“katexousiazō”

Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: kä-te-ksü-sē-ä’-zō
  • Strongs Concordance: #G2715
    • to exercise authority, wield power
  • Appears 2 times in 2 verses in the New Testament
  • Common Translations
    • “exercise authority over” (2x)

How katexousiazō is used in the New Testament

  1. Matthew 20:25-28 – “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””

  2. Mark 10:42-45 – “Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.  But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””

My observations and perspective

Katexousiazō is used in two of three descriptions of the same event in the gospels. In this event,  Jesus’ disciples are arguing over the positions they want to have when Jesus is glorified.

‘And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.”’ – Mark 10:36-37

As mentioned elsewhere in this book, Jesus was about to lower himself to a level of humility that had never existed and never will again. The King of the Universe was about to submit himself to an unjust death in order to redeem us from the sin and death. Notice again what the disciples asked. Now consider a few things:

“Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,” – John 17:1

While I cannot say this for certain, I have to wonder if Jesus was saying… “are you sure you want to be on my right and left when I’m glorified?” That would have cost them their lives, and very soon!

Jesus was communicating in several ways, through his words and actions that being a leader in His Kingdom meant placing oneself at the very bottom, even laying aside one’s very own life for others.

If the incarnate God of the Universe demonstrated such, never demanding obedience from his followers or disciples, how can any human being place themselves a position above another in the His Kingdom? Doing so would appear to directly violate Christ’s teaching and example, not to mention be taking a role higher than Christ himself took.

Jesus taught us that no servant is greater than their master. Therefore, I conclude that taking any right or privilege that Jesus himself did not take is something to be avoided.

These verses instruct us that two forms of authority are not appropriate in Christ’s Kingdom. See the section on katakyrieuō for the second use of authority Christ speaks against.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s