Authority. Webster’s defines it as the power to influence or command thought, opinion or behavior. In the Greek New Testament, the word is exousia, encompassing not just power, but the right and ability to accomplish something.
Jesus has all authority.
Earlier in Matthew’s gospel, a centurion came to Jesus because he understood authority. Because of his position, the centurion gave orders with the backing of the Roman emperor. When he ordered his troops, when he dispensed punishment, when he made routine decisions, everything was done the way he said because he had a measure of authority. The centurion also understood what it meant to be under authority. When his superiors gave an order, or when the emperor issued a decree, he didn’t hesitate to obey because he knew their power over him.
He came to Jesus because he understood even disease itself is under Jesus’s authority.
Christ Jesus, our Lord
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. John 13:13
We call Jesus, Lord, and by that, we acknowledge we are under His authority. We cling to the knowledge that His authority means He has sovereign control over all the circumstances of our lives. We retreat there when things go wrong, and take comfort and reassurance in it.
But authority also carries the power and the right to command. When Jesus commands, “Go,” or “Don’t do this,” or “Love,” or “Give,” or “Give this up,” we’re not nearly as enamored with His authority. The two are inseparable, though. Lord is an all-or-nothing thing.
The reality is that Jesus IS Lord whether we acknowledge it or not. Philippians 2 echoes the truth of Matthew 28:18. Paul states, Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
The authority belongs to Jesus. We have the blessing and privilege of recognizing and attesting that now.