In the first chapter of Ephesians, there is so much emphasis placed on two particular subjects: Jesus’ current status and identity, and our identity and status through our union with him. Having been sealed, redeemed, and bestowed with a guaranteed inheritance and every spiritual blessing through Christ, it can be almost too easy to get caught up in what we’ve gained as laid out in Ephesians 1 and entirely miss Christ’s part in this:

 

Ephesians 1:20b-23

20[God] raised [Christ] out from among the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above every ruler, and authority, and power, and those having dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come; 22and he put all things in subjection under his feet and appointed him as the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

 

I have read (and glossed over) this section of Scripture so many times that it wasn’t until I finally took the time to read it slowly that it hit me: Christ has been placed above every ruler, and authority, and power, and everyone and everything in dominion who ever existed or ever will exist. And he is also the head of us, the Body.

I know we know that as Christians, but do we really know it?

How many times do we put other rulers, other figures of authority, ahead of Christ—intentionally or not? How often do we make someone else’s opinion paramount over Jesus’ words spoken to us, his commands to his Body? Do we really, truly seek to know and grasp the sheer awe-inspiring reality that the One we serve is above all others who have ever been—and then do we live out that reality?

When I came face-to-face with that understanding, a lot of excuses I’d hidden behind to avoid doing Jesus’ will suddenly shriveled and faded away.

We serve a Master who is not just a little above, not just a head above, but far above every ruler in this age. There is nothing that ought to surpass our determination to follow his commands and his example, to serve how and when and where and in the way he tells us to. Fulfilling our functions as members of the Body of Christ is the end to which we have been blessed and empowered. This is not just for our enjoyment but also for the betterment of the whole world, to the end of exhorting fellow believers and bringing more souls into the family of God.

Truly, nothing we fear, nothing we desire, and nothing we could ever hope to attain could be more important than the great commission from our Lord—the One who is over all things in this church of which we are members and disciples.