Obey Your Leaders and Submit to Their Authority (Hebrews 13:17)
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you” ( Hebrews 13:17 )
Did you know that one of the functions of our spiritual leaders is to persuade us with the truth? They are to teach and show us the truth from God’s word so that we will listen, yield to it and obey it.
The word used for obey in this passage of scripture is peithō. Which means to persuade or convince one to believe by the words spoken. This word occurs sixty-three times in the New Testament and many times it is translated as trusted, persuaded or convinced. Most of this occurs in the book of Acts when the people believed after they had been persuaded by the message spoken.
In the same way we are to trust and be convinced by the teaching and persuasion of our leaders. It is their job to teach the Word of God to us with authority and power, then we are to receive it, be convinced by it and yield to it. In this way, these truths become evident in our lives and in return bring joy to our leaders when they see change occur.
This is one of the main reasons we are to hold them in high regard, because they are commissioned to teach and persuade us by the Word of God. Which is why we are to look to them as examples; “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” ( Hebrews 13:7 ). And why we are to respect them; “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 ).
By receiving the Word of God taught to us by our leaders and elders we are submitting to their authority and making their job a joy which is why we are reminded to obey in this. God has ordained leaders in the church to teach and help bring us into maturity as well as to give us an example to live by.