Jesus did not only create the seen and unseen things of the natural world, but also conceptual entities like hierarchies of authorities in heaven and earth. When we think of Him as Creator, we usually don’t go that far, do we? We just focus on the physical things of our world.
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1:16).
Jesus created these ranks of authorities to further His purposes. His authority is exercised through authorities on the heavenly and earthly levels. This explains why our arch-enemy would attack order in our families, government, and business, even crippling our churches with its members’ expressing lack of recognition of church authority. (Can anyone say director-choir spats?)
Just like Jesus Christ’s name has been maligned as a curse word to denigrate His person, so spiritual enemies disrupt the systems of authority to further distort the authority of God. When we don’t recognize God’s authority, our relationship to Him as children in training to be sons who rule with Him is in jeopardy. For in the end, Christ is setting up a kingdom that will be exercised by people who faithfully represent His interests, who act under His authority. When the principles of authority are vague, so will our training be as well.
Jesus will come again, and He will remove all earthly powers and set up His own government composed of believers He has trained to be depended on to maintain the values of the kingdom even when facing personal trials. These are the ones He can trust on a throne to rule firmly from His standards — in spite of opposition from outside and inside.
The scriptures tell us to obey our government (Romans 13:1-7). When we secretly disobey, like deliberately going through a red light or reporting less of our income than we should, we flout authority. If we are willing to do that, then chances are, we don’t observe a clear-cut authority structure in our homes, either.
Casual observance of authority in the home might mirror our stance toward the authority of the Bible. We may submit to Christ’s authority, or question it. We may want to know His will for our lives, or just go our own ways. The Bible summed up the ancient Israelite’s lack of following God as “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). This is the trend of lives which don’t acknowledge the authority of God.
Sin and rejecting the authority of God go hand in hand. When we follow sinful impulses without resistance, Jesus is not ruling on the throne of the heart. We cannot serve two masters.
Jesus set the example of surrender to the Father’s authority. He who was above all humbled Himself to be a servant of men (Philippians 2:1-11). He planned nothing of Himself, but His attitude was, “Not My will, but Thine be done.”
Jesus’ service was in response to God’s command. He acknowledged that He could do nothing without God (John 5:19), even His actions and words were directed by God (John 14:10). In the end, Jesus showed exactly what the Father was like because the Father lived through the Son (John 14:9).
In that oneness, the Father did not take over the Son’s body and mind. Jesus was always in control, always quietly alert to the Father’s promptings, always surrendered and obedient to the still small voice. This is mature Lord/servant behavior. This is spiritually healthy obedience to authority in action.
Jesus created authorities. He lived a life of continual submission to God’s authority in His life on earth so that we can see what it looks like in daily living. I want that life, don’t you?
Our response to God’s authority and to man’s, therefore, act as a barometer of surrender in our lives. “Jesus is Lord” means surrender to Him as the final authority, where His word is accepted without question. Let’s be those who respond to the Lord’s command with “Yes, Lord” and not “Maybe later.”