“For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Luke 7:8 NKJV)
Let’s face it: most of us don’t like people in authority. We put our foot on the brake instinctively if we see a police car while we’re driving. We don’t like people telling us what to do, where to go, or who to talk to. We want freedom, and that means we don’t want to listen to anyone who gives us instructions. The Roman centurion understood authority. The Roman Army was highly structured, and a centurion was under the authority of what we would call generals, colonels, or majors. They told the centurions what to do and the centurions carried out their orders by telling their men (about 80 in most cases) what to do. This centurion was highly favored among the Jews, and when he looked for help, people sent him to Jesus. When he heard that Jesus was coming, though, he asked Jesus not to come. Jesus could speak the words from wherever He was and those under His authority would obey – and he knew that Jesus had authority over sickness, death, and demons in a way that many in Israel didn’t.
Dealing with authority is one of the hardest parts of any job. Sometimes we’re the lowest person in the hierarchy and everybody tells us what to do. At other times, we’re the person in charge and others have to listen to us. How did you deal with authority today? If you were the head honcho in charge, did you use your authority wisely to the benefit of all those you work with? If you’re under authority did you respond appropriately when the person in charge exercised their leadership? How can you deal with authority tomorrow in a way that glorifies God?
Lord, I gotta be honest and say that I chafe under authority – even Yours. You guide me, and I stubbornly go my own way. The boss gives leadership, and if I follow, I do so with a bad attitude because I think I know better. Help me follow authority exercised properly and let me lead others in the right way when I have authority over others.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.