Matthew 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Introductory Thoughts

Authority resides upon those who have the right to rule; but, unfortunately, it is not always combined with the ability to rule wisely. In the most basic sense, authority is the right and responsibility to rule others as given to one individual by another. The centurion in Matthew 8:9 expressed this truth when he said that his authority gave him the right to issue commands to his soldiers. The apostle Paul referred to his authority to call for the arrest and persecution of Christians (Acts 9:14; Acts 26:10, 12). This truth was also taught in the parable of the nobleman and his servants where the reward given was authority to rule over cities (Luke 19:17). Unfortunately, this desire for authority over others has been the source of problems and troubles throughout history.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God established authority in the home (1 Corinthians 11:3), in the church (Hebrews 13:7, 17), and in the land (Romans 13:1-4). These people have the right to rule. What does the Bible say would happen if there were no authority (Judges 21:25; 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40)?
• (For everyone): Why is authority so very important? Why is it important that the right kind of people exercise the right type of authority over others? Why is it important that men be under the right authority?
• Name some people who have some authority in your life. Name some people over which you have been given authority. What are your responsibilities toward each group?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask the Lord to teach you about authority.
• Ask God to give you wisdom if you are currently in some type of authority.