Live Under Divine Authority (Deep Think #23)

Live Under Divine Authority (Deep Think #23)
Live under divine authority Calm Before the Storm (pastel) by Polly Castor

In the whole career of Jesus, it is recorded only twice that he “marveled.” Once was at the unbelief of the people in Nazareth. The other, more importantly, was when he encountered the Roman centurion, who said to Jesus, “I am also a man set under authority.” Because of this he was able to tell others to, “Go, and he goeth,” he understood that Jesus, also a servant to an even higher power, would be able to do the same thing. He asserted to Jesus, full of clear conviction, “Speak thy word, and my servant shall he healed.”

This was so surprising because most people thought, like Pilate did, that “authority” meant you were the boss, and could do whatever you felt like. The centurion’s understanding of what it meant to exert influence based on being a servant instead of a boss, “under authority,” was very different– unusually fresh and welcome. To be under authority is revealed to actually be a manifestation and consequence of conforming to the absolute above and beyond you, and is completely the opposite of will power or human hubris.

Are we conforming to the absolute? To the degree we are conforming to the absolute, we are living under authority, and we can do what Jesus did. He stood in front of Lazarus’ tomb and demanded, “Lazarus, come forth.” He stilled the storm by saying. “Peace, be still.”  Jesus spoke with authority to all forms of error, evil, sin, disease, and death. Are we?

First, we must conform to the absolute. To do that, we must become well acquainted with it. Jesus spent large chunks of time on mountain tops doing just this; it takes study, effort, prayerful communion, selfless devotion, and obedience. Then we must align ourselves seamlessly with this highest sense of what is, jettisoning our unworthy lower tendencies. Once we do that, we can be like Jesus, and go about “doing good.”

How thoroughly do we understand God’s nature? How closely are we exemplifying God’s qualities and attributes? When you can answer these questions like Jesus could, you can do as he did, living under divine authority, quickly healing, in a direct few words, whatever is unlike God.

Live Under divine authority Sailing the High Seas (acrylic) by Polly Castor
I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Dilys 5 months ago

    Thank you, Polly, for your insightful interpretation of this story. I shall look at it in a new light from now on! XX

  2. Elizabeth 5 months ago

    Thank you for this, Polly. It sheds a bright light on “let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me…” in our church Daily Prayer.

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