David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

The Ultimate Authority

Lesson 6 


Winter 2021-22


By: RLD Editorial Team 


January 09, 2022

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lesson Focus:

God is our final authority.

Bible Basis:

Luke 6:1-11

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will discuss our human tendency to challenge authority and discover that God is our ultimate authority.

Memory Verse:

Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight.
—Deuteronomy 6:18a

Step 1:

Students will discuss our human tendency to challenge authority and discover that God is our ultimate authority.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

NOTE TO TEACHERS: The following lesson deals with the recent devastating fires in California. If you live in an area that was affected by this tragedy, you will know best how to handle this sensitive issue.

In the last few years, California has experienced numerous destructive wildfires that have burned homes and land alike. Any time something of this nature happens, people want to know who is responsible. Investigations are long and involved; sometimes, those questions never get fully answered. Two possible fire starters could occur at the same time (such as a lightning strike and a downed power line) making it impossible to determine the key factor. Nature itself in the form of rain and floods, etc. can wash away important DNA and other forensic evidence. But we still try to follow the trail and question who had the final authority over the situation and how it was handled.

Share the following video clip with your students [2:25]:
Did PG&E Cause the Dixie Fire??

When you are finished, discuss the following questions with your class:

The newscaster did not mention the cause the fire, likely because it is still being investigated. The fire could have been started as an intentional act of arson, or it could have been started by a lightning strike.

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) failed to cut down a dangerous tree near the electric lines—a major safety violation. People questioned PG&E’s authority to break the law and make a negligent decision with devastating results.

  • If you had been affected by PG&E’s decisions, would you have questioned their authority to make such impactful decisions? Why or why not? (Answers will vary.)
  • Is challenging authority a matter of individual personality—or a universal tendency? (Most people, even the compliant ones, will admit a desire to control their own lives. There are, however, some people who have a stronger bent toward rebellion.)
  • In what ways do you see society encouraging attitudes of rebellion? (Answers will vary but may include TV shows that feature children being sarcastic or disrespectful to their parents; attitudes that suggest calling parents by their first name or ignoring parents’ wishes are desired qualities of individualism or healthy self-esteem; young people see parents and other adults being disrespectful or rebellious toward people in authority such as police officers, an employer, or the president, etc.)
  • When someone is in charge over us, are we an equal? (Allow students to express their thoughts freely without commenting on their opinions.)
  • Why is it so hard to submit to others’ authority? (Answers will vary.)

Being under authority isn’t easy. People get frustrated—even angry—with decisions they have no control over. When human error is a factor, it makes it even harder to submit. But God never makes mistakes. Even though God gives us the free will to control our actions, He established a hierarchy of authority—and He is the ultimate authority. Let’s examine what Jesus said about who’s in charge, and in the process, understand our role in God’s story.  

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

Now that your students have studied some biblical wisdom regarding laws and obedience, they will be able to examine how these principles play out in their own lives.

Write “authority” at the top of your whiteboard or screenshared document.

Every one of us, young or old, has been placed under the authority of others. Take a minute to think of specific people or institutions that God has placed over you. This can include names like your band director or principal or even institutions like the government or police department.

As your students take time to think and write, write GOD above authority on the whiteboard or screenshared document. When your students have had a minute to think, invite them to call out names of the authorities they thought about. Write the names under the word authority. When students have finished calling out names, discuss these questions together:

  • Even though we all thought of different names, what did each person’s hierarchy have in common? (Answers will vary, but God is always at the top of the hierarchy, no matter our age or social standing.)
  • Is it hard to see ourselves at the bottom? In what ways can it also be comforting? (We may not enjoy answering to the rules of others, but it also gives us a sense of security and well-being, knowing that someone is watching over us and making us accountable.)
  • Do you have to like and respect someone in order to obey them? How can we solve this personal dilemma? (It’s not always easy to obey someone whom we disagree with. Prayer and humility are required for us to live out these principles in day-to-day life.)
  • Do people ever “age out” of submission and obedience? (Even when people become authority figures themselves, like parents or employers, there are always others that God places over them for accountability and obedience. We are never entirely free agents.)

As you end your class, ask your students to choose at least one name from the list and commit to praying for that individual or institution; encourage them to select someone that they sometimes have difficulty submitting to.

Close in prayer together, asking that God will give your students a spirit of humility as they submit to those in authority over them.

Spread the word

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share This