Authority vs. Faith

Jesus gave authority to 70 people in Luke 10:19. He also gave authority to the 12 in another place. As far as I know He gave authority to these 82 people and to no one else. He had thousands of followers but only gave authority to 82. In each instance these people were to proclaim that the kingdom of God was near. Jesus also gave them authority to heal the sick and raise the dead.

Please bear in mind that all this was done prior to the coming of the kingdom of God and prior to the crucifixion of Jesus. When Jesus ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men. He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers. The Holy Spirit also distributed gifts such as the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, the effecting of miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, various kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:11, But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. Verse 18 says, But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

In speaking of these gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 says, “All are not apostles are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak in tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?” From these Scriptures it is evident that all Christians do not have the authority of Christ, otherwise, we could all exercise the same authority and do the same things. There would be no need for the gifts of the Spirit. 

The 82 people who proclaimed the coming of the kingdom of God weren’t given gifts of the Spirit. They were given authority to heal the sick and raise the dead. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given. They needed authority to do what they had to do. Now that the Holy Spirit has come, we no longer need authority, we only need faith in Jesus who gave Himself up for us. This is why Peter said the lame man at the gate of the temple was healed on the basis of faith in the name of Jesus. Peter didn’t need authority to do this, He had faith in Jesus.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant