For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:29)
What a difference between self-imposed authority and God-appointed authority! With great delightful humor I recall my high school history teacher’s love for teaching with authority. Casual observance would estimate her avoirdupois to be approximately 300 pounds, so you can picture this: Twenty-five ninth graders are in their typical rowdy “don’t like boring history class” mood, when Mrs. B. enters the room, whispering the roll call. In a matter of seconds, these perceptive scholars notice Mrs. B. is experiencing laryngitis. This is the perfect time to ignore her raspy voice, so the volume of raucous behavior heightens, only to antagonize Mrs. B. to the next level in order to gain control. She steps onto the desk chair, but seeks to acquire a more authoritative presence by climbing onto the sturdy (we hope) wooden desk. With every ounce of remaining strength, Mrs. B. engages inflamed vocal cords to restore order…and the students inwardly congratulate themselves, “We did it again!”
Of course the foregoing story is silly at best, but perhaps it will serve to illustrate just how significant it is that our Master Teacher instructs with the authority that is inspired by the God of the universe. It is not usurped. It is not arrogant. It is not contradictory. It is not self-serving. On the contrary, it is full of grace and truth. It inspires. It informs. It convicts. (RB Kuhn)

Lord, preserve me from misusing my authority; help me to lead with confidence that comes from submitting to the authority of my Savior.

This devotional is the Thursday, May 26, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.