“And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at his teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29)
In our lives and work, we all answer to somebody. We are not alone, even in our perceived alone times, we really are not alone. Husbands and wives answer to each other, children answer to parents, employees answer to employers, CEO’s answer to board members, the self-employed answer to their customers, and on and on in every area of our lives, we generally answer to somebody.
When we see authority in operation, we usually respond in two ways, we agree and follow, or we disagree and go another way. Oftentimes, we do have a choice to follow our teachers and leaders, or not. Sometimes we simply wait and think about what we are told, or led to do, but obedience or refusal are the usual choices, unless there is an opportunity for options. People like options because they like to satisfy themselves.
Leadership comes in a variety of means and just because someone is in a position of leadership doesn’t mean that they are a real leader, they just hold the position of such. Real leaders are recognized in the authority they display. Not all leaders have real authority. The leaders may hold positions of authority, but choices are made in the follow-ship as to whether the authority will be recognized as real and true. People will follow a leader if they perceive realness and truthfulness, and that usually coincides with the connection of the walk matching the talk. Does the leader substantiate his leadership by his life and his work, or is he a hypocrite?
“As one having authority…” is to say that the people were astonished at the truthfulness and reality that Jesus displayed in His speaking. There was the drawing and wooing of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ breath that led the people to believe that ‘this man has authority!’ When they compared His life teaching to that of the scribes who knew the scriptures but were unable to live out the love of God in what they taught; the comparison was too easy to make. Real authority exudes from the heart and if the leader has no heart in the matter, he has no real authority. Jesus was all heart and Spirit and His authority was recognized by the people as real and true.
Do we display true authority as He did when we speak? Or, are we viewed as a scribe who knew the letter of the law, but not the author of it?