Nothing operates without authority, in this world. This is why, even species evolve after their own kind. A donkey cannot produce a goat. The seed of any plant, germinates according to the nature of that plant. However, irregular things have happened in this world, like a horse mating with a donkey to produce a mule.
This is just as we know that in a sinful world, such as ours, GMO foods have become the norm. Such developments are mostly engaged by humans, but without authority. The principle of lawlessness is to engage in things that disregard the original source.
Actually, authority implies the original source, under which anything behaves or operates. Anything operating without authority is illegal. Even in book writing, using someone’s works without permission is called plagiarism. Doing so attracts criminal charges.
In this universe, there are only two authorities. One is legal and the other is illegal. These are represented in order and confusion. The authority of order comes from God, who created all things. And the authority of confusion is attributed to Satan, the architect of disorder and distortions.
As custodians of God’s laws, the Jews seemed to know about the importance of authority. They were aware of Satan’s authority in causing confusion, characterized in demonic forces. At one point, the Chief priests and the scribes challenged Jesus’ authority:
“……By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”—they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things” (Mark 11:28-33) (ESV).
However, their challenge did not have any merit. They had failed to appreciate the source of the authority of their own religion, in the first place. They thought they were good at interpreting laws, but unable to apply those laws.
They appreciated the miraculous birth of John the Baptist, having been the son of one of their priests, Zachariah. There had not been any question on the authority of John having been a prophet from God.
Jesus simply asked them of their opinion concerning John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17). Though being the Son of God, Jesus had to be baptized by John. In His human capacity, Jesus got His ministerial authority from John the Baptist:
“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11) (ESV)
As a prophet, John the Baptist had authority, according to the pattern of the Old Covenant. It was John the Baptist who introduced Jesus, as the authority of the New Covenant according to the prophecies (John 1:29).