When someone does not consider the Bible to be the Word of God, we can certainly expect that they will look elsewhere for an ultimate authority. There is something else that is just as troubling as those who frankly admit that they do not consider the Bible to be inspired by God. Some who consider themselves to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:10-11 are more diligent to defend their favorite teachers than the Bible itself. This does not leave a good witness!
Jesus astonished the people of His day, proving Himself to be an authority above that of the Scribes and Pharisees. He showed them there was no authority above God Himself, including their religious leaders. Yet today, many look to the authority of Church leaders, teachers, and those who proclaim themselves to be prophets or apostles.
The Romans and the Pharisees did not have the authority or the power to take the life of Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God who came to earth to fulfill God’s plan of salvation by laying His life down as a perfect sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. I repeat: He laid His life down! No one had the power to take it from Him. Neither mankind nor the evil one had authority over Him then, just as they have no authority over Him now.
There are many ways we can think about God’s authority and our responsibility to it. One of the best human pictures we have of authority comes in the meeting Jesus had with the Centurion.
In chapter 19 of the Gospel of John there is an amazing exchange between Jesus and Pilate about authority. Pilate is questioning Jesus but it says, “Jesus gave him no answer” (19:9b). This had to be a great surprise to Pilate since he was probably expecting Jesus to beg him for His life.