Frank David Bennett was no more than 5’5” tall and well into his 70’s when I came to Louisiana College as a theater major. It was his last year of teaching and my first year on campus. I had received the only theater scholarship in the department, and I was also working in the theater set shop.
He was a small man, but with one stroke of the pen, he could have ended my scholarship and my job in the theater. I could have been relegated to working in the cafeteria, which would have been the worst-case scenario for me as an 18-year-old freshman. His authority was paramount that year as a freshman. He knew it and I knew it.
That’s the thing about authority. The strongest police officer can’t literally stop a car, but with the one hand, he or she can command the brakes of law-abiding citizens. Why? Because we yield to authority. Jesus seemed like an unusual authority figure to many people he encountered, but surprisingly, a centurion recognized his authority and received a great reward.