God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27) and even though God authorized them to have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth (Genesis 1:28) and to care for the land (Genesis 2:15), mankind was understood to still be under the leadership of God.
All human leaders are under the authority of God. All leaders, no matter what power they may hold, are accountable to God and responsible for using their authority in accordance to God’s will.
Likewise, the Church, congregations and their leaders are under the authority of Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church. Popes, bishops, pastors, lay leaders and every baptized person is accountable to God and responsible for using the authority given in accordance with God’s will.
How serious do we take this biblical view? How does being under the leadership of God or Christ or those who have been given authority by God impact the way we live?
Read this story of leadership and authority as told in Luke’s Gospel (7:1-9):
After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with 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.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.