In my last blog I discussed the recent subpoena by the city of Houston of the five local pastors who opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) mainly because of the bathroom ordinance. I shared what I would do if my sermons were subpoenaed. In a nut shell, I shared I would give them the sermons or go through the legal appeals process afforded me as a U. S. citizen. I would not simply choose to disobey the government. My rationale is Romans 13 commands us to place ourselves under our governmental authorities because they are ordained by God. In this blog I want to briefly elaborate on submitting to authority. A key to having kingdom authority is submitting to authority.
Examine Luke 7:1-10.
Luke 7:1-10 (HCSB)
1 When He had concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum.
2 A centurion’s slave, who was highly valued by him, was sick and about to die.
3 When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to Him, requesting Him to come and save the life of his slave.
4 When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with Him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this,
5 because he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.”
6 Jesus went with them, and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell Him, “Lord, don’t trouble Yourself, since I am not worthy to have You come under my roof.
7 That is why I didn’t even consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be cured.
8 For I too am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
9 Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, “I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel!”
10 When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
In this account we are introduced to a centurion who had a servant that was sick and near death according to verse 2. The centurion was a wealthy man and had built a synagogue for the Jews to worship at in Capernaum (vs. 5). This would make him a friend to the Jews. For this reason he sent Jewish elders to Jesus requesting Him to come save the life of this sick servant (vs. 3).
As Jesus is nearing Capernaum the centurion sends word telling Jesus not to come to his home. He tells Jesus he is not worthy to have Jesus come into his home and Jesus can say the word where He is and the servant will be healed. Verse 8 is a key verse to understanding kingdom authority. The centurion says he too is a man under authority giving orders for people to come and do this or that and they obey. The centurion would have 100 soldiers under his command and they would obey his orders. The reason he was given this authority is because he placed himself under authority. No military will allow a man to have authority over one hundred soldiers who would not place himself under his superiors’ authority. According to Warren Weirsbe the centurion saw a parallel to the way he commanded soldiers and Jesus commanded diseases. He is saying to Jesus I recognize you have authority to heal diseases and cast out demons because you are under your Father’s authority.
Jesus said the centurion had the greatest faith of anyone he had encountered in Israel (vs. 9) Jesus even marveled at this man’s faith. Imagine Jesus marveling at the faith of someone!
Here is the conclusion of this matter, all sincere Christians want authority. Fathers want to be the authority in their homes. Mothers want to have authority over their children. Pastors want to have authority in their churches and to preach with an anointing from God. We will never have this kingdom authority until we submit to God’s authority. Romans 13 clearly states this world’s governments are placed here by God and we are to submit to them unless the government compels us to sin or do something to hinder the Gospel. We must submit to authority to have authority. That is the way God ordains it for He will not give authority to a rebel. For more on kingdom authority I recommend you read Adrian Rogers book, “The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority.”