Jesus rebukes an evil spirit. Those around Jesus soon learn that he speaks and acts with authority. The root of authority is author. If I’m the author of a book, then I speak with authority. Jesus is described elsewhere in the Bible as ‘The author of life’. (Acts 3:15). Who better to speak and act with authority?
The way that Jesus influences situations is to do with who he is, and not the power that he has. Contrast that with the comment about the scribes -the religious leaders- who do not speak with authority.
Power is about position, and strength, and being able to make people do things even if they do not want to. Authority comes from who you are as a person.
I discovered early on in my teaching career that although I had a limited amount of power, in the end, what I needed was to have authority. That authority needed to be a part of who I was as a person, and what I said and did needed to be fair, if the students were to respect me.
I’m reminded again of EAPPI, (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Israel and Palestine), which is based on acting not with power but with the authority that comes from resistance to evil in a non violent manner.