him as regard authority.
He teaches with authority
Mat 7:29 KJV For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Mar 1:22 KJV And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
Other teachers teaches by quoting several men as references but Jesus quoted Himself. In Mt 5 when He was teaching what they call the beatitudes, He said you have heard it from the beginning that ..but I SAID UNTO YOU.
Mat 5:19-22 KJV 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
He exercise His authority over devils
Authority is the power to enforce rules or give orders.
Mar 1:27 KJV And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
Luk 4:36 KJV And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
He exercise authority over the nature and sea
Mar 4:39 KJV And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
People queried His authority
Luk 20:2 KJV And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
He gave authority to His disciples
Luk 9:1 KJV Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
He gave them both power and authority to use that power over all devils and to cure sickness
Mat 10:1 KJV And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Luk 9:1 KJV Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
He gave them authority over all the abilities of the devils. Power is “dunamis” and “authority” is “exosia”
Luk 10:19 KJV Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
The first word for power is exousia and the second is dunamis.
Jesus function on earth based on authority as man
People think that He was able to do all those things because He was God’s son. Not at all, He did them because He was a man. Only a spirit with a physical body can function on earth.
Joh 5:27 KJV And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
What is the authority that Jesus gave the disciples?
Mar 16:17-18 KJV 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
The name of a person is synonymous with His character and ability. It represent who the person is. The power bestowed on the apostles is what is known in law as POWER OF ATTORNEY.
The legal authorisation of one person to act as the agent of another.
In order words, we can acts like Jesus, what we says becomes authority because it will just be as if he is the one physically present and saying them.
Joh 14:13-14 KJV 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
This is the testimony of the disciples about the authority to use His name.
Luk 10:17 KJV And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
This is how NLT put it
Luke 10:17 When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”
How authority works
We are men under authority. The centurion says “i am a man under authority of my superior”. You have to recognize the authority placed over you before your authority functions and it is obeyed.
Jas 4:7 KJV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Heb 13:17 KJV Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
James 4: 7 says submit yourself unto God then you will be able to resist the devil. Some people are not able to resist the devil not because they are not saying the right things in their prayers but because they find it difficult to submit to God.
You submit to God by submitting your will unto Him, you submit to people He placed over you in the church, at home, wives to their own husbands and children to their parents and everyone of us to one another. Very deep.
Eph 5:21-22 KJV 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
The sons of Sceva learned this in a bitter way when they were trying to cast out the devil.
Act 19:14-16 KJV 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Exercise your authority
Jesus recognise the power authority and He told the disciples that this is the way things function in the world and in leadership.
Mat 20:25 KJV But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mar 10:42 KJV But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
Luk 22:25 KJV And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
The Greek word used for “exercise” there is “katakurieuo” and it means: to bring under one’s power, to subject one’s self, to subdue, master, to hold in subjection, to be master of, exercise lordship over, to lord against, that is, control, subjugate: – exercise dominion over (lordship), be lord over, overcome.
Jesus was saying this is the way the Gentiles lord it over their subjects and the way to greatness and leadership is not like that for the disciples. We are not to lord over our brethren. We are equal before God. We don’t have dominion over another person. Our authority ends at the tip of our nose.
However, we have authority over our lives and destiny. You can prohibit things and can allow things Mt 16:19.
You can cast out devils from your home, business and lives that ability is not the prerogative of ministers only. Jesus said these signs will follows all that believes. This is for all believers.
You can exercise authority over your children, call them to order, and align their futures to align with purpose of God.
You can change your world, change your situation. you are not powerless you just lack adequate information on what you have gotten.
In my teaching on “you are a spiritual judge”, i described the functions of a judge. We can pass judgement and pronounce judgment over the devils not necessarily over fellow mankind.
The judge functions by the power conferred on him by the constitution of the country so also the believers functions based on the authority of Jesus and the word of God. Use the word.
We have the word, the name of Jesus, the Holy Ghost and host of ministering angels. We can not be defeated.
They asked Jesus, by whose authority doest thou these things? Who gave you the authority? I have authority in the name of Jesus. WE are have been given authority. It is delegated and it is at our disposal.
How do you use authority?
Authority is released by the word of mouth or by speech. You don’t have to lift a finger or make any movement. The word of authority is a direct, definite, precise, concise and brief command or statement without ambiguity.
Psa 33:8-9 KJV 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
The word of command carries power of enforcement in it Ps 148:5
How can our words becomes words of authority?
We speak the same thing Jesus has spoken. Our words are consistent with His word because they are inspired by the Holy Ghost. Rom 8:28; John 15:5-7; Lam 3:37
Mk 11:22 says have God kind of faith. The word of authority is a faith filled words. Words that contains God’s kind of faith in it.
The person must be a man of absolute integrity. God told Jeremiah about this Jer 15:19 KJV
There must not be element of doubt and unbelief. Jam 1:6-8
Speak as oracle of God 1Pet 4: 11
It is must be spoken in the name of Jesus, Col 3:17
Paul and the soothsayers
Act 16:16-18 KJV 16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Peter and the lame man
Act 3:6 KJV Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Exercise authority over your body: jam 2 says you can bridle it
Exercise authority over your destiny
Exercise authority over your home, marriage, career, jobs
Exercise authority over your husband and wife
Exercise authority over your neighbourhood
Exercise authority over your world