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A Man Under Authority (Luke 7)

A Man Under Authority (Luke 7) September 17, 2003

Why does the centurion in Luke 7 say that he is a man “under” (Greek, hupo ) authority? It seems more reasonable for him to say that he is a man having authority. And what does he mean when he says “I also (Greek, kai ) am a man under authority”? Clearly he sees Jesus as a man under authority, and therefore a man having authority. Though this seems paradoxical, it is not. The centurion’s word only carried the weight it did because he was under the authority of a general/commander who could back up his word. Jesus’ words, similarly, bear authority because he is under authority of His Father. And this same pattern holds across the board. Only those under authority actually have authority. Rebels may exercise power, but submission is the only path to authority.


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