And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.— Ephesians 1:22
By Rick Renner
In the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt, there is an exquisite display of the treasures of King Tut (Tutankhamun) — the boy pharaoh who died at a very early age and whose tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in the year 1922. I’ve been to Tut’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings, and on multiple occasions I’ve seen the display of treasures found in his tomb that are on view in the Egyptian Museum. This museum is one of the world’s greatest — filled with artifacts from the ancient world. However, of all the relics on display, there is something uniquely breathtaking about the treasures of King Tut. Each time I’ve been there, I’ve found myself especially fascinated by one group of items in the collection — the walking canes that were used by King Tut.
As one might expect, these canes are long and slender and are decorated with gold, silver, ivory, precious stones, and rare woods. They were not designed to fully carry the weight of an individual, but rather were intended to convey symbolism to anyone who saw Tut walking with these items in his hand. I first realized this fact when I took a closer look and saw the unique carvings on the bottoms of each of these canes.
These walking canes are each shaped like a shepherd’s staff with a u-shaped hook on one end. However, instead of being placed at the top of the cane like a typical shepherd’s staff, these hooks were formed at the base. Engraved along the length of each hook are images of conquered peoples from foreign lands lying prostrate on their stomachs with their arms reaching upward in adoration of the Pharaoh. Every time the pharaoh walked with his cane in hand, these figures literally rolled on the bottom of cane, symbolically bowing before him. This imagery conveyed a strong message — namely, that all of Egypt’s enemies were defeated and directly under the feet of this mighty Pharaoh.
When I first recognized the meaning behind these carvings, I was reminded of the apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:22, where he wrote, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Paul’s choice of words in this statement is very powerful, so let’s take a moment to examine the original Greek language.
The word “under” in this verse is the Greek word hupotasso. This word was originally a military term meaning to subjugate or to dominate. It described forcibly subduing a conquered people and putting them in their place, and it is the exact idea that the images on King Tut’s canes were designed to convey. However, Paul’s use of this word in Ephesians 1:21 was not figurative or symbolic at all. Jesus Christ — through His death on the Cross, subsequent resurrection, and ultimate ascension on High — literally put every foe that ever existed under His feet.
Paul elaborated on this in Philippians 2:9, saying, “Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (see Philippians 2:9-11). Nothing in the universe is more highly exalted than Jesus Christ. His throne rules above all — above all human authorities, military authorities, and spiritual authorities. There is simply no one who rules higher or more majestically than Jesus.
Today King Tutankhamun is wrapped in burial shrouds and encased in a coffin. He is dead, but Jesus sits exalted at the right hand of the Father, and all nations, principalities, and powers must forever bow before Him! That in itself is an awesome thought to consider.
But you also have this truth to digest and apply to your life today and every day as well: As you read on in Ephesians, you find out the Father raised you to sit with Jesus in the heavenlies, far above all principalities and powers (see Ephesians 2:6), and He gave you all the authority invested in His name! So you have something over King Tut as well, because the devil and all his demon forces are under your feet in Jesus’ name! Let that truth sink in today — and determine to see and respond to every situation you face from that position of authority that Jesus gave you in Him when you received Him as Savior.
The devil’s strategies are under your feet. As you respond more and more from that position of authority, you will see situations that looked messy or even impossible begin to turn around for the good of all involved — and all to God’s glory!
Rick Renner is a prolific author and a highly respected Bible teacher and leader in the international Christian community. He is the author of more than 30 books, including the bestsellers Dressed To Kill and Sparkling Gems From the Greek.
In 1992, Rick and his family moved to what is now the former Soviet Union. Two years later, he and his wife Denise founded the Riga Good News Church in Latvia before moving on to Moscow in 2000 to found the Moscow Good News Church. In 2007, the Renners also launched the Kiev Good News Church in the capital of Ukraine. Today, Rick serves as Bishop for this group of churches.
In addition, Rick and Denise pioneered a Bible school, and a ministerial association that serves thousands of Russian-speaking pastors throughout the former USSR as well as parts of the Middle East.
Rick also founded Media Mir, the first Christian television network established in the former USSR. Its broadcast capabilities via terrestrial stations in Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova, and as well by satellite means millions of people are reached with these messages. It has since expanded into book publishing and managing social media accounts.