Friday, December 14, 2012

Position, Title, and Authority

“and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year”
(John 18:13 NIV)

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
(Hebrews 4:14–15)

“So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”;”
(Hebrews 5:5)

It is interesting that in the book of John and among commentators there is much discussion of who the high priest was when Jesus was arrested. Most commentator say that Caiaphas held the office of high priest at that time, but that his father-in-law, Annas had formerly held that office and still continued to exercise its authority.

And yet the during the whole farce of a process, the real high priest was the one on trial. Yet Jesus had laid aside His office of authority in order to live life as the Son of Man.

I must be very careful when talks turn to "authority" and "submission" and titles. These things do exist, but they are not what is important in the sight of God. Jesus is the ultimate authority and all real authority must be derived from Him, not from the constructs of man. Jesus is the real army branch director, the real seattle metro leader, and any other "position of authority" that I may be placed in. I only have any real authority as I act in harmony with what Jesus would do in that role.


  1. Thanks Al, This is a great reminder in my ministry and vocation. All authority is from God. Jn 19.10-11

  2. Great word Al, When I was an O-3 onboard the USS Bainbridge, one of my men screwed up and I was put on restriction for a week on the ship. I got 'grounded'. All 580 crew members, both officers and enlisted laughed and mocked me when I mustered with all the junior enlisted men who had been placed on restriction. On my knees, alone in my stateroom, I was crying out to God for help and for justice. I was memorizing John 18 at the time, and when Jesus was before Pilate, Pilate stated to Jesus, "Do you not know that I have power to release you or to crucify you..." Jesus calmly responded, "You would have no power over me unless it had been granted to you from the Father..." At that point, the Lord told me, "Your CO would have no power over you except what I have given to him. Your 'beef' is not with your CO, your 'beef' is with me... the real reason you are on restriction is that you are rebellious in your spirit to authority... all authority. You need to repent of this evil of arrogance and yield to your CO in your spirit. He is MY representative. Your rebellion in your spirit against this earthy authority is really rebellion against Me..." I immediately repented. I had to go through this 'suffering' for God to get my attention.
    From that day on, that particular CO, whose nickname was 'DARTH' and for good reason, never yelled or cursed at me again. He yelled and cursed at every other 'khaki' (officer and NCO--E7 and above), but never yelled at me...
    Great insight into this passage on the High Priest. I had never made that connection before.