In the eighth chapter of New Testament book of Matthew, a remarkable story unfolds. Jesus is asked to heal the sick child of a Roman Centurion. When Jesus agrees to see the child the centurion makes a remarkable statement; “I too am a man of authority and under authority. You don’t need to come to my house, just say the word and the child will be healed.”
This is a tremendous statement. It gives a refreshing and important insight into leadership. The centurion had authority. People reported to him, His position held sway over people. When he gave an order, his orders we followed. But the centurion understood that his authority came from a greater authority. He was powerful because he himself was under the authority of someone else. The centurion was well aware that to have authority you must be under another’s authority.
This Roman leader recognized this was true of Jesus as well. In his statement he makes it clear he understands Jesus has the authority to heal his child. The centurion believes Jesus can exercise his authority by the mere saying of the word. He recognizes that Jesus must be under some other authority to have the power he demonstrates to heal. Jesus was indeed under the authority of God and apart from God, he could do nothing.
Every leader must consider and understand where their authority and power originates. An important ingredient of leadership is to show gratitude. If you are in a position of power and authority, recognize where it comes from and to whom you are responsible. Then show gratitude.
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