authority [power]in heaven and on earth
has been given to me."
The above is what Christ told his disciples before ascending to heaven. In the literal translation "authority" is used while in some others translations "power" is used. This may be due to the fact that authority and power are indivisible in the person of Christ. However, there is a distinction between the two. Authority refers to the right to exercise power while power indicates one's ability and means to carry out decisions made.
Even before the Ascension the Jewish people realized that Christ spoke with authority as is written, "He spoke as a man having authority and not as one of the scribes." (Mt 7:29) They were also amazed to see Jesus commanding demons to come out of the possessed and they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." (Mk 1:28)
The passage above also indicated that Christ was given authority. "As God, equal with the Father, all power [and authority] was originally and essentially his; but as Mediator, as God-man, all power was given him; partly in recompense of his work (because he humbled himself, therefore God thus exalted him ), and partly in pursuance of his design; he had this power given him over all flesh, that he might give eternal life to as many as were given him (Jn. 17:2), for the more effectual carrying on and completing our salvation." (Matthew Henry Commentary of the Whole Bible, Mt 28)
Christ authority was absolute. He never made a mistake and never had to apologize for making one. Yes, he spoke of divine absolute truths by using figurative language (parables) or the I-Thou language of interpersonal relationships e.g. "I and the Father are one." (Jn 10:30) but the truth thus transmitted is eternal. Christ understood what he proclaimed absolutely and completely while we understand only in part.
The authority of Christ is based on the belief that He is the Son of God in human nature, but this faith is not without supporting reasons that Christ speaks the truth with divine authority. He said to the Jews, "Can any of you charge me with sin? If I am telling the truth, why do you not believe me?" (Jn 8:46) In other words since Christ was not a sinner, he did not lie and is telling the truth. The coming of Christ was foretold in prophecy during the course of Jewish history. For example, they knew exactly where he was to be born. The Magi who inquired in Jerusalem where the new born king of the Jews was to be found, the Jewish leaders told them in Bethlehem of Judea as foretold by the prophet Macah(Micah 5:2) "Neither Zoroaster nor Confucius, nor Mohammed, nor Buddha could cite any prophecies about themselves." Further, Christ "signs" or miracles bear witness that what He said was true. On one occasion at Capernaum he forgave the sins of a paralyzed man. The Jews thought he was blaspheming because only God can forgive sins. Jesus knowing their thoughts said to them "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"--he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." (Mk 2:10-11)
In conclusion, Jesus as the Son of God made man has divine authority and power which is evident to any reasonable man or woman.
3. Authority of Peter