When we hear the word “authority” in our culture, we think of a lot of different things. Most often, though, we associate that word with control, or with wielding power in a negative way.
Yet biblical authority is much different. We know from the Great Commission that Jesus has been granted all the authority in the universe (Matt 28:18). What is unique about Biblical Authority is that it has a natural corollary-submission. In order for Jesus to say that all authority has been given to him, he is implying that the other members of the Trinity–the Father and the Spirit–have willingly given that authority to him. Even though all three members of the Godhead are equal, they willingly submit one to the other out of mutual love. They know something about authority that we sometimes forget:
Authority is a gift. Authority expresses love from the one submitting to the authority.
As leaders, we’ve been given a gift from the One with ultimate authority. Yet we’ve also been given the gift of submission from those we lead. Whether we are a husband, a parent, or a leader in a corporate or ministry position, we should recognize that whatever authority we have has been given to us by God, and continues to be given to us by those we lead.