Why do we have so much trouble following Peter’s simple admonition? Why is there so much rebellion against authority? From disobeying the President right down to the Mayor folks fight submission. Is it pride? Do we think we’re smarter than the authorities or just better? Husband and wives both want their own way, neither cares to submit to the needs or desires of the other. Students rebel against teachers and employees against their employers. Something is wrong but it’s not God.
Peter says we should submit for the Lord’s sake. Not for the other person’s sake. Not for the President’s sake or the Mayor. No, we should submit for the Lord’s sake not because of the teacher or our spouse or our employer. For truth, none of us can say we are smarter than the Lord and none of us can say we are better than the Lord. We don’t even get close.
If we submit to the Lord then we have to submit to others because he asks us to do so. Earthly authorities are given to us by God for a purpose. We might not like them. They might be of a different party, or different race, or different persuasion. They might actually be more ignorant than us. In some respects we might be better. But they are the appointed authorities and as such we should submit.
What about husband and wives? Culture tells us that the men are in charge. God created woman to be a helper not a slave. In Christ there is neither male nor female. Paul says they are to submit to each other. This is not about who’s stronger, smarter, better. It’s about pleasing God.
Shepherds can’t lord it over the sheep even though the sheep are to submit to the shepherds. The authority in the church is Christ. Shepherds feed and watch not order and command. They are not smarter or better either. They have a job which requires them to demonstrate a certain amount of authority. In that regard the church must submit. But keep in mind that the church is to submit to one another and that includes the shepherds.