Submission, Authority, and Power

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 

But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:13–17 

Why Did Jesus Have to Submit to Baptism? 

John was the last bearer of the Law and the Prophets and carried the anointing of the Word…  

Jesus was submitting to the Law and the Prophets through the Baptist. 

Only then did he receive the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 

but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5–11

There was no record of Jesus doing miracles before his Baptism. As a man, he was not able to do miracles in his own strength and nature. The power came through his total reliance and dependence upon His Father and The Holy Spirit. 

When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 

For I too am a man 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.” 

When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 

And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. Matthew 8:5–13 ESV


What was the Centurion’s Faith?   


His authority came through his submission to his generals and ultimately the Emperor.  

He recognized Jesus’ authority over disease came from his submission to God the Father. He was under command authority so he had authority to command.


Submission is not Servility.  It is a willing sacrifice of self-esteem in order to esteem others more highly than yourself. It is to excel in giving honor to others.  


Think about this: John the Baptist was an imperfect man, and yet the perfect man, Jesus, submitted to his anointing.   


We submit to the Word of God in a Man, but we give honor to the man through whom God is speaking and using.  Just as we are to give honor to one another. 


Note:  We are not to submit to anything ungodly or contrary to the Word of God, even if told to do so by those in authority.  We give honor to those in authority who are imperfect like ourselves and cannot expect them to be without flaws before we give them honor. 


We also allow for disagreements over minor interpretations of scripture. I have seen more pride coming from those who think they have the only avenue to the truth than from those who give grace and allow for different interpretations on matters not essential to the faith. 

There are 2 types of submission that God honors: 

1, is to those in authority, whether natural or spiritual; and

2, the other is to one another in mutual submission and honor.


Psalm 133:1–3 ESV

Behold, how good and pleasant it is

when brothers dwell in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,

How does submission work in practice? At work, you submit to your boss; on a worship team you submit to the worship leader; in a church you submit to pastors and elders who are to lead and guide you in all gentleness and humility and to bring correction when necessary. 

1 Peter 5:1–11

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 

shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 

not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 

To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

You can’t resist the devil unless and until you submit yourself to God. Otherwise, you are in the devil’s hands. 

Examples of Effectiveness: 

Submission is the lamp connected to the light switch.  

No King but Jesus:  Protestants vs. Catholics

Flesh:  Independent Self Will – Do it on our own, decide for ourselves, don’t need to rely upon God. Self-Made Man, Be All You Can Be. It isn’t really a sin.  (Haughtiness)

 Baptism of Jesus, Why did he have to submit to John and be Baptized?