How Jesus Disrupts Authority | Gig Harbor | Chapel Hill Online

How Jesus Disrupts Authority | Gig Harbor | Chapel Hill Online

What comes to mind when you hear that someone has authority? Do you picture them as being commanding and harsh? Is it someone you have to tiptoe around? Join Pastor Ellis as he explores how James and John chose to seek authority, and what Jesus taught them about where true authority comes from.

Thinking Further:
Read Mark 10:35-45
1. What positions of authority has God put you in, for example parent, leader at your workplace or with your clients and customers? Do you ever struggle to use that authority well?
2. What does Jesus say in the text about how to exercise your authority well?
3. Which of the three areas that Pastor Ellis spoke about did you most connect with (suffering, service and sacrifice)? Why?
4. What could you do this week to exercise your authority in a way that looks more like the example of Jesus?

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Mark 10:35-45
March 14, 2021

When I was a teenager, I took a bus to school. Now it wasn’t like your yellow American school buses. It was more like the coach that you would ride if you were taking a bus tour around a foreign country. And it also wasn’t like your yellow American school buses in that it was only filled with boys, because I went to an all-boys school. And let me tell you, 50 teenage boys with all sorts of hormones flying around, trapped inside a tin-can for 30 minutes twice/day is a recipe for disaster.

We used to play this game called “bundle” where we would call out the name of someone and around a dozen boys would jump into their seat and pile on top of them. And if you were stuck on the bottom of the bundle, it was rough. We were convinced that one day we would smash the window with the pressure of all those sweaty boys.

And who was tasked with controlling all these hormonal boys? The bus driver. This week I was reflecting with my wife Rachel that we had some bus drivers who gained our respect, and others who completely lost it. In fact, for those who lost our respect, we were awful in the things we said to them. I remember one bus driver getting so mad, he pulled up to the school offices, instead of the normal drop off zone, locked us in the bus and went inside to get the principal. As I was reflecting this week, I started to wonder, what was it that allowed one bus driver to command respect and another not to. They both had the same authority over us, so how was it that one person exercised that authority well and the other didn’t?

Maybe you find yourself in a position of authority. Maybe it’s over a lot of people, like leading a large team of people at your workplace, or small, like parenting your kids or grandkids. Maybe it’s authority you have over your customers or clients, or maybe it’s authority you have in your role as a teacher, or medical professional. And maybe you have struggled with exercising that authority well, like some of our bus drivers did. I know I struggle with how to well exercise the authority I have over my kids at home. If it was a job, I’m pretty sure I would have been tempted to quit by now. So how do we exercise authority well? In the next few minutes, I hope to share the answer that Jesus gives to that question.
Jesus the Subversive Leader

My name is Ellis, and I am one of the pastors here at Chapel Hill. Welcome to all of you who are joining us, both in-person and online. And, it’s Mother’s Day in my homeland, so I want to say a quick happy Mother’s Day to my mum, and my mother-in-law who are joining us online.

We’re launching a new series today called “Jesus the Subversive Leader.” We just spent several weeks looking at the topic of subversive leadership through the story of a man named Daniel, and we’re going to spend the next few weeks talking about how Jesus was the ultimate subversive leader. And if you’re worried about the idea of Jesus being subversive, let me read to you the definition of subversive: seeking or intending to subvert an established system or institution. I believe you will find over the next few weeks, that Jesus did in fact act subversively, but, ultimately, not for his own selfish motives, but for the benefit of the whole world. And today, we’re going to talk about how Jesus subverted authority.

We may be familiar with the phrase to “lord it over” someone. It conjures up images of bosses who exert their authority in harsh and demeaning ways, of husbands and fathers who abuse their families, or of masters forcing their servants to do horrific tasks. As we will see in our passage today, Jesus specifically calls out this way of exercising authority, and calls his followers to something different. We’re going to be looking at a passage that is found in one of the biographies of Jesus’ life, written by a man name Mark. Today’s story comes in chapter 10…

To see the full transcript, go to and click on “notes.”