Luke 20:20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

Introductory Thoughts

Although one individual may possess both power and authority, the two are not identical. Authority is the right or responsibility to do something whereas power is the ability to do something. Unfortunately, the modern versions missed this truth when they translated Matthew 28:18. Instead of properly expressing that because of the resurrection the Lord Jesus had been given all power in heaven and earth, these so-called bibles suggest that He had been instead given authority. The authority already resided with Him, but the resurrection declared Him “to be the Son of God with power” (Romans 1:4). His resurrection from the dead gave Him the power over death by conquering the one who possessed the power of death (Hebrews 2:14).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God gave fathers the authority to rule the home. Read Genesis 18:19; Genesis 35:1-4; 1 Samuel 3:12-13. Which fathers ruled with power? Those in authority in the church must first exercise the right authority and power in the home (1 Timothy 3:4, 5, 12).
• (For everyone): Why is it important in your own life to learn the difference between power and authority? What are some areas in which you might have one without the other?
• Why is it important to learn the limitations of authority? How will this truth help you to live a life of faith in the power of God rather than one with the power of your own flesh?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to teach you the limitations on your authority.
• Ask God to show you your need for His help in your daily work.