"And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, 'By what power or by what name did you do this?'" Acts 4:7
No matter what the structure, no matter who is involved, authority tends to fall into question at some time or another. It seems a natural tendency for sinful humanity to resist authority. Resistance begins very early. Toddlers resist their parents, refusing to sit still or to eat their food.
The Apostles were the first recorded disciple-makers under the authority of Jesus Christ. They taught and proclaimed Jesus and the resurrection from the dead. Peter and John were arrested for this. The Jewish leaders questioned the disciples’ authority on two fronts: the first, their veracious authority - by what means did they derive their authority, they were uneducated, not experts in theology. Second, inherit authority, from whom or what source were they authorized to speak and to act as healers and teachers. Peter and John responded, “by the name (authority) of Jesus Christ of Nazareth … whom God raised from the dead…” The evidence was seen as clear. The religious authorities recognized the disciples had been with Jesus and the healed man was clear evidence of their authority, vv.13-16. Even so the Jewish leaders resisted that evidence.
Whenever authorities clash, the higher authority rules. For us, that should be obvious, Acts 5:29. But another point surfaces and that is time spent with Jesus astonishes the so-called learned. To be a disciple of Christ is to be a student of his word. Therefore, in addition to devotions and prayer, we must study the scriptures. We become authoritative when we can proclaim the scriptures and we act in ways that declare, “we’ve been with Jesus.”
--E.C. Malone 10/18/2015