A few years ago, an Anglican chaplain with whom I was working at the hospital asked me if I knew the difference between “power” and “authority.” Then he gave an illustration of the difference. “Suppose,” he said, ”that you're sitting in the middle lane at a traffic light, waiting for the light to change. on your left is a Porche, with a huge horsepower, just waiting to streak away like a rocket. That is power! On your right is the biggest, shiniest eighteen-wheeler you ever saw, with chrome exhaust pipes and a cab that looks two stories high, and it’s rumbling like a thousand snarling lions, waiting for the light to change. That's power!
But just before the light begins to change, you see a highway patrolman, in shiny boots and spit-and-polish uniform. His car is parked across the way. He’s evidently filling in for the school crossing paddle pop lady. He walks to the centre of the street and holds up his hand. All the traffic comes to a stop. You wait. The Porche waits. The eighteen-wheeler waits, and a tiny little girl with a backpack walks slowly across the busy intersection. The rumbling engines may have power. But the patrolman has the authority”
Just like the drivers in the outside and inside lanes, the Scribes could make a lot of noise and show off a lot with their pompous knowledge, arguing from sunrise to sunset on obscure points of law. But only Jesus had both power and authority that was recognised by demons. He also has the power and authority to command their instant, unquestioning obedience.
Here’s the important point: the Scribes never yielded to the wisdom and truth of Jesus Christ. Now it is your turn: will you recognise, trust and yield to the authority of Jesus, or will you follow your own opinions?
Jesus delegated his Mission to his chosen disciples, the Apostles, who passed it on to their successors, the Bishops. Do you respond to their authority (which comes from Jesus Christ)? Do you prefer to cling to your own opinions? Are you a proud Scribe or a humble disciple?