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Stewards Under Authority By Howard Rich


By Howard Rich ~

Those of us in leadership positions are in and under authority, and can learn a thing or two from another man under authority in Scripture. Matthew 8:5-13 teaches a great lesson on authority, where it comes from, and how to use it.

A centurion came to Jesus and asked if he would heal his paralyzed and suffering servant. In the Roman Army, a centurion led between 80 and 100 soldiers, and was in turn under sequentially higher commanders who operated under the authority of the Emperor. Each member of the military knew their place and responsibility in the hierarchy and chain of authority, which began at the Emperor and carried through to the lowest ranks. When the Centurion spoke about his ability to give orders to people under his command, he operated under the assurance that he was backed by the authority of his superiors and those under his command must obey.

The Centurion who came to Jesus cared for those under his leadership; he cared so much for his lowly servant that he reached out to a man who would shortly be condemned as an enemy of Rome. However, this Centurion seems to realize Jesus commands creation and has the power to heal his servant. Just as his servants must submit to him, all things must submit to Jesus. If Jesus commands it, it will be done.

Jesus led, know who he was, but he did not use that authority to gain privilege; he used it to encourage, equip, empower, and serve. His power was directly attributed to God. The origin of his authority is quickly demonstrated by his act of casting out the unclean spirit from the man who challenges him while he was teaching in the synagogue that day (Matthew 1:23-27).

This is a wonderful lesson to steward leaders.

As we submit our dominion to Jesus, he authorizes us to operate under his ownership authority. We are able to lead, give orders, and command all under the Lordship of Jesus. While doing this, we must heed the example of the centurion. Our authority is not for us; it is to further the will of Jesus and to care for all he has put under our authority.


Howard Rich is the VP of Operations for the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS).

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