Word of the Day: Ruler (ἡγούμενος)

“The ultimate irony appears when the powerless Jesus had risen from the dead. While the imperial system had the power to inflict death, God’s power and presence are not restricted, but overcome that death. Jesus’ resurrection strips Pilate, the religious leaders and the crowds of all their malicious power.

The powerful position of Pilate as the governor (ἡγεμόνος) is replaced by Jesus, “the ruler (ἡγούμενος) who will be the shepherd of my people of Israel” (Matt. 2:6).

The description of Pilate the governor and Jesus as governor represent fundamentally two contrasting empires. The one represents the Roman emperor and empire, and the other proclaims and embodies God’s empire.”

Source: Viljoen, F. (2011). Power and authority in Matthew’s Gospel. Acta Theologica, 31, 329-345.