When the Pharisees challenge Jesus’ authority (Matthew 21), he turns the tables on them by asking them if they thought that John the Baptist’s ministry was from God. Out of fear for the people and not wanting to look like hypocrites, they refuse to answer. Jesus in turn refuses to answer them as to where his authority came from. The fact of the matter is that Jesus’ authority came from himself and from the Father.
The apostle Paul speaks about this in Philippians 2:5-7, where he describes Jesus’ per-existence as a part of the Godhead. He goes further to explain how Jesus limited himself in becoming a man and even allowed himself to be killed. We often think that Jesus’ greatest sacrifice was dying on the cross, but his greatest sacrifice was giving up his divine power, becoming a man and trusting completely in the Father.
So when Paul says that our attitude should be the same as that of Christ (Philippians 2:5), should we then also consider sacrifice to be of greater importance than authority. Even though we, as Christians, have great authority through Christ, sometimes we could achieve more by laying that authority aside and submitting to the greater authority of God.