Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Bonhoeffer: 7. the ministry of authority

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
    Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
    —Mark 10:42-44 (NIV)
    Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship:
    7. The ministry of authority

    Jesus made authority in the fellowship dependent upon brotherly service (Mark 10:43). Genuine spiritual authority is to be found only where the ministry of hearing, helping, bearing, and proclaiming is carried out. Every cult of personality that emphasizes the distinguished qualities, virtues, and talents of another person, even though these be of an altogether spiritual nature, is worldly and has no place in the Christian community; indeed, it poisons the Christian community...
    Genuine authority realizes that it can exist only in the service of Him who alone has authority... The Church does not need brilliant personalities but faithful servants of Jesus and the brethren...
    Pastoral authority can be attained only by the servant of Jesus who seeks no power of his own, who himself is a brother among brothers submitted to the authority of the Word.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 108-109 (see the book)
    See also Mark 10:42-44; Matt. 20:26-28; 23:8-12; Mark 9:35; Luke 9:48; 14:11; John 13:13-17; 18:36; 1 Tim. 3:2-7; 1 Pet. 5:5-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, fit my heart to be led, according to Your will.

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