A Man Under Authority
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.” [Luke 7:6-7 ESV]
The centurion got it – he understood one does not truly have authority unless he also submits to authority. His “power” over his solders was because he submitted himself to those who had authority over him. If his soldiers didn’t do what he said, it was the Roman Empire, not the centurion, which ultimately dealt with the disobedience. Additionally, the centurion knew his continued power required he follow the desires of the Empire, rather than doing what he felt like doing.
The centurion had privileges that come with power, and he used those wisely. The Jews didn’t care for the occupying Romans, but they liked this man; they said he “was worthy” to have Jesus heal his servant.
While the Greek word used here is not the same as the one used when wives are told to submit, the principle is the same. If you’re not under God’s authority, you have no real authority over your wife. She is not given a pass if you’re out of line, but she’ll find it all but impossible no matter how hard she tries. Additionally, if you lead based on your desires rather than hearing and following God, you can expect many troubles in your life.
Being head is not your right; it’s your responsibility. It’s your responsibility even if you refuse to try, and it’s your responsibility even if she refuses to follow. In the first case, you’ll pay a price before God, in the second she will pay a price before God.
The truth is we can’t possibly do this job correctly unless we’re depending on God, and trying to do it without obedience to Him is going to end badly.