Standing with a group of pastors, chatting and fellowshipping and shooting the (sacred) bull, someone came out with this:
“I told him I’m the pastor of the church, that God sent me here as the overseer, and if he doesn’t like it, he can find another church.”
That brought nods of approval, even from a couple who knew they would never have the gumption to say such a thing. Even if they feel it.
But that pastor is wrong.
If anyone on earth had the right to pull rank on other people, it was our Lord Himself.
Yet, He never did.
Now, God the Father didn’t seem to mind doing it. Throughout the Old Testament the Almighty give commands and instructions to His people, then frequently added reminders that “I am the Lord!” The idea being that “I have a right to say this, I have the authority to back it up, and you disobey at your own peril.”
Take the fascinating 19th chapter of Leviticus, the source of our Lord’s favorite “second greatest commandment” about loving your neighbor as yourself. That chapter, thirty-seven verses long, contains numerous commands about treatment of foreigners, the poor, the vulnerable. Throughout, sixteen times we find God saying “I am the Lord.”
But the Lord Jesus did not pull rank on people.
When the religious big-shots grew rebellious over His abuse of the Sabbath as they saw it, Jesus reasoned with them: “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? to save a life? or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9) Make them think.