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Matthew 8:9 New English Translation

For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

Hebrews 2:9 New English Translation

but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while,[a] now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by God’s grace he would experience death on behalf of everyone.

Footnotes [a] Or “who was made a little lower than the angels.”

If Jesus was made lower than the angels, who was subordinate to his authority?

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This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few things that were subject to, or under the authority of Jesus:

  • the natural elements such as wind and waves, according to the incident when Jesus calmed the storm (eg, Matt 8:27, Mark 4:41, Luke 8:25)
  • the demons, according to the incident when Jesus commanded them to leave the man and go into the pigs who later drowned; to this can be added other instances of exorcism (eg, Luke 10:17)
  • diseases of sick people according to the Roman soldier who asked for his servant to be healed, which Jesus did. To this may be added Jesus' many healings
  • according to 1 Cor 15, Jesus had power over death and thus was the key to eternal life for all, see also Rom 5:14ff, Heb 2:14, John 10:18.
  • Jesus has the power to break the power of sin, Rom 6:10
  • Jesus had authority over teaching, Matt 7:28, Mark 1:22, 27
  • Jesus has authority to judge, John 5:27

After Jesus resurrection, according to Phil 2:9-11 and Rev 11:15-18, Jesus is has authority over all things in heaven and on earth.

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  • A thought-provoking seven-fold list. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 27, 2023 at 8:19
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As the first text quoted has nothing to do with the actual question, I will only address Hebrews 2:9, working from this translation:

"But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." The Companion Bible, Bullinger, Zondervan (The text used is that of the Authorized Version of 1611, as published by the Revisers in their Parallel Bible in 1885.)

The word "see" is the Greek blepo, which has a bearing on what the verse means. Angels could see the Word of God in heaven, before he "was made flesh" (John 1:14). They were subject to him. When the time came for the Incarnation, they could still see him, but only once the Word was born of Mary could humans see him. For all of his life on Earth, until taken up to heaven after his resurrection, humans could see him. But, thereafter, no more, apart from in visions. Blepo is explained here as:

"To have the power of seeing, to use the eyes, to look at; used of the act of looking, even though nothing be seen. Hence, to observe accurately and with desire; used with mental vision, and involving more contemplation..." (Ibid. p.163 of Appendixes)

Angel eyes can see more than human ones, so humans have to use mental vision, contemplation, to see in Jesus what other humans cannot - "And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) All such, who saw not just the man, but who this man really was, willingly placed themselves under the authority of Jesus while he walked on earth.

Significantly, angels continued to be in subjection to Jesus then, even though he had been made a little lower than them! Jesus said that he just had to request legions of angels to come to his aid, and they would (Matthew 26:53). Equally, invisible demons were also subject to Jesus, needing his permission to go into a herd of swine, for example (Mark 5:8-13 & 9:25-26). And the invisible element of wind also obeyed his command to be still (Matthew 8:27, and the sea). Sin and death also had to bow before his commands.

The Word of God was made flesh for the suffering of death on the cross, yet no matter the myriad things he gave up in order to be lowered to that level, he never gave up his deity. That is why angels, demons and the elements were always subject to him. Once humans saw beyond the humanity of Jesus, and the Father revealed him to be his beloved Son (Matthew 16:15-17 & Luke 9:34-35), they also subjected themselves to his authority. That required mental 'vision' or appreciation - seeing with the eyes of faith.

However, as wind, seas, sin and death are not classified as a "who", the strict answer to "who was under the authority of Jesus" (while on Earth) would be angels, demons and humans who had revealed to them that this Son of Man was also the Son of God.

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  • From the Centurion's viewpoint, Jesus had subordinates who would handle the therapeutic task without Jesus needing to be physically present. In the Centurion's understanding, these healing operators were of a spiritual nature.
    – Betho's
    Dec 27, 2023 at 18:27

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