Authority may come with the position. Okay, Barney Fife may not be the complete picture of authority, but he thought he had it.
Pharaoh definitely had authority, and he even believed he had divine authority. However, Pharaoh's paranoid anxiety over the increasing Hebrew population made him rather nutty. He decided that concentration camps weren't enough; the new-born Hebrew baby boys needed to be killed. He summoned the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah (only two?), and ordered them to kill the male babies upon birth.
To his face, they obeyed. Afterward, they mocked him by disobeying. When the male babies kept appearing, Pharaoh challenged Shiphrah and Puah. The midwives gave him a goofy answer that they knew he was nutty enough to believe. They knew God had highest authority. How did they know that?
In Matthew, Jesus comes to a point where he thinks it's a good idea to quiz his disciples and see how things are going. (Spoiler: disappointment awaits.)
First, he ask about what other people are saying about him. The disciples stumble around with different answers. Then he tries to get them to focus and asks, Who do you say that I am? While the others are looking at each other, the sky, and their feet, Peter jumps in and gets it right for once.
These are great stories about the faithful recognizing the sacred. Frankly, that isn't so easy, even with Jesus standing right in front of you. Check out the full story with the sermon video below and note the downloads below the video panel.