December 18, 2017
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FDR: Power and Authority

… But only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." - Matthew 8:8-9

All power and authority is subject to the spiritual chain of command. You are under authority whether you recognize it or not. You have power whether you use it or not. It is a reflection of God’s sovereignty and order.

The United States Congress declared war upon Germany on December 11, 1941. The declaration was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Military action, both offensive and defensive, arose out of that sweeping order. Authority to fight and defend came from the President, through the Generals and down to the lowest ranking soldier. This is an example of the rules in a chain of command.

A person has all the power and authority necessary to accomplish orders he has been given, up to the full weight of the authority of the one who issued them.

Authority of Jesus

And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment. - Matthew 8:13

You can read the full gospel account of how Jesus healed the centurion’s servant in Matthew 8 or Luke 7. It is an amazing story of faith, power and authority. The centurion, a Roman officer, knew that Jesus could heal a person by simply speaking it into existence. He believed that Jesus had complete authority over sickness.

Jesus used many methods to invoke healing. He touched some, prayed for some, rebuked evil spirits, kicked out demons, and forgave sins. However, this one shocked Him because of the great faith demonstrated by the officer.

The contrast between this man’s faith and the doctrine of the Jewish rabbis could not have been greater. They would not believe that Jesus had authority over demons or to forgive sins, even though they were eye witnesses. The centurion had never seen Jesus heal by way of a remote command, yet he knew Jesus could.

Jesus did. The servant was healed at that very moment by His command.

Chain of Command

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. - John 14:10

The LORD God is creator of all things and has authority over them. Just as our copyright laws protect the rights of ownership and authority for the designer, God holds the copyright of all that He created. Since He made it, He is the one that gets to decide what happens to it.

Jesus came to earth as the Son of Man and was perfectly obedient to the LORD God as His Father. In the fourteenth chapter of John, Jesus asked the disciples if they understood that He was “in the Father.” This condition can also be described as Jesus being “in agreement” with the Father, or being under the Father’s authority.

Notice the strong language Jesus used to express His relationship in this chain of command. He claimed no authority of His own, but ascribed it all to the Father and gave Him all the credit.

He told the centurion: “Go, let it be done for you as you have believed.” When He spoke those words, they were the words of the Father.

Potential Power

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. - John 14:11

The chain of command is powerful and effective because it is true. Jesus stated that His relationship to the Father was complete union and agreement. This was true whether the disciples believed it or not. That agreement was the method through which the power and authority was passed down.

In a way, Jesus was challenging the disciples to consider the proof as evidence so that they would believe. The miracles, healings, exorcisms, and blessings were physical evidence of the spiritual reality.


"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. - John 14:12

This is an incredible invitation and promise. The emphasis should not rest on the “works that I do” nor should it rest on “greater works.” The works are the evidence of the truth; an outcome; a symptom; an indicator. The emphasis should be on “whoever believes in Me.”

Notice the chain of command described in this verse. The Father owns the copyright and has all power and authority. Jesus is “in the Father” and is going to the Father to be reunited. All of His works came through this agreement because Jesus was under the Father’s authority.

Whoever believes in Jesus will agree with Him and be united with Him. In other words, he or she will be under His authority. Whatever Jesus asks this believer to do will be done in obedience. That is what it means to live under authority, just as Jesus demonstrated with the Father.

Therefore, the works that the Father did through Jesus will be carried on through those that are under His authority. The chain of command, level one: The Father who dwells in Me does His works. The chain of command, level two: The Father who dwells in the Son, who dwells in me does His works.

The amazing truth is that greater works than were done by Jesus will be done by the Father through the obedience of whoever believes in Him.


Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. - John 14:13

A person has all the power and authority necessary to accomplish orders he has been given, up to the full weight of the authority of the one who issued them. In other words, anything that the Father and Son ask you to do comes with the full power and authority to do it. Simply obey and the power flows to do the work.

Jesus then turns the model around!

Whatever you ask, even as the lowest ranking soldier, He will do because you are in this chain of command. He clarifies the purpose of the power and authority by stating that the Father may be glorified in the Son. That is the relational aspect of the authority. When you believe, and are in agreement with the Son, then you can ask anything and He will do it.

However, if you are at cross-purposes with the Son you cannot ask in His name. You have stepped out from under His authority and gone independent. You will discover that you have very little power and authority on your own. The works that you can do are earthly and natural.

When you surrender your rights and come back under the authority of the Father and Son, you will be reinstated in the relationship. Anything He asks you to do will be done. Anything you ask Him to do will be done.

Stay united with the LORD God and experience His power and authority.

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